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5 BEST Substitutes for Lemongrass: Flavorful Choices

Lemongrass has become very popular in recent times, and many cuisines from all over the world are using lemongrass flavor in their recipes.

Lemongrass flavor blends with many dishes and Vietnamese and Thai cuisines use this flavor in most of their dishes.

Everyone should try using lemongrass in their cooking; otherwise, you will never understand the splendidness of this authentic flavor.

However, lemongrass doesn’t provide the signature lemony aroma, but this exclusive herb can add a more intense flavor to any dish.

When you don’t have lemongrass in your house, there are a lot of substitutes for this herb.

Read our article below to learn how to substitute lemongrass in your cooking.

What is Lemongrass?

what is lemongrass

Lemongrass is scientifically called Cymbopogon Citratus, and it is tall, perpetual grass and available about 45 types of species.

Lemongrass grows in sub-tropical and tropical climates of Australia, Africa, and Asia.

According to the reports, India is the largest producer of lemongrass, around 2-million pounds per year.

This grass is produced in Sikkim in the Himalayan Mountains and the mountain range of the Western Ghats and next to the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh.

It has a bright yellow color and a remarkable lemony flavor.

There is no aroma in lemongrass, but its strong lemon flavor is enough to satisfy the taste buds of any culinary expert.

This herb has a distinctive sweet and sour taste, and it can be used in many different recipes.

It has a wide range of health benefits, and it is used as a medicine in several Asian countries.

Lemongrass is widely known for its aromatic properties, and it has been used in traditional herbal medicines from India to China.

In Thailand, lemongrass oil has been included in the list of essential oils, and this oil contains many medicinal properties.

It has been used in southeastern Asia for centuries, and it is still a significant part of any Asian household.

Many Asians use lemongrass frequently in their cooking, or they include it in most medicinal remedies.

5 Best Substitutes for Lemongrass

1 – Lemon Verbena

lemon verbena

Lemon Verbena is one of the best substitutes for lemongrass, and it is a strong herb grown in South America.

Lemon Verbena leaves carry powerful oil, and the citrus flavor of this herb is not bitter like its other family members, which makes this lemon verbena a superior alternative for lemongrass.

Lemon verbena contains pointed shiny green leaves.

It is also used for cooking and medicinal purpose like lemongrass.

It also gives out a strong grassy fragrance that is stronger than the fragrance of the lemongrass.

That means, when you use lemon verbena in the place of lemongrass, then make sure to use a lesser amount than lemongrass.

2 – Kaffir Lime Leaves

kaffir lime leaves

Kaffir Lime leaves are widely used in Asian cuisines, especially in Thai cooking.

Kaffir Lime Leaves have a similar taste to lemongrass, but they are more bitter than the lemongrass flavor.

Kaffir Lime Leaves have a citrus aroma, and it tastes wonderful with fish and red meat dishes.

This herb is available fresh during the spring seasons, and you can use them in your cooking.

Kaffir Lime Leaves have a special aroma of lime, and it is easy to ground this herb into a powder form or use them fresh for garnishing dishes.

You can also add these leaves to marinades and sauces to enhance the flavor of any dish.

Kaffir lime leaves look similar to lemongrass, and it is a small thorny bush with unique foliage.

You can easily identify these leaves by their shape as they look like an hourglass.

Kaffir Lime leaves are also used in Cambodian, Vietnam, and Thai dishes, same as lemongrass.

These leaves are also known as Thai Lime, is the best option if you want mild flavor in your dish, Kaffir lime is also the best option for curry or soup including fish or coconut-based, and it is also a perfect option if you want to have a little twist to a drink.

3 – Cilantro & Ginger

cilantro ginger

Cilantro & ginger are the best and mystic pair, and everyone will have these two ingredients in their kitchen all the time.

Ginger has a rich history, and it is considered the second most famous spice on the list.

According to the reports, in 2018, the world consumptions of ginger was at 2.

8million tons, and this spice is associated with turmeric and cardamom.

This root spice is also deliberated as an Ayurvedic spice.

Cilantro is also known as coriander, and it is another famous herb, and the best thing about this herb is that you can use the whole plant.

The seeds of the plant are called coriander, and the stalks of the plant are called cilantro.

Cilantro and ginger can be used as a substitute for lemongrass.

4 – Lemon Balm

lemon balm

Lemon Balm is a sweet-smelling herb, and it has powerful medicinal properties.

This herb is best known for its calming effects on your body that help you get quick relief from stress or anxiety.

The taste of lemon balm is similar to lemongrass, just a little bitter in nature.

Lemon Balm comes with fresh green leaves and small white flowers.

People from all over the world call lemon balm as balm mint or balm.

This plant is largely used to make tea, as it looks amazing and gives out a pleasant smell.

You can grow lemon balm in your kitchen window for a fresh and pleasant smell.

You can use lemon balm for your soups, salads, and teas.

Lemon balm is a very delicate option compared to other substitutes.

It tastes more like mint, giving you better flavor when added to desserts, poultry, and teas.

You can add three lemon balm leaves for a stalk of lemongrass to your dish.

Make sure to get fresh and green leaves when buying at the grocery store.

5 – Lemon


Lemon is one of the most common fruits used worldwide, and everyone knows about its benefits.

You can use lemon juice in salad dressings, marinades, soups, fish dishes to give it a lovely lemony flavor.

It is better to use fresh lemon instead of bottled lemon juice because it is highly acidic.

Lemon has a pleasant and mild flavor, and it gives a fresh and aromatic taste to your dish.

Lemon is very acidic, so use lemon as a substitute in seafood dishes.

You can also add lemon zest or the fruit’s peel if you want a more citrusy taste in your dish.

It gives the absolute sour taste to your dish when added in the place of lemongrass.

Lemon has been in use for centuries, but it is not clear where this fruit is originated initially.

Also, it is not clear whether it is grown naturally or created as a hybrid fruit between a bitter orange and citron.

It is one of the most versatile fruit, and the zest of the lemon will not overpower the dish when used.


Earlier, lemongrass was used only for medicinal purposes, but now, it is used to make a delicious addition to the recipe.

Some astonishing health benefits have surfaced about lemongrass in recent times.

But, finding lemongrass herb is not easy, and in most places, local stores do not sell lemongrass.

That is why people look for the best substitutes for lemongrass to make their dish palatable.

best substitutes for lemongrass

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lemongrass

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Lemon Verbena
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Cilantro u0026 Ginger
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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