what is galangal

You may have seen this “mystery” ingredient on the backs of Southeast Asian spices and sauces, including those from Indonesia, Thai, and Malaysia. While things you can’t pronounce are often industrial ingredients, you’ll also find galangal listed as an ingredient on recipe blogs and websites. So, what is galangal, and is it Paleo?

What is Galangal?

Galangal is often described as Thai ginger or Siamese ginger, and it is in the ginger family. The two rhizomes look very similar, and at first glance are almost the same. However, galangal roots are generally larger, and much harder; so hard that they’re almost impossible to grate with a microplane or ceramic grater. Instead, you must chop the root with a very sharp knife. When cooked, galangal and ginger are slightly similar in flavor as well, but the galangal is much stronger, with more powerful citrus notes. When raw, galangal is significantly stronger and spicier. Both rhizomes are used in Southeast Asian recipes, and are often used together.

Galangal is often touted for its health benefits, and is sometimes used to treat arthritis pain, nausea, diarrhea, and various types of inflammation.

Is Galangal Paleo?

Yes, absolutely! Galangal is Paleo. This all-natural rhizome is a member of the ginger family, and can add a lot of flavor and punch to your recipes. You might have trouble finding fresh galangal, but you should be able to find dried galangal in the international section of your regular grocery store, or frozen galangal at your local Asian markets.

Related Articles:

Ingredient Spotlight: What is Galangal (thekitchn.com)

What is Galangal and How Do I Use It? (foodrepublic.com)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Greater Galangal and Lemongrass (olahuna.com)

Tom Kha Gai Thai Coconut Soup (againstallgrain.com)

Image Source: Vladimiria

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