An aromatic rhizone that is native to EastAsia, galanga or galangal is often mistaken for ginger.
Appearance aside (galangal is bigger and firmer than ginger), galangal has “a sharp citrusy, almost pine flavour, while ginger is fresh, pungently spicy and barely sweet,” according to thekitchn.com.
Peeled and sliced thinly, dried, crushed or ground, galangal is commonly used in Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine. It is a key ingredient in making curry paste.
Galangal — the favourite spice of Toronto’s top Thai chef Nuit Regular — is now readily available in most Asian and some health food stores in Toronto.
For more interesting facts about galangal, check out the following websites: