Tempura-Preserved Lemons and Lemon Garlic Aioli

Chef Jennifer Jasinski, Denver

Number of servings

Preserved Lemons ingredients

  • 14 Sunkist® lemons
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1.25 cups sugar

Garlic Lemon Aioli ingredients

  • 0.33333333333333 cup garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 0.25 cup good-quality Dijon mustard
  • 0.25 cup egg yolks
  • 0.5 cup freshly-squeezed Sunkist lemon juice
  • 0.25 cup fresh Sunkist lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Tempura Batter ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 0.25 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 0.5 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1.75 cups soda water

Assembly and Plating ingredients

  • 2 quarts canola oil, or as needed
  • Tempura batter
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish
  • Roasted garlic lemon aioli

Preserved Lemons


  1. Starting at the stem end, cut an “X” into each lemon, stopping just short of the bottom so that the lemons stay intact.
  2. Over a mixing bowl, heavily sprinkle salt and sugar into each lemon and place into a large jar or plastic container.
  3. Pour the remaining salt and sugar over the lemons.
  4. Cover tightly and refrigerate, stirring every two weeks, for a minimum of 6 weeks. As the lemons preserve, they will release all their water and will sit in a briny solution.
  5. When lemons are translucent and tender, use a paring knife to quarter and clean the lemons of any pith and flesh.
  6. Cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.

Garlic Lemon Aioli


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook until garlic is a golden color and soft all the way through.
  3. Remove from heat; reserve the garlic and oil.
  4. Combine the roasted garlic cloves, mustard, egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice in a food processor and blend until very smooth.
  5. With the motor running, slowly drizzle the cooled garlic-flavored oil and the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice into egg yolk mixture until emulsified.
  6. Once emulsified, add the lemon zest and thyme, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Store tightly covered in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tempura Batter


  1. Blend all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Form a well in the center of the ingredients and pour the soda water into the depression.
  3. Whisking slowly, pull the dry ingredients into the well and continue blending just until the batter is smooth. Be careful not to overwork it, as this can result in a tough tempura batter.

Assembly and Plating


  1. In a deep pot, heat 3 inches canola oil with at least 4 inches clearance (to prevent splattering) to 350° F.
  2. Remove the pith and flesh from 3 preserved lemons. Cut the skins into strips about ½-inch wide along the length of the lemon.
  3. Drop the lemon strips into the tempura batter and coat them thoroughly. Shake off any excess batter.
  4. Fry the strips in the 350° F oil until they are crisp and golden brown, about 1 minute.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with roasted garlic lemon aioli.