You may have noticed the use of galanga, or its variant galangal in our Tom Yum or Tom Kha soups, and wondering what it actually is. Look no further, because here's a bit of info about this much-beloved taste enhancer in Thai cuisine.
Galanga is the root plant of the ginger family, as it is related to and resembles ginger. In its raw form, galanga does not taste like ginger, but when cooked, there's subtlety in the flavor against the ginger. Most cooks often don't substitute one root for another and expect the same flavors. Originated from Indonesia, galanga is used in many Asian cuisines, and most notably in Thhai food's popular Tom Yum and Tom Kha. In the Thai language, it is called "kha."