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Many people think Ginger is elementary as an alternative to Galangal. In reality, they differ in flavors, but yes, they have many similarities. As an instance, both offer stomach-soothing benefits to their users.
Ginger is more robust in flavor than Galangal; hence you need to be very careful in using it as a galangal alternative. You can find Ginger in almost all local stores, but Galangal is only available through some online sellers or via grocery stores.
If you want to replace the galangal powder, it is best to use ground ginger in the dried form of about ¾ of the amount. It is required to be safe from any change in taste, so later, the quantity can be increased as per the required taste.
3 Suggested Options as Substitute of Galangal
Here are some more ways to get help in making delicious food if you do not want to use Ginger in place of Galangal in a recipe;
There is a galangal root substitute as a finger-root spice that belongs to the same category. These appear as brownish-orange in color and looks like carrot-shaped long fingers.
So the shape and color of this rhizome are different compared to the twisted or bent look of Galangal. It almost tastes like lesser Galangal, so many people get confused with it.
In many Asian regions, it is primarily used as a medicine and has a pungent flavor. These are common in use spice in Cambodian and Thai dishes, especially in fish curries, to neutralize the excessive flavors of fish. Thai cooks use it with Ginger and/or Galangal in many recipes.
Its flavor is also intense, so we need to use it in less amount than asked for Galangal in the recipe. The best option is to start with adding this galangal alternative in half of the required amount required in the dish. You can increase it further to enhance the intensity of its flavor.
You can also use a mix of cinnamon and mace. A combination of them will produce a flavor that can replicate the peppery warmth, complexity, and sweetness of Galangal. Mace is responsible for adding mild citrus notes and subtle spiciness. Cinnamon can alternate the light spicy notes similar to what Galangal offers.
Similarly, you can also combine cinnamon with Ginger to make a taste that tastes almost the same as Galangal. Together they offer complexity and subtle pepperiness needed from a galangal paste substitute.
If you didn’t find any of the above options to fill the Galangal gap in your dish, prefer to go with white or black pepper. It will offer a peppery component that seems not much identical. But it can retain your need to maintain a good flavor of your recipe with less complicated ingredients.
You can add a pinch of fresh lime or zest lime to your dish if you are not happy with the citrusy or piney flavor after adding Ginger to it. Some cooks also use lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves as galangal root substitute while preparing curry or soups.
Galangal is a common ingredient used to make Southeast Asian dishes like Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and more. The powdered form is not much impactful or flavorful as compared to its fresh chopped alternative, and it is also available as a paste.
For the best flavor, you should use dried and fresh Galangal. In case of the absence of both, you can use a galangal paste substitute. So, you are not bound to use only Ginger as the only galangal alternative. Therefore, you can use the following options as the substitute for every one tablespoon of chopped Galangal.
– One tablespoon of fresh fingerroot.
– 1/4 or 1/8 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice with one tablespoon of new or young ginger root can be used as an alternative of greater Galangal.
– The same amount of melted form of frozen Galangal.
– One tablespoon of fresh lesser Galangal finely chopped.
You should give it a try if you haven’t done it before!