The rhizome (root) of galangal resembles ginger in taste and appearance. It is predominantly found in Asian markets and sold fresh, frozen, dried, or powdered.
Galangal is also well known in European medieval cooking.
Selection and Storage
When ripe, galangal should be ivory white and firm with very little separation between skin and flesh.
Never buy galangal that is wrinkled or shriveled. Store refrigerated uncut and unwrapped for up to 3 weeks or, peel the root and place it in a jar of sherry and store it refrigerated for several months.
Galangal can be frozen if tightly wrapped in foil.
Galangal can be sliced and used to flavor soups and stews (remove before serving).
It can also be mixed with lemon grass, chilies, shallots and garlic into a paste that can be used to flavor rice dishes.
Galangal can also be mixed into a curry paste for similar purposes.