Preserved Lemons


Preserved lemon or lemon pickle is a condiment that is common in North African cuisine, especially Moroccan cuisine. It is also known as "country lemon" and leems. Diced, quartered, halved, or whole lemons are pickled in a brine of water, lemon juice, and salt; occasionally spices are included as well. The pickle is allowed to ferment at room temperature for weeks or months before it is used. The pulp of the preserved lemon can be used in stews and sauces, but it is the peel (zest and pith together) that is most valued.


Other names: lemon pickle, country lemon, leems

Physical Description

Colors: Yellow

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Tart, salty, citrusy, sour
Mouthfeel: Sour, Soft

Preparation and Use

Preserved lemon is the key ingredient in many Moroccan dishes such as tagines. In Cambodian cuisine, it is used in dishes such as Ngam nguv, a chicken soup with whole preserved lemons. They are often combined in various ways with olives, artichokes, seafood, veal, chicken, and rice.
The pickled pulp and liquid can be used in Bloody Marys and other beverages where lemon and salt are used.

Cleaning: Not necessary

Conserving and Storing

Store in a cool dark place.


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