Galangal (kra chai in Thai)is often available in Asian markets and has been flown in from Hawaii. It will be found in the produce section, or frozen in the freezer section.
Galangal is a fragrant tuber, a relative of ginger. In its raw form, galangal has a citrusy, piney, earthy aroma, with hints of cedar and soap (saponins) in the flavor; its flavor is a complement to its relative ginger.
Galangal is sold fresh, frozen, dried, or powdered, but use the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch. Substitutes: ginger (not as pungent as galangal).
Galangal is also available online from several suppliers but is far more costly than from local Asian markets, but worth the cost if you can't find it in your area. Young galangal is nice and white, with pinkish tips and plenty of oil for aroma and flavor.
Edited by MaryAnne (03/20/12 01:41 PM)