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A question about a recipe: Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Coriander and Citrus

A1077e26 ae2e 4060 b7e0 afbabd09ae7a  food52 03 13 2012 1869

I have a question about the recipe "Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Coriander and Citrus" from gingerroot. I don't have any preserved lemon in the house, and don't have a place to buy them locally. What can I use as a substitute?

asked by sunnyluz over 5 years ago
7 answers 1604 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 5 years ago

I've made emergency quicky ones from fresh lemons and they work in a pinch and add the lemony flavor. Here's one or keep googling:

3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

You could also sub lemon zest. It won't be quite the same, but will be a decent approximation - I'd probably start with 2 teaspoons, then add more to taste.

Ec89bac4 d90d 46fb a336 04afd14d1e80  img 1958
added over 5 years ago

Hi Sunnyluz,
Sorry for the late reply, I just saw your question posted on twitter (did not get a notification email). Both nutcakes and hardlikearmour have good suggestions - I had not seen that article about quick preserved lemons but am definitely going to save it! If you go the route of just using lemon zest, you may want to add some salt to taste at the end since the preserved lemons do give the salad bursts of salty bright flavor. Or, you could also add a few chopped olives - maybe castelvetrano? I'd love to hear what you end up trying and how it works out.

4c1a54e3 a410 403e b58d 3cb15ae53668  fb avatar
added about 5 years ago

I wanted to do the quick preserved lemons, but didn't find the time. I also didn't find the time to stop and buy olives, so I just went with lemon zest and salt. It was delicious! I will definitely make again, hopefully with preserved lemons next time.

Ec89bac4 d90d 46fb a336 04afd14d1e80  img 1958
added about 5 years ago

Glad it worked out and you enjoyed it, sunnyluz! Thanks for letting me know.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar

Pegeen is a trusted home cook.

added about 5 years ago

I've found lemon zest (or in a pinch, lime zest) to be the best substitute for preserved lemons. Depending on the recipe, in addition to the zest, you may want to add a dash of fresh lemon juice. Ideally, assemble as much of the dish as you can, then taste and decide if you want to add any fresh citrus juice in addition to whatever lemon zest you added.
I've tried several times but no success with recipes for "same day" preserved lemons including the Nytimes.com recipe mentioned above - recipe instructions followed to the letter. The final dish tasted very off, but trying the same recipe again with fresh lemon zest instead worked fine.
Preserved lemons are easy to make - no need to spend on imported. Just do a search on this web site or a web search for a recipe. Just lemons, coarse salt and lemon juice, marinating for 30 days. Very versatile - worth the little bit of effort.

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added about 5 years ago

Lemon zest would work, but there is an unique soft flavor to preserved lemons. In a pinch I would try cutting the lemons into wedges, scrape out the meat and most of the white pith, then boil in salted water until the skins become soft. Rinse, chop, use. But, do try making your own, as noted above, it is just lemons, salt and water. You only use the skins - but I have seen them in all kinds of home recipes, including pizza with shredded moroccan spiced lamb !

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