Preserved Lemons

October 15, 2018 / by Junko

Moroccan Preserved lemons are so easy to make and have many uses in traditional African and Middle Eastern cooking. I use it for Japanese dishes as well and I love it gives unique modern twists to my dishes.

Japanese dishes I would like to make with preserved lemons would be ;
– Karaage
– Chirashizushi
– Baked Salmon in Foil
– Tofu Salad (as dressing)
– Yakitori

In the center, my preserved lemon looks green and pink because I used lemons harvested in this fall and Himalayan pink salt which has a lot of nutrient and mineral.


Servings: about 500g (1 pint) of preserved lemons


  1. To sanitize the jar, pour boiling water into the jar. Drain and air dry.
  2. Wash lemons well. Trim the nubs off both ends of each lemon. Cut them into 8 pieces (a classic recipe says you cut the lemons into quarters, leaving the ends attached but I prefer to cut them smaller as I chop them when I use anyway.) You may also slice the lemons. That’s up to you.
  3. Put a teaspoon of salt in the bottom of the jar. Place lemons in a layer and add another teaspoon of salt over them. Repeat the process.
  4. Press the lemons firmly with the bottom of a wooden spoon to pack them down and start the juices flowing. The jar should be half full of juice from the lemons. If needed, squeeze some extra lemon juice into the jar.
  5. Cover the jar and let stand on the counter for 3 days, giving it a shake and turn it upside-down a few times a day.
  6. Let the lemons ferment on the counter for 3-4 weeks, until they are ready to use.
  7. Once ready to use, the lemons can be stored in the refrigerator for 12 months.

To use the preserved lemons, rinse the lemon under cool water (if you do not need salt so much in your cooking) and remove the seeds. Most of the recipes say removes the pulp too and use only the lemon peel, but I use them all as it is no more bitter after pickled, or maybe I’m just lazy 😜 You can cut them into small pieces or paste it with a grinder.

* It’s recommended to use organic and unwaxed lemons as you will be eating the rind. If you can’t find organic lemons, scrub the wax thoroughly under hot water to clean the outer peels.

There are so many Japanese dishes and cultures that are not well known outside of Japan and I’m happy to introduce them to you! If you tested any of our recipes feel free to send us a photo and your comments and we will be happy to publish them, even if it wasn't a complete success! :)

Seeking the best balance of being free and living a stable life in this busy city, I enjoy kitchen gardening to deepen my connection with nature. Lately, I enjoy traveling to places I’ve never been and dancing Salsa/Kizomba there. Always a traveler at heart. Freelance web/graphic designer. Coffee & chocolate addict.
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