GALANGAL

Also Known As
ENGLISH:
Fermented Rice Plant
Galanga
Greater Galangal
Java Galangal
Laos Root
Siamese Ginger
Spice Ginger
Thai Galangal
Thai Ginger
CHINA:
Da Gao Iiang Jiang
Hong Dou Kou, Shan Jiang
INDIA, BENGALI:
Kulinjan
INDIA, TAMIL:
Arattai, Perarattai [அரத்தை]
INDONESIA:
Lengkuas
KHMER :
Romdeng
LAOS :
Kha ta deng
THAILAND:
Ka
Kah
Kha [ข่า]
VIETNAM
Riềng ấm 
Riềng nếp 
MALAYSIA, SUMATRA
Lawas
MALAYSIA, SUMATRA:
Langkuweh
MYANMAR {Burma}:
Pa de gawgyi
Pa da go ji
OTHER
Lengkuasbenar 
Lengkuasbiasa 
Mengkanang 
Puar 
SYNONYMS
Amomun galangal 
Languas galangal 
Languas vulgare 
Maranta galangal 


Order:   Zingiberales
Family:   Zingiberaceae
Genus:    Alpinia
Species: galanga

Florida n c s

Edible Parts
Flower Fruit Leaf Root
Animal Interaction
Hummingbird Butterfly No
Other Uses
Mug Medicinal Fragrant Ornamental
This is one of my favorite edible gingers.  Why, you ask?  Because of the awesome flavor of the cooked fresh younger rhizomes. This is the vital "Kha" of Tom Kha soups found at so many Thai restaurants. The amazing flavor is hot, spicy, peppery, with citrusy and floral hints. To keep plants happy, be sure to keep the soil somewhat moist. The spicy flowers are also edible, along with the edible inner stem, which looks like white spaghetti after having been removed by hand. Oh... and hummingbirds nectar at the pretty flowers.



EDIBLE RHIZOMES:  softschools [dot] com writes, “It is used for the preparation of broths, soups, [curries, fish and] seafood salads and dishes made of meat. Rhizome can be used fresh (finely chopped) or dried (in the form of powder). Galangal is an integral part of Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Indian cuisine.” It is also a common ingredient in Vietnam. Younger rhizomes are a key ingredient in the famous Thai soup known as Thom Ka.  “Young galangal is preferred for most culinary preparations as the completely mature root is very tough.” [2]  Plant geek writes, “The fleshy [thick, white-fleshed] rhizomes don’t need to be peeled, though you will need to cut off a few [of the] gnarled parts.  [It is] difficult to cut, use a serrated knife or grate.‘ It is often mixed with Lemongrass in recipes. 
- FLAVOR: “The strong, spicy flavor [slightly pungent] diminishes somewhat upon cooking.”  “Fresh, it has a sharp, hot, peppery bite.  Dried, it has a musky, rooty, woodsy, Earthy flavor.”  For those who find regular ginger too intense, this is a nice substitute with a more floral and citrus-like flavor.  Some consider it less peppery and spicy/biting than ginger, while others say more so.  “The flavor, being so unique [it “adds a subtle piquancy”], is thought that it is not able to be substituted by other spices.” 
- AROMA: softschools [dot] com writes, "Galangal has sweet, earthy, spicy, mustard-like aroma. It smells like a blend of pine needles and black pepper."
- IN DRINKS:  Pick Me Yard blog write, "I like to slice mine into big chunks and make “galangal limeade.” 
“Source of an essential oil used to flavor liqueurs such as Chartreuse, Angostura, and other bitters, as well as soft drinks.”
- STORE-BOUGHT GALANGAL:  When purchasing fresh rhizomes from a grocery store: 1, look for white color and squeeze for firmness.  2, Avoid any wrinkled or shriveled roots.  Younger / pale pieces: May be eaten straight up.  Older / red pieces: Best used in curry pastes. 
- STORAGE:  FRESH: Refrigerate: Uncut / Unwrapped – up to 3 weeks.  Peel & jar with sherry to store for several months.  The rhizome paste may be frozen for later use, and rhizomes may be candied. 
- DRIED POWDER: Store dried & powdered: In a cool, dark place for up to 2 years.  
- EDIBLE DRIED RHIZOME POWDER:  The dried powdered rhizome is known as “Laos Powder.”  
EDIBLE YOUNG SHOOTS: Young shoots are steamed & eaten.  
EDIBLE FLOWERBUDS & FLOWERS:  They are eaten raw, steamed, pickled, added to soups, or mixed with chili paste.  
EDIBLE RIPE FRUITS:  The red fruits are edible.  They look similar to the fruits of Alpiniacalcarata, RASNA.   
MEDICINAL RHIZOME:  Aphrodisiac; mild hallucinations have been reported. 
MEDICINAL STUDIES: “Compounds isolated from galangal have anti-bacterial (kill bacteria) and mild anti-malarial properties (based on the studies in mice, galangal can be used in treatment of malaria). “ [6] 

Recipes

VEGAN TOM KHA GAI [Soup] 
Recipe from These Things I Love blog 
Note: "Gai" means chicken in Thai. This recipes replaces it with tofu. 
- In a stock pot bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Add galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, onion and sugar to a boil. ... 
- Add coconut milk, chilies, and soy sauce. ... 
- Add tofu and mushrooms and heat through.
- Remove the pot from heat and add lime juice and cilantro.
- Serve with steamed rice or coconut Jasmine rice.
Link to recipe: http://thesethingsilove.com/2011/07/vegan-tom-kha-gai-soup/

More Details

NATIVE TO: Tropical Asia – China, Melesia. 
DESCRIPTION: Clumps 6-7 feet high.  Much branched, fleshy rhizome.  Flowers white, with pink markings.
ANIMALS: This species is apparently not eaten by deer. 
CULTURE: Florida ginger expert David Skinner, of Gingers R Us, tells us that this is the only Alpinia that will bloom reliably on the first year growth. 
FERTILIZE: Galangal grower, Rob Bob, applies mulch on top of the surrounding soil, over worm casting.  He also applies fish emulsion and sprinkles emulsified sea water (a sea slat) around the plants.  

Flower Color
White
Fruit Color
Red
Bearing Age
1 years

Habitat
Moist Shade
Native?
Non-Native


Plant Form
Herbaceous Evergreen Perennial Herb
Height
7 feet
Width
4 feet
Root type
Rhizome
Root size
1 feet
Rate of Growth
Moderate


Hardiness Zone
8a to 11b
Ease of growth
Moderate
Light
Part Sun
Soil
Rich Well-Drained
Spacing
18 inches

Does well in Containers

When to Propagate
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

When to Plant
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D

When to Harvest
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D


Sources for acquiring

Asian markets statewide, especially the Mustang Flea Market in Pinellas Park [they usually sell fresh rhizomes for two dollars a pound].  Also, many online plant nursery sources for fresh rhizomes, try a Google search. 


References

[7] alibaba.com 
[8] Fooduciary [Brad Shepherd recipe] 
[9] gernot-katzers-spice-pages.com 
[10] Gingers of India 
[11] Gingers R Us  
[12] hawaiianorganicginger.com 
[2] Henriette’s Herbal. 
[13] JMK on Wikipedia 
[3] Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database 
[14] My Big Sfarm blog 
[5] Pick Me Yard blog 
[6] softschools.com 
[1] The Plant Book 
[4] These Things I Love blog 
[15] tropicalplantsaustralia.com.au 
- 15 in total. 
Last Updated: October 28, 2017

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