10 Best Lemongrass Substitutes for Curry – Best List 2022

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What are some good alternatives to lemongrass that may be used in curry? Because my spouse spent the most of his youth growing up in Southeast Asia, I like to surprise him with a Thai curry or pho every once in a while as a special treat. Because I am aware that lemongrass is one of those essential components and the key to a delicious Thai curry, I always make sure to include it on my shopping list if I am preparing a meal that is very dear to my spouse.

But there I was in the supermarket, standing in the fresh food section all bewildered, thinking I’d forgotten what lemongrass looked like because I couldn’t locate any! Every store associate that I questioned—and I questioned many shop employees—confirmed that there weren’t any available. So where do we stand?

I had to cook the Thai curry, but I didn’t have any lemongrass on hand. What can I use instead? If you find yourself in a situation that is like to mine, the solution is as follows:

Best Lemongrass Substitutes for Curry

Dried lemongrass, arugula and fresh lemon juice or lemon zest, fresh lemon zest, lemongrass paste or Kreung, fresh lemon juice and fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, fresh cilantro stalks and fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice and lime zest with Kaffir lime leaf, mint leaves and fresh lime juice with ginger and sugar, and Kaffir lime leaves are the best alternatives to fresh lemongrass when it comes to making curry.

Quick Tips When Substituting Lemongrass

When making a substitution of lemongrass in your curry, there are a few things you need to keep in mind, including the following:

  • You want to come up with a flavor that is as close as you can get to that of lemongrass. Therefore, you are looking for a flavor that is earthy, lemony, and citrusy, with a hint of mint and ginger and a touch of bitterness.
  • You cannot use the same ratio to replace the lemongrass replacement as the original; I have supplied suggestions for each substitution.
  • In order to acquire the perfect flavor you desire, keep tasting your dish and balancing it with spices that are either sweet or savory.

10 Best Lemongrass Substitutes for Curry

Here are the best lemongrass substitutes you can use for curry to get the same citrusy, slight minty flavor:

1. Dried Lemongrass

1 fresh lemongrass stalk is equivalent to 1 teaspoon of dried lemongrass in this ratio.

If you are unable to locate fresh lemongrass at your neighborhood grocery store, you can find dried lemongrass in the section of the store that is dedicated to herbs. This works perfectly for dishes like curry that require a long simmering time so that the flavor of the lemongrass substitute can develop.

You will experience the same herbal and citrusy flavor (but without the lemon flavor), but adding an excessive amount of dried lemongrass can make your curry taste bitter.

Either finely chop the dried lemongrass so that it does not add an unpleasant fibrous component to your dish, or leave it as is, but remove the dried lemongrass before serving the curry. Either way, you will need to remove it before serving the dish.

2. Arugula and Lemon Juice/Zest

One tablespoon of chopped lemongrass should be paired with one-half teaspoon of lemon juice and one-half tablespoon of arugula leaves.

Because of the slightly bitter, yet sweet, and herbal flavors that lemongrass imparts, arugula and lemon juice or the zest from lemon rind make an excellent substitute for lemongrass. In soups and curries, the peppery flavor that arugula contributes is incredibly delicious.

3. Fresh Lemon Zest

Zest from one-half of a lemon to one stalk of lemongrass equals the ratio.

In any recipe you are following, you can substitute freshly grated lemon zest for the lemongrass called for. The zest imparts the same lemony and citrusy tang that is found in lemongrass, and it gives your curry a deliciously vibrant and revitalizing quality.

Because you don’t want your curry to have an overly bitter flavor, avoid grinding the white pith of the lemon and adding it to the dish.

4. Lemongrass Paste

1 entire stalk of lemongrass is equal to 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste in this ratio.

The paste made from lemongrass, which is also known as Kreung, imparts an earthy, citrusy, and garlicky taste to the curry. It’s the perfect substitute for dishes that need to simmer so the flavor can cook through the curry.

In the event that you are unable to get lemongrass paste, you may replace one tablespoon of the paste with one half teaspoon of lemon juice, one half teaspoon of chopped ginger, and one half teaspoon of minced garlic.

5. Lemon Juice and Chopped Ginger

Ratio: 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of minced ginger for 1 tablespoon of lemongrass

This is a handy lemongrass alternative for your curry recipe since the components are simple to obtain, or they may already be in your fridge or pantry. The ginger and lemon juice offer a very basic lemongrass flavor to your curry (without the herbal undertones), which is excellent if you are in a need.

6. Fresh Lemon Juice

The ratio is one tablespoon of lemongrass to one-half of a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.

You may replace the lemongrass in your curry with freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. This works just as well. Because you don’t want your curry to be overly acidic, choose a lemon with a thin skin and a soft texture. When adding lemon juice to your curry, start with a small amount, taste it, and then add more if more is required.

7. Cilantro and Fresh Ginger

2 tablespoons of cilantro and 2 teaspoons of ginger are required for every single stalk of lemongrass.

Another excellent alternative to lemongrass is the combination of cilantro and fresh ginger. The pair of ingredients gives the curry a herbal, fresh, flora, spicy, and peppery taste that mimics lemongrass well.

To have a more robust taste, use the stems of the cilantro rather than the leaves, and go for freshly grated ginger.

8. Lemon Juice, Lime Zest, and Kaffir Lime Leaf

For every single stalk of lemongrass, you should use one Kaffir lime leaf, one tablespoon of lime zest, and two tablespoons of lemon juice.

The use of fresh lemon juice, fresh lime zest, and shredded Kaffir lime leaf will lend your curry an intense flavor reminiscent of lemongrass that is also quite delicious. Allow this alternative to lemongrass to simmer in the curry for a while in order to extract the necessary amount of lemony and citrus flavor.

9. Mint Leaves, Lime Juice, Ginger, and Sugar

Ratio: 6-8 mint leaves, ¼ teaspoon of ginger, ¼ teaspoon of sugar, and 2 teaspoons of lime juice for 1 lemongrass stalk

The fresh mint leaves, lime juice, and chopped ginger add a citrusy lemon flavor with hints of pepper and mint to your curry. You’ll need to finely chop the mint leaves, add it to the lime juice, ginger, and sugar, and add the substitute to your curry just before serving.

10. Kaffir Lime Leaves

The ratio is one Kaffir lime leaf for every single stalk of lemongrass.

The use of Kaffir lime leaf in place of lemongrass in your curry produces the same sour and citrusy flavor as the traditional ingredient.

It is necessary to remove the midrib and the stalk from the leaves in order to get rid of the bitter taste. Then, give the curry some time to steep with the Kaffir leaves. Remove any entire leaves that you may have added to the meal just before you serve it.

Final Thoughts on 10 Best Lemongrass Substitutes for Curry

Because the grocery store was out of lemongrass, I ended up substituting kaffir lime leaf, fresh lime zest, and fresh lemon juice into the Thai curry I was cooking for my boyfriend. I was really happy with myself since my dining companion didn’t even notice that the curry didn’t have any lemongrass in it.

The last words of wisdom I want to share with you is to keep tasting your dish when you substitute one ingredient for another. You may always start out by adding less, and then gradually work your way up to adding more. If you add a flavor to the curry and it becomes too dominant, it will be difficult to eliminate that taste.

Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions on 10 Best Lemongrass Substitutes for Curry

What Can You Use Instead of Lemongrass?

Instead of lemongrass, you should use lemon balm or lemon verbena when making sweet dishes. If your dish requires simmering, you can substitute the lemongrass for Kaffir lime leaves that have had the midrib and stalk removed, a mixture of lemon juice, lime zest, and Kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass paste, dried or ground lemongrass, or dried lemongrass. To give your dish a lemongrass flavor, finish it off just before serving by mixing in some mint leaves, ginger, sugar, and lime juice.

Can You Use Lemon Juice Instead of Lemongrass?

You can substitute lemon juice for lemon grass, but for the most authentic flavor, use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead. To avoid creating a meal that is excessively acidic, start by adding a smaller amount of lemon juice to the dish and tasting it before adding more.


What can I substitute for lemon grass?

Arugula, Coriander, Lemon Zest, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Preserve, Lemon Preserve Preserve, and Lemon Preserve Preserve are some of the most appropriate choices.

What essential oil can I use in place of lemongrass?

If you don’t have access to lemongrass, you can use lavender on your skin, chamomile on your hair, or ylang ylang on both to achieve the same effect.

Can you use lemon balm instead of lemongrass?

Lemon Balm

It works wonderfully as a replacement for fresh lemongrass as well as dried lemongrass in any recipe, but it shines brightest when used in tea and baked goods. What is this, exactly? To use lemon balm, simply chop the leaves and add them to your dish toward the end of the cooking process. This will help keep as much of their delicate flavor, which is reminiscent of lemongrass, as possible.

Can you make Thai food without lemongrass?

There is a fairly wide variety of food that does not include lemongrass. It would be hard to name them all, so I will simply share some of my favorites with you: There are just too many dishes to name, including larb moo/gai, naem sod, nam tok moo, som tam, moo manao, mystery meat on a stick, and pad graprao. Try not to conceive of Thai cuisine as consisting only of curries made with coconut.

What can I use instead of lemon juice in a Curry?

8 Clever Substitutes for Lemon Juice

  • Lime juice. Lime juice is the greatest alternative to lemon juice since it can be used as a one-to-one replacement for lemon juice, it has a very comparable flavor, and it has a very similar degree of acidity (5).
  • Orange juice. …
  • Vinegar. …
  • Citric acid. …
  • Lemon zest.
  • Wine that is white…. ..
  • Lemon extract. ..
  • Topping of cream of tartar..