Fermented Lemons (Preserved Lemons)

I never knew how much I needed Fermented Lemons in my life until now! And now I’m going to convince you how much you need them in your life too!

Have you ever had this happen? You scour the internet for the perfect recipe. Something a little different. Something loaded with flavor. And you browse through the ingredient list.

How to Make Fermented Lemons

Then you see it. Fermented lemons! Your heart sinks a bit as you scroll on by, thinking what the heck are fermented lemons (also known as preserved lemons) anyway? And do they really make a difference?

Well, I’m here to let you know that, YES, they really do make a difference. And to also let you know just how easy they are to make. So easy, in fact, that you’ll always have some on hand.

What Are Fermented Lemons?

Preserved lemons, as they are also called, are fresh lemons that are soaked in a brine for several weeks. This produces an incredible tangy, salty, warm pop of lemon flavor that cannot be achieved any other way.

Here’s How a Few of the Experts Describe Them

  • “Preserved lemons are a flavor powerhouse, offering both the tart acidity of fresh lemons and a salty, tangy funkiess coaxed out during the curing process.” ~ Alice Walters
  • “Their unique pickled taste and special silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice, despite what some food writers have said.” ~ Paula Wolfert
  • “Keeping a jar of preserved lemons in your pantry is like owning a valid culinary passport. Crack the lid, scoop out a segment and get ready to travel. Intensely flavored, tender and syrupy in their own brine, salted lemons steer a dish magically to North Africa and the Middle East.” ~ Martha Stewart

It makes you want to make some right now, doesn’t it?? And therein lies the catch. It actually takes a month to make fermented lemons!

It’s really easy, but you can’t rush the process. So make sure to bookmark that perfect recipe you found. You’ll absolutely love it. A month from now! I use them all the time in my anti-inflammatory, clean-eating diet. 

Are Fermented Lemons Healthy?

Many health benefits come from preserved lemons. The fermentation process infuses the lemons with probiotics that are good for the gut and aid in digestion. It also contains the “good” bacteria that will help control the “bad” bacteria in your body.

Additionally, the fermentation process of lemons actually increases the already high level of vitamins in lemons. So, yep, they’re healthy! Let’s get to making them, shall we?

How to Make Preserved Lemons

  1. Wash 4-6 lemons thoroughly and slice them vertically in quarters, but NOT all the way down. Leave the bottom 1/2 inch of the lemon intact.
  2. Spread the lemons apart slightly and liberally coat them with 1/4 cup of kosher salt, making sure the inside surfaces are well-coated.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of kosher salt into the bottom of a 1 pint mason jar.
  4. Add the lemons one at a time with the intact end pointing to the bottom of the jar. As you add each lemon, squish it down as far as you can (using a cocktail muddlermay help). This will expel some of the juice from each lemon. Add another 1/4 cup salt after you’ve pushed half your lemons into the jar. Add remaining lemons and top with another couple of tablespoons of salt.
  5. Push the lemons down as firmly as you can. They should be fully submerged in the lemon juice. Add additional juice from another fresh lemon or two to ensure the lemons are fully coated.
  6. Feel free to add other herbs and spices or garlic if you want. But they’re really great with just salt!
  7. Tighten the lid securely and shake well.
  8. Keep on your countertop for 3-4 days then move into the refrigerator, shaking every day or two.
  9. They will last in your refrigerator for up to 6 months.

What Do You Use Fermented Lemons For?

Traditionally found in North African and Mediterranean dishes, fermented lemons have been used in dishes since the 12th century. They have since gained popularity in many countries and are prominent in Indian and European cooking today.

It’s important to understand that you are actually using the peel of the preserved lemon, not the flesh. Simply pull out a section from your jar, rinse it well, scoop out and discard the flesh and seeds, and it’s ready to go in your recipe.

I use them in everything from preserved lemon vinaigrette to thinly sliced in Moroccan salads, to sauteing a little butter, garlic, and minced some up in a simple sauce for salmon. I also love tossing some slices onto the pan when I roast vegetables or mincing some up to add to my roasted chickpeas.

Basically, use your fermented lemons any time you want an exceptional, rich, deep, salty lemony burst of flavor.

So grab your mason jar and a bunch of lemons and get going! Time’s a tickin’! Just keep in mind – patience is a virtue. And these fermented lemons are definitely worth the wait.

Preserved lemon is being supplied by Safimex company. If you are interested in this item, please click

Source: The Spicy Apron


Head Office: 216/20a Duong Ba Trac Street, Ward 2, District 8, Hochiminh City, Vietnam.

Tel: (+84)-(28)-3636 2388 | (+84)-(28)-3636 2399 | Website: