Moroccan Preserved Lemons

My mother has always cooked fantastic authentic Moroccan dishes all my life. As I learned how to cook, I realized there was one ingredient in these dishes that truly stood out: preserved lemons. It's got an unusual lemony taste that can't be substituted. The flavours really strike all your senses. We use it to cook with our meats, as a depth to our salad dressings, or just put a bit on the sides of our dishes as a type of chutney. A good jar of preserved lemons could cost you $15 to $30 at the shops. Skip it and make your own.



  1. Slice off the tops of each lemon.
  2. Slice lemon into 6 wedges each, but don't cut all the way through. Leave about 1/2 an inch at the bottom intact to hold them together.
  3. Sprinkle one tablespoon of salt into the middle of each lemon.
  4. Place peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, chilies, bay leaves and lemons into a sterilized jar. Add remaining salt and press all the contents down with a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour enough of the boiled and cooled water into the jar to cover the contents.
  6. Seal the jar and keep it in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks. No need to refrigerate.

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May 17, 20180 found this helpful
Top Comment

If anyone is looking for a good recipe to use these in, here is my Moroccan Tagine:

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April 21, 20180 found this helpful

This is great, Toosa; thanks for posting! When using the lemons, do you just treat them as if they're fresh? Squeeze juice where needed, make zest and so forth?

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April 21, 20181 found this helpful

Hi Rose Anne! You can use the inside, the outside, everything! I personally love the bitter sweet oddity that is the outside (and so do Moroccans, apparently) so I use it all.


I'm going to share a Moroccan recipe, that I think you'll love, that uses all the parts. Stay tuned!

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April 26, 20180 found this helpful

Thank you, Ma'am. I'll look forward to the next recipe!

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