Preserved Lemons

August 16, 2018
Easy steps on How to make Preserved Lemons
Preserved lemon slice photo


What's not to love?
They are bright, fresh, and tart, able to wake our senses, with sour grimace faces, we made when we had it just like that.

Types of Lemons

I was blessed with loads of lemon from my low-lying lemon plant, planted in a pot.
There were about 40 to 50 lemons from that pot of lemon only.
Hence it is called 'Lots of Lemons'.

These lemons are huge, very juicy, and sour, unlike lemon Meyer which is not so sour and tart.

I plan to bake Lemon Poppy Seeds LoafAlmond Lemon Syrup Cake, and of course lemon slice.

However, these lemons may be too sour to even make lemon slice and lemon curd, but I will give it a shot and I will keep you posted :)

What do you do when Mother Nature gives you loads of lemons?

Make preserved lemons!

Preserving lemons in salt and their own juice, enables us to enjoy having lemons all year round (so to speak)

Preserved lemon in a jar photo

What are preserved lemons good for?

Preserved lemons are widely used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African cooking.

However,  I found out that Malays from Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling love having their  Biryani with preserved lemons on the side.
I can't wait to try eating Biryani with preserved lemons.

Preserved lemons make an excellent condiment for steaming fish, with soy sauce, tomatoes, scallion, and ginger.
Cut lemons for preserving photo
Salt on lemons for preserving photo

How to Preserve Lemons?

My second year making these easy Preserved Lemons.
All that I needed were 2 ingredients. Lemon and salt. And a jar :P.
Add some herbs later but I prefer mine to have a clean taste, just preserve these lemons in salt.

Check out my quick video showing how easy it is to make these preserved lemons, below.

How long to soak lemons in brine?

I let my lemon wedges sit in salt in the larder for 2 weeks.
The salt will draw out all the lemon juices!

However, I still need to top up with lemon juice to expedite the brining process.
Lemons ready for making preserved lemons photo
Lemons ready for making preserved lemons in a jar photo

Do you refrigerate preserved lemons?

After two weeks, I will top up the preserved lemon bottle with olive oil.
Then I will transfer the jar to the refrigerator.

How long do preserved lemons last?

Preserved lemon can last for a very long time as long as it is kept in the refrigerator.
Olive oil will stop any fungal or microbes forming, as long as preserved lemon wedges are submerged below the olive oil level.

Do you rinse Preserved Lemons?

I only used lemon peel for my cooking and I don't wash them prior.

What can I use instead of preserved lemons?

Preserved lemons mellow out the bold, tart taste of a lemon and bring out, and heighten their lemony essence.
In my humble opinion, nothing tastes quite the same as preserved lemons.

I have tried using preserved kumquat and it was a disaster! (Seriously, preserved kumquat has an unpleasant smell to it!)

preserved lemons in a jar, ready for consumption photo

Make them now and you can enjoy your preserved lemons in months to come.

Preserved lemons are great for Asian steam fish.


  1. Hi! Just a quick question, could I do this with limes as well? my mother has been looking for a lime and salt seasoning everywhere but no luck! She would be really happy if I could make it for her. Thanks!


    1. Hi Cali,
      You could try with lime. At the moment I am preserving kumquat using salt.

  2. I've never tried preserving lemons but I should! I buy mine at Costco and I always have too many! Waste not, want not!

  3. I would love to try this - such a lovely way to have that brilliant citrus all year round!

  4. Your Chinese preserved lemons recipe is fantastic! The instructions were clear, and the flavors are incredible. They added depth to my stir-fries and salad dressings. Thanks for sharing this delightful and unique condiment. I'll definitely make them again and recommend the recipe to others!


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