Preserved Lemons

I’ve been seeing some great posts in the Home Cooking 2019 thread on preserved lemons (I’m looking at you, @TheCookie) , but I thought it would be nice to have a separate thread in which to discuss preparation, use, and other tips. I got the jars pictured below, and I haven’t touched them because I honestly don’t have much of a clue of what to do with them, although I have been inspired to now just open them up and try them to see how I might like to use them. My first question is how to store them once they’ve been opened. Thanks!


Once they are open usually i refrigerate… If i have a lot sometimes I’ll filet them all then store the peeled segments in brine together.

Great pureed into a lemon vinaigrette braised with chicken, Olives and capers. Dice up into a gremolata. Puree into your home made hummus


As you probably know, preserved lemons are a staple in Moroccan cuisine and are used in their tagines (stews), typically with chicken. I found this good list on Bon Appetit, and all the uses seem mouth-wateringly good to me: hello fingerling potatoes with preserved lemon! I’m sure they are absolutely delicious with fish too, since lemon and fish are natural companions :purple_heart:


I’m so glad you started this thread @OCSteve! Plus the following posts and ideas @aaqjr & @tartlet.

I’ve been wanting to ask for recipes, ideas and general advice. For instance, most recipes call for using the rind only. But the syrup in @Bookwich’s was so clean and tasty that I finally broke down and used some of it. Does anybody else use it and do you ever use the pulp?

P.S. Welcome to FTC @tartlet!


Hi @aaqjr - You has asked what recipe I used. This is it primarily (sans coriander). But I used a combination of 2 recipes for some reason. I only kept them on the counter for a few days, then the fridge for 3 weeks per Simply Recipes’ instructions.

You can use the whole thing in soups braises and such. Sometimes people get too precious about just using the rind. The only caveat is that it really should be fully cured if you are going to use the whole thing. (1-3 months) they look pretty on the counter anyway

This is what I do although there are a million methods
Preserved Lemon (Citrus)


Lemons or other citrus

Bay leaves, fresh or citrus leaves


3% Brine -1L water 30g salt 15 g sugar

Optional: Cloves, Cinnamon stick.


  • Wash / Dry the fruit
  • Cut the Citrus into segments leaving the ends intact
  • Insert 1 leaf into each citrus. Then soak overnight in cold water
  • Drain, fill the incisions with fine salt. Transfer to mason jar -pack in tightly.
  • Bring brine to a boil. Add to cover the citrus and close jar
  • Reserve for 1 to 3 month in a cool dark spot

Question: This is more involved than most recipes. Do you add the brine while it’s still hot then close the lid and keep it in a cool dark place for months, no fridge?

yes, no fridge until after the lemons have been fully cured. The white pith will start to go from opaque to translucent. The soak in cold water helps to leach out some of the bitterness as well. It’s a worth while extra step.

you can use it after 2 weeks usually but it’s worth it to be patient and wait the full month. Personally I find that if you put it in the fridge too early the lemons won’t cure properly. All that salt will keep everything safe just make sure the lemons are fully submerged under the brine.

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Okay, thanks. Good tips.

Do you mean the rind or the pulp is bitter? These lemons are pretty sweet for lemons.

I did have a problem with the submerging, but one of the recipes said flip it ever couple of days. And I probably need to do them in a smaller mason jar.

My biggest problem was the too salty. It muted anything else that was wrong or right.


usually the pith is bitter (the white part) which is why mostly people want you to discard it. but when properly cured its just another pleasant element to play with -which is why in braises or soups it also adds a nice texture.

Usually ill crumple up a bit of wax paper or something to take up the extra air space and keep everything submerged. I’m sure there are other ways to do it.

Olives are a bit salty too they shouldn’t be more salty than that. you can rinse off any extra salt/brine if necessary. really you are using mostly the yellow part and thats not going to absorb much salt. If you use the whole thing that’s another story but then like capers or olives you just kind of mentally account for it when seasoning the rest of the recipe.

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More good tips!

I think the thin skins absorbed the salt much more than thicker skinned lemons. It’s odd because a lot of recipes call for thin skinned meyer lemons. :thinking: Whatever it is I’m using less salt next time.