The Top 10 Lemongrass Substitutes

Lemongrass, marked on a white background

Lemongrass is an aromatic herb that combines citrus and herbal aromas with a hint of mint. It brings a fresh taste of kelp without bitterness and is widely used in Southeast Asian cuisine. If you don’t have lemon sorghum in your kitchen, you need an alternative. We’ve put together a handy list of lemon sensorghum substitutes so you can fill any recipe without the original ingredient.

What can I use to replace fresh lemon sorghum in the kitchen?

To replace the lemon sensorghum in the next dish, you can use dried lemon sensorghum, lemon rind or cracklings. Although these ingredients do not perfectly mimic the taste of fresh lemon sorghum, they do help to create an authentic tasting of Asian cuisine without any unusual taste experiences.

1. Dried lemon clay

Dried or powdered lemon sorghum is a good option to replace the fresh version, although it is not exactly the same. Fresh lemon sorghum is excellent for spicy or heavy dishes, but loses its complexity after drying and has a rather woody taste.

Most dried herbs wrap the fragrant punch, and lemongrass is no exception. It can easily overflow with other ingredients, so don’t use a heavy hand when adding it to your food. Use about half a teaspoon for each stem.

A good idea is to cut the base and top of the nails and then remove the outer layers. The rest is crushed or chopped, which gives it a citrus-like aroma. Dried grass is a good addition to soups, hot tea and all dishes, allowing time to hydrate. You can also use this substitute for meat and poultry rubies, marinades, sauces and chips.

In some countries it can be problematic to find dried lemon grass in ordinary supermarkets. If it’s not in the spices department, try the Asian specialty store or search online.

2. Lemongrass paste

Tubes of lemongrass paste can be found in the refrigerated part of the vegetable hole of your shop or in the Asian products department. It’s a convenient way to replace the fresh version in your kitchen.

If you are preparing an aromatic soup, such as tomato tubers or lacsa noodles, use a tablespoon of noodles instead of a tablespoon of chopped lemon sorghum. If the recipe you use is for a single stem of lemon sorghum, use a tablespoon of cooked pasta.

3. Lemon peel

Lemon zest is a good substitute for lemongrass, because both have a citrus aroma and are excellent for clarifying dishes. In most cases, lemons are easy to find, which is another advantage of this option. To make a lemon zest, you need a box grater on a decoration or a fine peel. Remember that the raisin is only the yellow part of the skin and that any white grain should be avoided.

Would you like a more authentic taste of lemon sorghum? We recommend adding a small amount of freshly cut ginger to the zest of the lemon. This extra ingredient gives the dish a pungent, warm and slightly earthy flavour, necessary to imitate lemon sorghum.

To replace a lemon sensor handle, use 1 teaspoon ½ lemon zest and 1 teaspoon ⅛ fresh ginger topping.

Tip: If you have canned lemons in your kitchen, you can use them too. Add half a lemon to replace a stem of lemon sorghum. You can add the crust and flesh to the dish.

Computer-generated citronella substitute

4. Krung

Kreung is a type of pasta that contains lemongrass and a number of other ingredients such as galangal, lime zest, shallot, turmeric, garlic and chilli peppers. Krung, often used in Cambodian cuisine, is a handy substitute for lemon sorghum and has the same application as Thai curry paste.

Finding krung in supermarkets can be a problem, but you can try Asian specialty stores or search online. This product is available in different colour variations: the red crown contains a dehydrated chilli which gives the dish a red hue instead of adding heat; the yellow crown has turmeric as the main ingredient and is generally used to flavour a stew called samlor machu crown; the green crown contains a large amount of lemon sorghum leaves instead of stems. It is used to give foodstuffs such as Thai green curry paste a green colour.

To replace a tablespoon of crushed lemon sorghum, use a tablespoon of crest paste. This substitute adds a mixture of different spicy flavours and is not suitable for sweet recipes.

5. Handle

In small quantities, arugula or leaves can be used as an alternative to fresh lemongrass. This option is perfect for dishes such as fish soup and stew.

To get the real taste of lemon sorghum, you must also add a lemon rind to this citrus fruit, a lively taste. We recommend combining a teaspoon of lemon rind with a rocket. It may not seem like much, but remember that the rocket has a strong peppery taste and it is important not to overfill the dish. Mix the ingredients with the solution and the pestle or blender and perform a quick taste test. You can add a little more rocket, but be careful not to exaggerate.

6. Kaffir lime leaves

Kaffir lime leaves are excellent for giving a spicy, citrus-like flavour and a lemongrass-like aroma. They are easy to prepare by tearing off the leaves and removing the centre before adding them to soups, salads, fries and curries. Remove the Kaffir lime leaves like a bay leaf before serving the dish. The leaves can also be cut into thin slices and used as a garnish on food.

Pile of kaffir lime leaves on a white background with citrus fruits and aromatic leaves.

If you are looking for kaffir lime leaves, you can buy them fresh, frozen or dry. They are easy to find in Asian specialty stores and on the internet.

Use a leaf to replace the lemon sensorghum stem. To faithfully mimic the taste of lemongrass, you can also add lime zest.

7. Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is a citrus fruit, a slightly sweet herb, which is excellent for clarifying dishes. The strong lemon flavour works well in Asian cuisine, but does not have the same strong lemon flavour as lemon sorghum. To counteract this, use a lemon verbena leaf in combination with half a teaspoon of lemon zest to absorb the flavour. It is a good idea to cut or tear off the leaves before adding them to the recipes, because then the smell is released.

8. Japanese Yuzu

Yuzu is a popular Japanese citrus fruit the size of a grapefruit, appreciated for its spiciness. You can use this ingredient as a replacement for lemon sorghum for excellent effects in French fries, curries, drinks and broths. Yuzu has an excellent citrus flavour and is also good for adding a delicious floral flavour to your food.

As with most of the replacements in this list, you should use the temperate south, because it will quickly overtake the plate. If possible, try adding a teaspoon of yuzu crust and test the taste before adding more.

9. Coriander and ginger stalks

Lemongrass has a unique grassy flavour that is difficult to replace with a single ingredient. However, the combination of coriander and ginger strains is a useful option in slow cooked dishes such as soup. The ginger gives a pungent earthy taste, and the coriander stems – citrus.

Use one teaspoon of grated fresh ginger and two teaspoons of coriander stems. The stem has a more intense flavour than the leaves.

Looks like a lecture: What is the difference between parsley and coriander?

10. Lemon balm

Lemon balm is an herb that belongs to the mint family. The taste and aroma of citrus fruits are delicate and it is best to add them at the end of the cooking process. Use 3-4 crushed lemon balm leaves to replace the stem of lemon millet in spicy dishes and desserts.

Fresh lemon balm, ready to cook. Lemon balm is ideal for spicy or sweet dishes.


Replacing lemongrass in authentic Asian dishes such as Tom Yam soup and French fries is not easy because it has a unique taste that is difficult to reproduce. This flavour is best obtained with dried lemon sorghum or pasta from the pipe section of your supermarket. Other possibilities are lemon peel, Krung, rocket salad or coffee leaves with lemon. Although they do not perfectly mimic the taste of lemon sorghum, most recipes, if used sparingly, can be prepared without adding unpleasant flavours.

What kind of dish do you cook that lemon sorghum needs? Please let us know in the comments below.

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