Oftentimes confused with ginger, galanga (also called galangal or blue ginger) has a piney bouquet and a tighter skin than its rhizome relative. Galanga is an important ingredient for Southeastern Asian cookery and is indispensable for popular Thai soups tom yum goong and tom kha gai.
Use it: As you would ginger. Peel, slice into thin strips and use in soups. Crush into a paste with shallots, garlic and chiles for a spicy meat, poultry or seafood curry. One teaspoon of ground powder is equivalent to ½ inch of peeled, chopped galanga.
Find it: In the frozen section at Global Foods Market, 421 N. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.835.1112 and in powdered form at Penzey’s Spices, 7338 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.781.7177
6 cups prepared chicken stock
1 Tbsp. minced red onion
2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
3 kaffir leaves
2 galanga disks, thinly sliced
10 shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 Tbsp. fish sauce
4 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. chile bean paste
1 tsp. crushed chile pepper
• Bring the chicken stock to a boil over medium heat.
• Add the red onion, lemongrass, kaffir leaves and galanga.
• Add the shrimp and simmer until 70 percent cooked, then add fish sauce, lime juice, chile bean paste and crushed chile pepper.
• Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
• Serve hot.