This recipe for lemon syrup (Korean lemon chung) is simple to prepare—all you need is a few ingredients to get started! A versatile recipe, lemon syrup can be used it in hot lemon tea, cold lemonade, or to create savory dishes.

Korean Lemon Syrup is stored in a sterilized jars for a longer storage.

If you want to make lots of lemony beverage or dishes, having a jar of simple lemon syrup is handy. Lemon syrup adds tons of lemon flavor to anything, as you know.

Yes, any lemon simple syrup should requires only 2 ingredients – lemon and sugar, that’s for sure. Then you will have to squeeze out the juice from the lemons, and you will need to boil the lemon and sugar mixture to reduce. If you like Meyer lemon, you will love my Meyer lemonade syrup.

Have you tried Korean lemon syrup called lemon cheong (레몬청)? It’s much simpler. You don’t need to cook anything.

All you need to do is to slice lemons thinly, then pick out the seeds with your finger. Toss with the sugar and put them in a sterilized glass jar. That’s it! Just wait a few days until sugar dissolves naturally and you will get a beautiful gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan lemon syrup that has many versatile uses for.

Is lemon syrup traditional in Korean cuisine?

Korean lemon syrup (레몬청, lemon chung) is one of the essential condiments in Korean kitchen along with Korean green plum syrup. Many Korean household keeps jars of this simple lemon syrup to use for making simple Koran sauces and dressing and savory dishes like lemon chicken, or make a cold remedy tea.

Check out my Korean strawberry milk recipe for the usage of fresh strawberry syrup. It’s refreshing and so delicious!

What can you use lemon syrup for?

There are many ways you can use this lemon syrup.

  • Lemonade – mix with plain ice cold water or carbonated water.
  • Lemon tea – Put a few slices of lemon and the syrup in a tea cup or mug, pour hot water.
  • Simple syrup – replace it with regular simple syrup that recipe requires.
  • Pancakes – drizzle over the top of hot pancakes
  • Cold remedy – Add 1-2 thin slices of fresh ginger (and sliced dried jujube, optional) along with lemon and syrup in a cup. Pour boiling water and let them steep for 1-2 minutes.
  • Salad dressing – whisk in some oil and a splash of your favorite vinegar to dress up any salad.
  • Savory dishes – make Asian lemon chicken with this Korean lemon syrup, or use it to marinade meat that requires sweet and tangy taste in the dishes

Tips for making lemon syrup

Use the right lemon. When you see the lemons in the market, gently squeeze them to see if they are soft and pliable. If the lemon feels very tight and hard, chances are the white rind part inside the lemon would be thick. You DO NOT want that. Too much rind will make your syrup to be on the bitter side. You want a thin layer of white rind part around the lemon flesh.

Rub the lemon with baking soda and salt to remove the waxy coating outside.

Wipe dry the lemon with a clean towel after rinsing.

Pick out seeds. It is easy to pick out the seeds with your finger after you slice them. Use an equal amount of sugar as to the weight of whole lemon.

Sterilize your glass jars or bottles so that it can prevent any spoilage. After you add the lemon sugar mixture into the jar, turn the jar upside occasionally to evenly distribute the sugar until it dissolves completely.

How to make Lemon Syrup

What You’ll Need:

  • canning jars – need to sterilize
  • lemon
  • granulated sugar
  • baking soda – to clean
  • salt – to clean
Glass jars are sterilizing in a pot of boiling water.

Step 1. Sterilize the container. Put the glass jars or bottles in boiling water and let them dry.

Baking soda is sprinkled over whole lemons to clean the pesticides on the surface.

Step 2. Clean lemon properly. Most lemons sold in the markets have waxy coating on the surface. They might have been exposed to the pesticide as well. You will need to remove that. Wash the lemons and scrub them with baking soda. That will remove any chemical residues on the skin.

Rubbing the lemon with salt will remove the waxy coating of lemon skin.

Step 3. Use salt to remove waxy coating. scrub them with coarse salt to remove the waxy coating outside.

Wipe dry lemon with a clean kitchen towel.

Rinse with water and wipe dry with a clean towel. Your lemons are squeaky clean now. Time to preserve these beautiful lemons.

Slice lemon thinly and pick out the seeds.

Step 4. Slice the lemons very thinly. You MUST remove the seeds. Lemon seeds cause the syrup with the bitter aftertaste no matter how much sugar you add.

Lemon slices and sugar are mixing together with a spoon in a mixing bowl.

Step 5. Add the sugar. Use an equal amount of sugar to the lemon. If you use 2 pounds of lemon, you will need 2 pounds of sugar. 1 : 1 ratio!

Lemon sugar mixture is put into a glass jar using a kitchen tong.

Step 6. Put the mixture in a sterilized container. Mix lemon slices with sugar, and pack them in glass jars.

Extra sugar syrup remains are pouring into the glass jar with lemon in it.

Pour all the remaining sugar syrup, too.

Two jars of Korean lemon syrup are sitting on a kitchen towel.

How to Store Lemon Syrup Properly

  1. Let the lemon syrup sit in a cool room temperature for 3 full days. You will see sugar sitting on the bottom of the jars.
  2. Turn the jars upside down everyday to evenly distribute the sugar.
  3. Store them in a cool and dark place for up to one year.

How long does lemon syrup keep for? Unopened jar of lemon syrup will keep fresh up to one year. Once opened, store it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3 months.

Homemade lemonade is made with Korean lemon syrup and water.
Korean lemon syrup (lemon chung)

Versatile Lemon Syrup (Korean Lemon Chung)

This recipe for lemon syrup (Korean lemon chung) is simple to prepare—all you need is a few ingredients to get started! A versatile recipe, lemon syrup can be used it in hot lemon tea, cold lemonade, or to create savory dishes.
4.94 from 16 ratings


  • 500 g lemon
  • 500 g granulated sugar
  • baking soda, to clean
  • salt, to clean


  • Sterilize canning jars in hot water and let them cool and dry.
    Glass jars a re sterilizing in a pot of boiling water
  • Wash lemons in cold water. Scrub with baking soda and rinse. Scrub with salt to remove the waxy coating. Rinse well and towel dry completely.
    A basket of whole lemon are sprinkled with baking soda.
  • Slice the lemons thinly, pick out all the seeds.
    Pick out the seeds from the thin slices of lemon.
  • Mix lemon slices with sugar in a large mixing bowl. Pour the lemon and the sugary syrup in the prepared glass jars.
    lemon slices are tossing with sugar in a bowl.
  • Store the syrup in a room temperature for 3 days, turning the jars upside down everyday to evenly distribute the sugar. Store them in a dark and cool place. Refrigerate the syrup once the jar is opened.
    Lemon and sugar mixture are put into the glass jar


Avoid using a metal utensil to spoon up the syrup. That keeps lemon fresh without altering its taste. Also make sure your jars are fully dried without any moisture before you add the lemon and syrup.  Otherwise the moisture can cause mold.
Calories: 173kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 0.5g, Fat: 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.02g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.004g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 58mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 43g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 0.3mg
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