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If you've ever tried making a Thai curry at home but found it lacked the aromatic depth of restaurant versions, chances are you were missing galangal. From the same botanical family as ginger, this hard-to-find spice has an earthy, somewhat peppery flavor and is used to brighten dishes and add a touch of heat. We found powdered galangal to be slightly sweeter than its cousin, without any of the bitterness powdered ginger can sometimes have. In savory dishes, it can impart a mustard-like pungency; try substituting it for the ground ginger in our Suya-Spiced Pork Tenderloins, inspired by Nigerian cuisine. Or use 1 1/2 teaspoons of powdered galangal in place of the ginger called for in our Indian Potato and Cauliflower Curry (Aloo Gobi)—the galangal is especially useful if you don't have fresh ginger on hand. In sweet dishes, this spice has woodsy notes reminiscent of cinnamon; we sometimes use it instead of ground ginger in our Macanese Sweet Potato Cake (Batatada).
A Cambodian refugee, Channy Laux started Angkor Food in 2010 to honor the memory of her mother, who fled to the United States with Laux and her three siblings during the Khmer Rouge's regime. The chef's award-winning company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is our favorite source of authentic Southeast Asian ingredients.Shop All
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