Looking a lot like ginger root, but much more pungent and fiery, Galangal (Kha, ข่า) is to Thai cuisine what ginger is to Chinese food: indispensable.
And while ginger is sometimes used in the Thai kitchen, galangal use is much more prevalent due to its ability to elevate the hot and sour flavor profile so well.
Recipes using galangal:
Much like ginger, galangal is a rhizome – and while some flavor parallels exist, galangal will deliver a deeper spicy, peppery, almost piney taste.
Galangal also has the ability (much like mirin in the Japanese pantry) to mask the ‘fishy’ smell from seafood and relieve some red meats of their heavy gaminess – rendering them both cleaner and more delicate on the tongue.