Saturday, November 12, 2011

Save money, make your own

There are a few Malaysian readers who wrote to me and asked where they could buy lemon pepper. I think it is very hard to find this item in the marekt.  I have seen them on the shelf, in the spice section, in Village Grocers many months ago. The price was so expensive (RM10.00 plus or USD3.30) that I decided against buying. The first time I tasted lemon pepper was when one of my girlfriends gave me a small jar of the spice. I fell in love with it. I think she brought it back from Australia. This spice combo is so versatile, and can be used as a rub for all kinds of meat, poultry or fish. You can also use it to spice up your soups and stews. A little will be good enough to enhance the flavor of almost any savory dish.   I recommend that you make your own which is so easy to do and I am sure it will be much better than store-bought. It is less expensive too.

When I met up with Small Kucing's "mamarazi" (If you want to know where to eat good food in Kuala Lumpur, you have to visit this blog) last month, I gave her a small bottle of my lemon pepper and she has used it to marinate chicken wings. In her post, she said the chicken wings tasted good. In fact Small Kucing’s "paparazzi" said they should have put more lemon pepper.  In return, I got this “Keropok Sotong” (Sotong crackers) that was brought back all the way from Trengganu (an Eastern state in Peninsular Malaysia).  Thank you very much "Small Kucing a.k.a. mamarazzi"! 

I have yet to fry them because I want to share it with my step brother.  I am waiting for his next visit. He loves anything with sotong (cuttlefish) in it.  Small Kucing’s mamarazi was so generous. She shared some of the lemon pepper I gave her with another of our blogger friends, Suituapui of Still Crazy All These Years. (On days where you feel bored or depressed, go visit his blog and I guarantee you that after reading a few of his posts, you will feel better, no need to pay RM200.00 an hour to a psychologist lah. It is free laughter therapy). Suituapua said he is waiting for his daughter to return home from abroad and let her use the tangy pepper to cook some Western cuisine and we will soon know the verdict.  For those who have asked me where to buy lemon pepper, don't buy it, save money, and make your own. So here is the recipe if you too want to test-taste it. Since Christmas is around the corner, you can make this spice, put them in some small recycled glass jars that you have sterilized in boiling water, tie a ribbon to it and use it as gifts to family and friends. Gifts made with love are more meaningful, don't you think?

Homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Adapted from Simply Scratch with modification

6 large lemons
1/3 cup of crushed pepper corns (black and/or medley)
1 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1/4 cup kosher salt

Zest all the lemons. Mix the zest with roughly crushed peppercorns (using a mortar & pestle). Spread out on parchment lined baking sheet and bake on lowest setting until the zest is completely dried (approximately 80 C). Add the lemon-pepper to a spice grinder and grind until desired texture. Mix with the kosher salt and store in an airtight container for up to a few months.
A note on reusing containers:
Be sure that any jars you use have been properly sterilized. Following a thorough hot water & soapy wash & rinse jars should be boiled while completely immersed in water, for at least 10 minutes.  Metallic lids should also be boiled. Jars with plastic lids generally should not be reused unless a thorough, hot water wash  and rinse followed by a second soak in an anti bacterial solution (such as a 10% bleach 90% sterile water solution for 8 minutes) followed by a second hot water rinse.
Best candidate for reuse for spices or chlli sauces, jams, chutneys, & other preserves are baby food jars that have been sterilized per above. More on this topic at I would love to have a source for baby food jars with metallic lids (hint - hint). My baby days are over.


  1. we use lemon pepper here a lot. There are many brands in the stores in Canada but some are inferior.
    I never once thought of making my own,, what a great idea, Iwill try this, thankyou for sharing this.
    Lemon Pepper cod is one of my favorite dishes.

  2. What a splendid idea!! Might be what folks are getting for the holidays. Hope you are well!

  3. thanks Veron,
    I've seen this before but never thought of making this ourselves.
    Anymore DIY secrets ???

  4. Ahhhh!!!! It looks so good. Bet it tatses great too. Can't wait for my girl to come home now... I think I will be very generous with it so as to get the most out of it. Will certainly blog about it when I get to cook it... Better with meat (what type) or fish?

    Thanks for your kind words...about my blog.

  5. Ah yes..."all kinds of meat and poultry". Kucing said can use to grill fish... Ah well, I guess cats like fish. Muahahahahaha!!!!

    I agree with you! Own made gifts are so much more meaningful. My missus would make cakes to share with relatives and friends...and when we cook, we cook more to give away too. Anytime better than what people can buy from the shops...

  6. wow yours Lemon pepper looks special for me XD

    actually I thought lemon pepper would be looks like yellowish color :)

  7. This lemon pepper really new to me. Sounds good for roasting. This for sharing.Uncial

  8. Thanks for the lemon pepper recipe. Now I can make it liao. Yesterday I used some to grill dory fish fillet. Yum sedap kekeke.

    STP blog memang syok to read. Got lotsa laughs and dare to speak his mind. :)

  9. What a great gift idea! I was thinking of making my own vanilla to hand out for gifts myself.

  10. This will be a great gift to foodies ;)

  11. This is new to me, I am so kampung , hehehe. But at the ingredients , I know I will love it as I usually add lemon zest and Rosemary when roast the chicken .

  12. Thanks Veron for sharing this recipe. I definitely love to try this and reserve for coming Christmas. :)

  13. Thank you for this idea.It is always nice to experiment with combination of herbs.Especially when you see some prices of ready made;)

  14. excellent appetizing photos and a recipe I shall try! Thank you Quay Po

    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

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  15. That is the most beautiful lemon pepper I've ever seen. I love lemon pepper, it's so versatile and can go with everything...gotta try this!

  16. You know, I've never had lemon pepper before but yours looks so good I'm totally convinced that I should try some!

  17. Thanks Veron, for sharing this recipe.

  18. I haven't tried this spice just yet, or maybe I did but I didn't know it was lemon pepper haha :) Thanks for sharing, Quay Po. This is such an interesting post!


    A Single Girl's Musings

  19. This is such a good idea. I'm hoping to go with more homemade gifts this year and this is both unique and practical. Not to mention quite pretty!

  20. Lemon pepper is a joke in my house because it is the only seasoning my mother-in-law uses. And she uses it in every dish she makes - Chinese chicken? Lemon pepper. Spaghetti and meatballs? Lemon pepper. Pot Roast? Lemon pepper.

  21. Love your photos in this blog entry! And what a great way to add spice to your life, quite literally. I can imagine that we can replicate this with many flavours which we had hoped to infuse into our dishes. Remind me of the yuzu shichimi powder which I'd recently bought. I bet the lemon pepper's real flavourful!

    Thanks again for sharing. :)

  22. Yes, Small Kucing and STP's posts are my daily ration.. must go visit each day otherwise it is like something is missing out.. hahhaa.. This is part of blogging world, while we find pleasure in writing our daily posts, we can get to know real nice sincere people from all over the world! :)

  23. I always buy a bottle of lemon-pepper at the supermarket in Hawaii. I sprinkle it on top of fish before baking. Delicious!

  24. How cool! We can easily buy lemon pepper here, but if it is not readily available, it's good to know that it can be easily made.

  25. This will make a great homemade gift for Christmas! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  26. Came by on the Pink Dandy Sunday Hop...
    Following GFC

  27. Lemon Pepper was easy to buy in S.Africa but I have not seen it in the UK or France. Thanks for this recipe. Diane

  28. You are so right - homemade spice blends are the best, and what a great present idea. Thank you!

  29. This is really new to me and what a great gift idea for the coming Christmas.

  30. You know now i am learning to come up daily few dishes for dinner and I am really having headache of doing it cos I try to cook this within an hour for dinner,,,,,and I hate rice for that matter,,,any good,nutritious quick fixes?

  31. Update:
    Hi everyone. I just wanted to note that I have added a note to the blog about lemon-pepper regarding thereuse of containers. Please review as the method and care of sterilization is very important. None of us want to be responsible for poisoning friends and family after creating thoughtful food & spice gifts. The incidents of food contamination world-wide is on the rise. In Kuala Lumpur and most large Asian cities, where continuous construction raises clouds of microbe laden dust in a warm humid environment, we have a special concern about putting food items by for later use. We urge everyone to reference the last paragraph of the updated blog if you are new to preserving food, or, as we say in Oklahoma: "putting food by". Stay healthy & Happy, Quay Lo.

  32. Many folks have written about using lemon-pepper as a fish spice, and truly this is probably the number one use for the seasoning combo that people think of. But I'll let you in on a not-so-little secret. Lemon pepper can be used in virtually any soup, stew, salad dressing, savory sauce,or roasted meat recipe to add a little "zing" to the resulting flavor. Experiment with this and I think you will notice the difference. Next time you make soup (I don't care what kind) go ahead and use your regular recipe. While the soup is still hot, set aside one bowl full and add a pinch of the lemon pepper, stirring in the seasoning well. Allow that bowl of soup to sit covered for 20 minutes, reheat if neccessary, and taste both soups side by side. You will notice the difference, I promise.

  33. Lemon pepper is something new to me :p I guess I need to "break the ice" with it first before trying out the DIY version.

  34. @laurie
    How come I never thought of using this cod? I salivate thinking about it. I MUST do that soon. Thanks for the idea.

    We are all well here. Thank you.

    Wendy, sure got don't you know Quay Los are very good DIY?

    You are welcome about mentioning your blog, I am just speaking the truth. You are right, anything made at home is always better than those bought from shops.

    @Kian Fai
    There is yellow color there but mixed with a medley of peppers, it became multicolor.

    Oh yes, the best rub.

    My mum said she is still learning at 76:D

  35. @Small Kucing
    Yes, I agree he is Still Crazy after all these years! hehehe..

    Handing out homemade vanilla extract is another great gift idea.

    Oh yes, anyone who cook will love this.

    This is very handy to have around so when day s when you ran out of lemon or lazy to zest the lemon, just use this instead.

    Looking forward to see your innovation upon this recipe. I know you always come out with wonders!

    Yes, those prices are just CRAZY!!

    Good, good!! :D

  36. @Rachel
    Thank you. You are right, I call it the magic spice.

    @To Food with Love
    Looks like I have not lost my sales skill after retiring from selling so many years. Those days, we need to be convincing when we sell.

    You are most welcome.

    I believe what you say. Sometimes, there are spices that I have tried but did not know the name.

    Me too, I am in the line of thought as you.

    You bet!! :D

    @That Girl
    You cracked me up. So every dish you MIL cooked is the same taste?

    You are so knowledgeable with Japanese stuff. I don't know much about them but I know there once my Quay Lo brought home a wooden container of Japanese spices. It was extremely flavorful.

  37. @reanaclaire
    Yes, visiting STP's blog is also my daily routine now:D It is amazing how we find friends all over the globe who are at the same wavelength.

    Try making your own, you will not want to buy another bottle again:D

    I urge you to try one time making your own and you will those store bought is not the same.

    Yes, you making some for me? hehe

    Thanks for dropping by.

    So good to see you again. Welcome back. HUGS.


    You are welcome.

  38. @Carolyn
    It is always nice to learn something new isn't it?

    There are so many quick fix. First I recommend you make a big batch of tomato based sauce. Keep a tub in the fridge the freeze the rest. Then you can use them to bread base ciabatta pizzas or cook some pasta to go with the sauce. Stew can be a quick fix too and can be served with bread instead of rice.

    Darling, thanks for adding the last paragraph and your recommendation of the various ways to use the lemon pepper.

    If you want to buy the lemon pepper, you can find them at Cold Storage.

  39. Veron, I love that you make your own lemon pepper blend. I like making my own anything if I can, because it not only cost less, you can put whatever in it that you want.

    Funny we can get lemon pepper anywhere here and it's not really a favorite of mine. Ha! Maybe I should make my own and I will like it!

  40. @Lyndsey
    Oh please try making your own, I am sure you view this spice differently with your homemade version.

  41. U r great. Even spices also can DIY.

  42. Oh this seasoning is so easy to make and it sounds very versatile. I love that you can use this on meat, fish and poultry. Never tried this seasoning before. Thanks for sharing your method of making it.

    Reading your section on sanitizing bottles brings me back to my children's baby stages when I had to sanitize about 9 bottles each day. So glad those days are over. Time sure flies!


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