How about giving your dishes a twist of the Asian flavor? Yes, you do not have to always eat in an Asian-centric restaurant to get a taste of their spice-loaded meals. You can do it in your kitchen if you find a lemongrass substitute or several alternatives if you can. Fortunately, you came to the right post. We are telling you everything about Cochin grass, and most importantly, its alternatives.
Lemongrass: What is It Anyway?
Lemongrass, also popularly known as citronella, is a tall stalky plant used in preparing a lot of Asian foods. It is an essential ingredient in Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai cooking. It has a strong and deep lemony flavor and aroma.
The distinct aroma and flavor of citronella have won the hearts of a lot of people. And if you think it is just the flavor and aroma, you are mistaken. Fever grass has a lot of health benefits, both psychologically and physiologically. What are your options when you cannot find citronella for purchase? Do you pose using it until you can find it? If this is what you do, we are glad to inform you that there are many substitutes for lemongrass you can use.
Wondering what to substitute for lemongrass? Keep reading to find out!
Uses of Lemongrass
Before we dive into lemongrass replacement, let’s look at the benefits of this magic Asian-African plant. It is a coveted ingredient in Asian dishes and tea. Some of the benefits of taking oily heads tea are discussed below:
- It aids digestion. If you have problems with constipation, bloating, and stomach cramping, a hot cup of citronella tea could be the solution you need.
- Also, it is an excellent diuretic. It helps the body eliminate toxins, fight post and pre-menstrual complications, and menopause symptoms.
- Moreover, citronella is a vital ingredient in aromatherapy. It is used to reduce stress, induce better sleep, improve moods, and stimulate serotonin’s secretion.
Other benefits are:
- Lowering of blood pressure in diabetic people
- Excellent anti-inflammatory properties
- Good for detoxing and weight loss journey
- Quickly relieves congested nasal tracts, colds, and other respiratory issues
Are there Alternatives for Citronella?
Silk heads are essential and must-have ingredients in any household. Because it has many benefits, and it is just a fantastic ingredient, you probably use it a lot in your house.
If you run out of your supply in the house, consider settling for a substitute for lemongrass below. Whatever you settle for, or is readily available in your grocery store or home will perfectly work for you.
If you run out of Cochin grass, consider using lemon balm for that lemony and minty flavor in your dishes. Lemon balm works excellently in tea, soups, and seafood. Also, you can use lemon balm to enrich the flavor of bread and cookies. You can also toss a leaf of lemon balm in your salad.
The good thing is the aroma of lemon balm is a mood lifter and stress reliever, just like its sibling.
Ginger and Coriander
If you are looking for a lemongrass alternative to use in soups and broth, a combination of fresh ginger and coriander will not let you down. Two teaspoons of freshly crushed ginger, and two teaspoons of chopped coriander leaves and stalk will perfectly substitute lemongrass stalk.
For a more intense flavor, use coriander stalks instead of the leaves.
Coriander is popularly used as a cardamom substitute. You can use these to replace the other because they are from the same plant. The significant difference is that cardamom is more intense than coriander.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
If you are looking for citronella’s citrus aroma, then kaffir leaves would be your best bet. If you choose kaffir leaves as your substitute for lemongrass, ensure you remove the leaves’ midrib before using them in your dishes.
The kaffir lime leaves are rarely eaten. You can remove them as soon as your dish is ready for serving.
Kreung is a lemongrass paste, usually combined with other herbs such as lime leaves and galangal for a more distinct flavor. You can make your paste, or get one that is readily available in supermarkets. Your homemade paste can last several weeks refrigerated in airtight containers.
For the best results, use a tablespoon of Kreung as a substitute for chopped lemongrass tablespoon.
Lemon Zest and Arugula
A combo of lemon zest and arugula is a perfect lemongrass replacement, especially for fish stews and broths. Use one teaspoon of lemon zest and a leaf of arugula. Always ensure that your lemon zest is fresh, you want it to match the efficiency of citronella.
However, remember to use arugula in moderation. It has an intense peppery taste.
If you have no lemongrass replacement listed above, you have nothing to worry about. You can comfortably use leaves from the lemon tree for herbal and citric flavor. Furthermore, lemon verbena would be a perfect substitution for lemongrass for that lemony flavor. You may also want to give lemon juice a try.
Lemongrass is a vital ingredient in preparing a lot of dishes. For this reason, households, and even stores may run out of it. If your favorite spice runs out, there is no need to worry. You can use readily available ingredients to substitute lemongrass. Lemongrass has a distinct and complex flavor that may be difficult to replicate. However, the above ingredients will give your dishes a flavor and aroma close to the rich properties of citronella. Therefore, the next time you run out of your favorite spice, incorporate the above alternatives for equally tastier dishes.