Fermented lemons – an excellent provision of beneficial bacteria that enhances a thyroid diet.


It never stops to amaze me what fermentation can do to food. After all, let’s not forget that cheese, wine, dosa and miso are all fermented foods as well. The preserved lemon is one of my personal favorites. I still remember being given a concoction made from Chinese “sour limes” when not feeling too great; either coming down with a cold, having digestive issues or a… hang over, when I got older. Sour limes;  brown, shriveled and very sour, chopped to pieces in hot water. These little gems were tangy, lemony, salty but not like their cousins, the fresh limes. The fermentation process, combined with the salt, changes the limes so much so that they taste like nothing you have ever tried.

My love for lemons and now fermented lemons, or preserved lemons as they are called in the Middle East, continues. Let me give you a few reasons why you could be enthusiastic as well:

  • they are yet another potent fermented food that provides plenty of beneficial bacteria
  • they are simply yummy and unique in taste when cooked with, for example, a rabbit tajin
  • they last forever when kept in the fridge.

And this is how you make them.

How to Make Preserved Lemon
Equipment: Air-tight, sanitized glass jar able to squeeze in 4 lemons, make sure the jar is not too large as we don’t want to leave much air in the jar after the lemons are added.
  • 6 organic lemons; 4 to ferment and 2 to get juice from
  • 6 tablespoons of sea salt, or more
  • optional: 2 cinnamon sticks
How To Make
  1. Rinse the lemons down with hot boiling water.
  2. Sanitize the fermentation jar as well.
  3. Cut the lemons length-wise as if you were going to cut them to 4 wedges but do NOT cut till the end of the lemon base, so the lemon open up but remains in one piece.
  4. Generously pack the inside of the lemon with salt and place it in the fermentation jar.
  5. Repeat with the other 3 lemons, or more, packing and squashing them down so little air and space is left in the jar.
  6. Wait for about 30 minutes for the juices to start coming up (salt draws moisture out) and top up the lemons with extra lemon juice so no lemon is protruding (it will create mould).
  7. Cover tightly so no air gets in.
  8. Turn the jar upside down every few days.
  9. Let it ferment for 30 days or until rind becomes soft.
To use it in cooking, just rinse the salt off, remove the seeds and use the rind and/or pulp in delicious dishes like the rabbit tajin. Stores for months (years?!) in the fridge.

Great for those who wish to keep up with their thyroid diet.