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Preserved Lemons is a unique condiment that brightens up Middle Eastern recipes ~ here's how to make delicious preserved lemons right at home.

Total time

0 minutes




  • 1 sterilized qt jar with a wide mouth
  • 6 or 7 Meyer lemons (you can use regular lemons, choose small ones)
  • kosher salt
  • extra fresh lemon juice, if needed (I needed the juice from 2 extra lemons)
  • optional spices:
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 or 7 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 3 pieces of cinnamon stick
  • several cloves
  • ½ tsp Coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Slice a bit off the stem end of the lemons, and then slice them in half, lengthwise, leaving about 1/2 inch at the bottom, in other words do not slice all the way through to the end. Then slice it in quarters the same way, so the lemon is still whole at the bottom. (see above photos)
  2. Sprinkle salt on all the exposed lemon flesh.
  3. Coat the bottom of the jar with salt, and put the lemons in,push them down and squish them a bit to fit them in. Layer more salt and the spices in between the lemons.
  4. Fit as many lemons as you can into the jar, and then add more lemon juice to insure that all the lemons are covered in juice.
  5. Let the jar sit at room temperature for about a month, shaking the jar every day to redistribute the juices. A cupboard is a good place. Then refrigerate. The preserved lemons should keep for a year in the fridge.
  6. When you want to use one of the lemons, take it out with clean tongs and rinse the salt off. Scrape off the flesh, seeds and pith and then slice or dice the rinds.

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