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How To Make Preserved Lemons

  • Author: zenbelly
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 month to preserve
  • Total Time: 1 month
  • Yield: 4-5 lemons
  • Category: condiments
  • Method: preserving
  • Cuisine: middle eastern


All you need is lemons, salt, and a little patience. 


  • lemons (Meyers if you can get them)
  • salt (I used Himalayan pink salt, but you can use any kind you’d like)
  • optional; one or a combination: a bay leaf, small chili pepper, coriander seeds, Nigella seeds, a few whole cloves


  1. Rinse the lemons and pat them dry. Cut off the very top of a lemon. Cut an X through the top, about 2/3 of the way through, leaving the bottom 1/3 intact. Repeat with the remaining lemons. 
  2. Generously cover all cut surfaces of the lemons with salt and drop them in the jar as you go. Push them down gently to release their juices and to ensure they’re cozy and snug in there. 
  3. Add any additions, if desired. Sprinkle a layer of salt over the top and screw on the lid. 
  4. Set aside at room temperature for one month. For the first 3-4 days, open the jar and press down gently on the lemons to release some of their juices. There will be more each day. Do this until the lemons are completely submerged. 
  5. After one month, store in the fridge. 


Once your lemons are ready to use: Generally the pulp is discarded and the rind is what’s used in recipes. You can, of course use the whole thing but keep in mind there is a high salt content in the lemons, so adjust seasoning accordingly. 

Use in any dish you’d like a umami packed, citrusy, salty punch of flavor! Moroccan Chicken, any fish or seafood dish, in salad dressings, minced over hummus or tabouli… The sky’s the limit. 

Keywords: preserved lemons