Galangal (Alpinia galangal, galanga, galingale, ginza root, Siamese ginger, alpina galangal or huah kah in Thai) is used like ginger root in cooking, but it is different in flavor, tasting slightly medicinal. It is sometimes called 'aromatic ginger' and historically it was used as an aphrodisiac in Europe in the Middle Ages, until its use mysteriously died out. Today it is used only in Iranian and Thai cuisine. Thais also concoct a stomach ache cure by mixing the grated root with lime juice.
One of the most popular Thai dishes using fresh galangal is the famous Chicken in Coconut Milk Soup (Tom Kah). Also it is an essential ingredient in many Thai curry pastes.
Store the whole fresh galangal root refrigerated in a ziplock bag with a paper towel for up to 3 weeks. To preserve longer, slice the unpeeled root thinly and air dry or freeze.
SHIPPING: When purchasing galangal online, because it is not highly perishable, you may ship by UPS Ground except in very hot weather. Please see our terms for shipping fresh produce for more details.
See Thai recipes using fresh galanga: Peanut Sauce for Satay, Yellow Curry Paste, Red Curry Paste, Green Curry Paste, Tom Yum Goong and Thai Beef Soup.
Chicken with Galangal in Coconut Milk (Tom Kha Kai)
- Bring the coconut milk to a boil and add the galangal, lemon grass, shallot and kaffir lime leaves. Add the chicken, salt and simmer slowly over low heat. When the chicken is cooked through, pour the coconut cream into the soup, stir gently, and when the soup returns to a boil, turn off the heat.
- Add the fish sauce, lime juice, and chilies, transfer to a bowl, and serve hot.
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