Lemon balm in a lemongrass substitution?


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Posting this here as lemon balm isn't widely available unless you grow it. At least as far as I know.

What do you all think about using some lemon balm leaves with lemon zest in substitution for lemongrass?

I think it's better with a bit of lemon balm than none, but too much could easily go too floral.

Joined Jan 1, 2001
Interesting solution, Phill. Depending on the recipe, I think it may work. My only concern would be that lemon balm, being a mint relative, might lend too minty and floral a flavor note to your recipe without contributing the astringent flavor that lemon grass provides.
I have a Thai meatballs in lemongrass broth recipe that my family adores. (It's also extremely low fat-another boon.) The broth is chicken broth flavored with lemongrass, kafir lime, fish sauce and scallion. Subbing lemonbalm would be troublesome as its flavor is considerably sweeter. However, in other recipes it may work just fine.
By the way, I've been growing several lemongrass plants in pots for the past several years. They are great at keeping mosquitoes away and I always have a fresh source. Don't plant them in the ground unless you want a whole hedgefull within a year-they will take over.

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