Lemongrass is a favorite herb used to flavor Thai cuisine. If you don’t have lemongrass and would love to make your favorite Thai dish at home, then you have come to the right place to learn all of the substitutes for lemongrass. 

What is Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is a lemon-scented plant extracted from its stems and roots. Lemongrass comes in a variety of forms, such as fresh, dried, crushed, and lemongrass oil.

As the name suggests, it is used to create a delicate herby citrus flavor that goes well with ethnic dishes. It is especially popular in Thai cuisine.

Lemongrass comes in a variety of forms, from fresh to dried and powdered, and is primarily used in curries, soups, and teas. Its mildly aromatic citrus flavor makes it ideal for, tofu and vegetables.

The flavor of lemongrass is so unique that there is no perfect substitute. However, there are some options to at least replace some elements of this herb’s flavor. Therefore, read below to find some of my preferred substitutes for lemongrass.

1. Fresh Ginger and Cilantro

ginger coriander on white background Substitutes for Lemongrass

These two are a magical combination, and you probably already have them in your kitchen. Ginger has a rich history and ranks second on the list of most popular spices. World consumption in 2018 was actually 2.8 million tons!

Coriander (or cilantro, since we are talking about the leaves here) is also a popular plant, and the best part is that you can use the whole plant. When using seeds, they are called coriander, but the plant is commonly referred to as cilantro. Interestingly, some people have genes that make cilantro taste like soap.

Cilantro has an almost perfect alternative to lemongrass. The combination of ginger and cilantro makes the food sweeter and more intense.

Instead of lemongrass, you can use a mixture of ginger and coriander. To replace the lemongrass stalks, chopped 2 teaspoons of coriander stalks and 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger root. The combination of strong coriander stems and sweet and sour ginger creates a lemongrass-like flavor. For each lemongrass stalk, you will need 2 teaspoons of ginger and coriander stalks.

2. Kefir Lime Leaves

kaffir lime leaves isolated on white background

Another option is to add a citrus flavor reminiscent of fresh lemons. Kefir leaves can be mixed with other ingredients such as lemon zest and lemon juice to enhance the flavor. Lemongrass = 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus 1 lemon camphor leaf plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Kefir leaves are rarely eaten, so it is best to remove them before eating. Its purpose is to leave behind its taste and smell.

3. Lemon Zest

lemon zest

Lemon zest is the best alternative to lemongrass because it is readily available at local stores. They also have the most similar taste characteristics. To measure, a medium-sized lemon corresponds to two small lemongrass stalks. Depending on the recipe, you can mix some lemon zest in as well.

4. Lime Zest

lime zest grated on cutting board Substitutes for Lemongrass

Limes aren’t as intense as lemons, so it’s a good idea to add lime juice and zest to your recipe. Grate 1/2 teaspoon of skin from each side. I also recommend using lime zest. One lime zest equals two lemon slices.

5. Lemon Verbena

lemon verbena leaves isolated on a white background

Lemon Verbena is a common garden herb used to impart a citrus and herb flavor like the lemongrass plant.

Taste as you add the leaves as needed until you reach the amount you need to use in your recipe. In most cases, one or two lemon verbena leaves instead of lemongrass is sufficient. Remove the leaves before eating.

6. Lemon Balm

lemon balm isolated on a white background

Lemon Balm is a mint-flavored herb and one of the best alternative herbs for lemongrass. The leaves can be chopped finely to maximize the citrus flavor and aroma.

Three lemon balm leaves can replace lemongrass stems. Not only does it replace the lemongrass, but it also offers many benefits for the body, including relieving digestive problems, headaches, and cramps.

You May Also Like These Other Ideas for Substitutes

  1. Substitute For Juniper Berries
  2. Substitute For Coconut Aminos
  3. Bay Leaf Substitute
  4. Cumin Substitute
  5. Homemade Chili Powder Substitute

If you enjoyed reading about substitutes for Lemongrass and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends to Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.