Galanga Root – Essential to Thai Cooking

galangalGalanga root, also referred to as Galangal (Kha in Thai), is a mainstay ingredient that you will find in every authentic Thai kitchen. Galanga has a delicate and unique flavor with a subtle sweet taste, a hint of citrus, and a spicy quality, similar to the spicy heat of fresh ginger.

The galanga root is a relative of the ginger root, but the outer skin is a little more red-ish in color than the brown color of ginger. And the inside is very white unlike ginger which has a more yellow-ish tint to the flesh.

More widely used in Thai cooking than ginger, this traditional root is sometimes referred to as “Siamese Ginger”. Galangal can be used fresh, dried or powdered. Of course, the fresh form is the most exciting way to use this unique herb.

Galanga is also known to have medicinal properties as well that promote good health. As a digestive stimulant it can aid in settling stomach upsets and ease nausea. It’s mild laxative effect can keep you regular, and it can be used as an agent to reduce swelling and heal bruises. It is also used to treat respiratory ailments and help remove toxins from the body.

You will find Galanga listed as an ingredient on many dishes at Rachada Thai Cuisine. In it’s fresh form, Galanga adds a wonderful depth and flavor to many different Thai soups and curries.  Next time you enjoy an authentic Thai curry dish or a flavorful soup such as “Tom Kha Shrimp”, see if you can detect the unique quality that Galanga adds to the taste.

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