Greater Galanga (what I tried)Is larger in size, lighter in color and subtler in aroma, is the kind most used in Thai cooking. The fresh root is fleshy, knobby and very firm, to the point of being woody. When very fresh, its ivory color, with hardly any separation between skin and flesh, and its young pink shoots are reminiscent of the appearance of young ginger. But unlike its better-known cousin, it is much denser and harder with ring like markings spaced almost evenly apart.
Lesser GalangaThis root is comprised of a cluster of long, slender, orangish brown fingers joined to an insignificant, knobby ginger-like rhizome. Because its exuberant, aromatic quality freshens the taste of seafood, it is used primarily in seafood dishes. The fingers are cut into fine slivers and tossed along with other fragrant herbs into hot-and-spicy seafood stir-fries, curries and incendiary soups. Its function in herbal medicine has been known for several centuries. Just like ginger, galangal (blue ginger) is boiled to make tea, used to cure colds, diarrhea, nasal conditions and great for the stomach and spleen. Galanga's heat makes it a good agent in reducing cramping and numbness, in healing bruises and swelling, in treating respiratory ailments and skin diseases and in removing toxins from the body. I know what you’re all thinking…why is it called Blue Ginger? Apparently its Chinese name ”南姜” is pronounced as “Lam Kiew” in Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) and its pronunciation sounds similar if one is to say “Blue Ginger” using the same dialect.
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