Galangal is a perennial plant native to
Southeast Asia. Its closest relative is ginger.
Both of these plants are very similar to each other, even their taste is almost
identical, the only difference is that galangal is sharper and has a slight
citrus hue. The aroma of this plant is slightly reminiscent of saffron.
The root of galangal is known throughout the world as galangal or Siamese ginger .
Despite such an exquisite combination of flavors, it is very
strong and has little use. It has become less commonly used in Europe,
but in Southeast Asia, the root is very widespread.
This plant was well known to Russians as early as the 17th and 18th centuries.
People knew it was a wonderful flavor and a delicious addition
to drinks and tinctures. At one time it was even called ” Russian
root “, and all because Galangal was transported from
Asia precisely through the Russian State.
There was a time when galangal was known as a “love
remedy”, a kind of aphrodisiac that was used to freshen the
breath. Since ancient times, it has been used as a means to
prevent seasickness. Galangal is currently
one of the components of preventive rubbing.
There are several types of galangal:
- Smaller galanga is smaller than ginger and tastes much
- Greater galanga is a larger plant, which is why it is compared
to ginger. Fresh galangal has a pine needles aroma,
while dried galangal has a cinnamon aroma .
The structure of the root and appearance indicates that this plant
belongs to perennial plants that can grow up
to 1.5 meters in height , but sometimes even more. Its flowers are white or dark pink.
You can see nodes and segments on it. Galangal skin is light brown in
color, and the flesh, on the contrary, is creamy white.
This plant is used not only for the preparation of tinctures or
food, it is widely used in folk medicine. Galangal has
one peculiarity, in the wild it is found only on the island
territory of Hainan.
Recently, galangal, as well as other spices, began to be
grown purposefully. It is grown in India, Southeast
Asia, China, and Japan. This root contains a huge amount of
essential oil, which gives it such a pleasant, pleasant camphor
aroma. When crushed, the aroma of galangal is reminiscent of myrtle or
cardamom. On the basis of this plant, vinegar and medicinal
infusion are made, which improves digestion.
On sale there is both a fresh plant and a dried one. In Asian
cuisine, most dishes are prepared using fresh root
or a powder made from dried galangal. However
, not only the rhizome is used in cooking , the leaves and stems of this plant
also found their application there. They are also able to give any
dish a pleasant taste and aroma.
How to choose
When buying a root, you should pay special attention to the aroma,
as fresh galangal has a pine, earthy aroma, with hints of cedar.
A fresh root can be easily identified by its hardness. It
will take a lot of effort and a very sharp knife to cut it.
How to store
The best way to store galangal is to freeze it,
but it should be grated first. There is another way: the
root is cut into slices, and then marinated in lime juice.
The root is mainly used as a spice. It is very difficult to
imagine Japanese and Chinese cuisine without it . Galangal
goes very well with vegetable snacks, fish and meat dishes, rice
and beans. It is
even added to baked goods, oriental sweets, pastries
and honey cakes.
It is indispensable in winemaking, as it gives the drinks a special aroma.
Galangal is used to make cider and kvass.
Without this plant, it is simply impossible to imagine the preparation of such a
dish as duck in Chinese, because it can be called the second most important
ingredient. To prepare this dish, you need a whole duck carcass,
which will subsequently be rubbed with a paste of galangal root,
red pepper, walnut and garlic.
The root is the most important component of the well-known
tom-yam soup . This dish is well known to all connoisseurs of exotic cuisine.
Chinese cuisine uses rhizomes to prepare mushrooms,
salads, vegetable and fish dishes.
… Galangal is most commonly used to flavor drinks
Finding it in Europe is not an easy task; it is sold quite rarely.
This plant was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
The main suppliers of galangal were Arab merchants, who
discovered this product for many. Some time passed
and the rest of Europeans also got acquainted with the plant . In the Middle Ages, it began to be used
to heal and strengthen the body. Later, galanga began to be used
as a seasoning for dishes. Nowadays, the root is used
much less often, it is used only for the production of liqueurs
Caloric content of galangal
The energy value of fresh galangal is 80 kcal per 100 g. The
calorie content of dried galangal is 200-300 kcal, however, in the form of spices
and in moderation, it will not harm the figure.
Nutritional value per 100 grams:
Calorie content, kcal
Useful properties of galangal
Composition and presence of nutrients
Galangal’s pungency and pleasant aroma are due to the essential
oil contained in this root. This plant has a very rich
chemical composition. It has it all: Alpha Pinin, Eugenol, Methyl Cinnamate
and Cineol. After drying, the composition of galangal changes slightly,
such substances as trans-beta-farnesine, alpha-bergamotin and beta-bisabolin appear.
Useful and healing properties
In the Middle Ages, galangal was used as a medicine
. It strengthened the stomach well,
relieved colic and aroused appetite.
This spice is very rich in vitamins and all kinds of minerals. The root is
very useful for digestion, it can help get rid of
heartburn. Galangal normalizes blood pressure and also improves
If you eat it regularly, you will increase your internal
heat, awaken your appetite and stimulate digestion.
Galangal is used to relieve headaches. It is also used
even for paralysis
The seeds of the plant are a wonderful prophylactic agent,
but also a medicinal one, which remarkably helps with the development of severe
ailments and poisoning. Its main benefit is stored in the natural
composition of the plant itself. Galangal is the basis for the manufacture of
tinctures that can relieve exhaustion, hypochondria, motion sickness
Chinese medicine uses plants to boost immunity.
A decoction and tea made from this plant can relieve inflammation,
tone and strengthen the body.
This condiment has antibacterial action. Galangal
warms up remarkably in the cold season and helps with pain
in the heart.
Galangal properties: diaphoretic, antiseptic, stimulating,
bactericidal and carminative.
It is also used to relieve dyspepsia, colic,
flatulence, nausea and vomiting.
Dangerous properties of galangal
No dangerous properties have been identified in galangal. Its main harm lies
in individual intolerance.