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Galangal, also known as galangal root, is a spice that originated in southern Asia and is related to ginger.

Galangal has a taste that is comparable to ginger but is lighter and tarter. Galangal has a similar look to turmeric, making it difficult to distinguish these three ginger siblings.

Galangal has a variety of uses, including culinary flavoring and medical applications.

If you don’t have galangal and are short on time, there are many galangal replacements you may use instead, all of which will be explained in this post.

Best Galangal Substitutes

These are some of the greatest galangal replacements that you should definitely try!

1. Ginger

The first substitution choice is ginger, which is not surprising given that it is the closest thing to galangal you can acquire. Galangal is a member of the ginger family, thus they are sure to have many similarities.

Both plants are intensely fragrant, spicy, and have a sweet and tart flavor at times. The only significant difference between them is that galangal tastes more peppery and lemony, whilst ginger is hotter.

Ginger powder has a more delicate taste than fresh ginger, which has to be used sparingly since a little goes a long way.

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2. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice derived from the turmeric plant that is also known as Indian saffron and is a near equivalent for galangal. It is popular in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines, but it is also used globally.

Turmeric is also a member of the ginger family, thus there are some similarities between galangal, ginger, and turmeric. Turmeric spice is extracted from the turmeric plant’s root, which has a knotty shape similar to ginger root.

Ground turmeric, on the other hand, stands out among the other spices due to its brilliant yellow-orange hue; turmeric is also excellent as a natural coloring agent.

Turmeric is a suitable substitute for ground galangal; it has an earthy, spicy scent and a somewhat bitter taste. Turmeric tastes good and has a flavor akin to horseradish.

3. Horseradish

Horseradish has a similar scent and taste profile to galangal root, making it an excellent alternative. The horseradish plant’s root is utilized in place of galangal owing to its fragrant characteristics, although the leaves may also be used in cooking.

Horseradish is in the same family as wasabi and mustard. If you want to really appreciate its hotness and pungency, use freshly grated horseradish root, since it releases all of its oil this way.

You may use ground horseradish to make a more delicate version with the same degree of pungency and spiciness. Use around 1.5 tablespoons of high-quality horseradish powder for every teaspoon of raw horseradish.

4. Fingerroot

Fingerroot is a plant related of galangal that is very fragrant and used in Asian cuisines. Fingerroot is in the same family as ginger and turmeric and may be thought of as a more delicate ginger alternative.

If you don’t like the powerful taste that galangal provides to a meal, you may substitute fingerroot, which has a more delicate flavor profile.

This is not to say that fingerroot is bland; it is just less spicy and peppery than its cousins.

Fingerroot, like ginger, has an earthy, somewhat bitter taste and a warm feeling. It also lends a subtle peppery taste to foods.

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5. Black Pepper

You may use black pepper to mimic the spicy, pungent taste and warm, earthy scent that galangal contributes to a meal.

When freshly ground pepper is used instead of pre-ground pepper, it generates a considerably more strong scent and taste.

In comparison to galangal spice, black pepper is very hot and spicy. It may be used in a variety of dishes, including meat, seafood, soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries. You may also use pepper in dry rubs and marinades to help the meat or fish absorb as much flavor as possible.

6. White Pepper

White pepper is another pepper that may be used in place of galangal. It is a gentler, subtler type of pepper that is not as fiery as black pepper. White pepper has a distinct lemony scent that complements shellfish and whitefish.

White pepper has a more earthy and nutty taste, with a little trace of a distinct peppery scent, than black pepper, which has a prominent flavor note of spiciness and hotness.

7. Mustard

Mustard is a pungent condiment that is often used to top burgers, hotdogs, and other foods, but it is not the only mustard variation available.

The mustard condiment is formed from microscopic mustard seeds, which are the hottest and most flavored mustard variety.

This makes mustard condiment a good substitute for galangal paste, particularly when a thick consistency is required. Mustard is rich, fragrant, and simple to integrate into any meal when you need a dash of pungency.

8. Mustard Oil

Mustard seed oil may be extracted and is a gentle method to give a sense of pungency to your food, as well as a somewhat bitter and earthy taste that changes to sweetness as it cooks.

Mustard oil may be used as a finishing oil on roasts, dips, and salads, among other things.

It may be used for cooking since it has a very high smoke point of roughly 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Mustard oil may be used to deep fry, fry, bake, roast, and grill.

Related: Best Poultry Seasoning Substitutes

9. Galangal Paste

If fresh galangal is not available, paste versions produced from fresh galangal may be used instead. Remember that store-bought galangal paste may include extra components such as citric acid, water, salt, sugar, and sometimes other flavoring agents.

If you don’t want any of the processed components to interfere with the flavor of your meal, you may produce your own galangal paste.

But, store-bought galangal paste often has a longer shelf life and allows you to add that distinct galangal taste and scent to your cuisine without worrying about overdoing it.

Galangal paste is a subtler, gentler variety that works well in pasta sauces, stir-fries, salads, and marinades. Many people like galangal paste since the tastes do not need to be heated to develop, thus it may be added to prepared foods.

10. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a perennial grass that grows in the tropics and subtropics. Nonetheless, it is largely grown in India, which produces the bulk of this fragrant, lemony plant.

While lemongrass is not related to lemon, the perfume and smell of the grass are extremely similar to those of the citrus. Lemongrass has a taste that is pleasant, earthy, somewhat acidic, and lemony, with a hint of pungency.

If you don’t mind a little decrease in the pungency and heat of the final meal, this galangal replacement is an excellent alternative.

Lemongrass brings brightness and freshness to any food. Since fresh lemongrass is significantly stronger than powdered lemongrass, use it with caution.

11. Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir lime leaves are an essential element in Thai cuisine and across southern Asia. Since kaffir lime leaves are incredibly aromatic, fragrant, and lemony, add a small amount at a time, tasting as you go until you get the ideal flavor.

Fresh leaves may be used to soups, sauces, curries, and salads. Before usage, remove the central vein and slice up the fresh leaves. It has a zesty flavor that is comparable to lime zest.

The ideal galangal substitution depends on the meal you’re making and the flavor you want to emphasize. Nevertheless, ginger, turmeric, and fingerroot are considered as the finest galangal substitutes, with the main variation being the amount of pungency and hotness.

The galangal paste is also a good substitute for fresh galangal, although it has a softer and more delicate taste than the raw plant.

Some substitutes, including as horseradish, black pepper, white pepper, mustard, and mustard oil, are more flavorful, peppery, and hot, and should be used with care.

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What can I use instead of lesser galangal?

Top tip: Since galangal and lesser galangal are mostly cultivated in South East Asian nations and are seldom exported, they might be difficult to locate in other areas of the globe. If you can’t locate galangal, use very young ginger instead.

Can I use turmeric instead of galangal?

Galangal is linked to ginger and turmeric, and all three roots may be used fresh or dried to season foods. Ginger has a fresh, sweet-yet-spicy flavor, whilst galangal has a sharper, hotter, and somewhat pepperier flavor. Turmeric has the strongest and most bitter taste of the three.

Can you use regular ginger instead of galangal?

Ginger and galangal have quite similar flavors, so if you can find it at your local grocery shop, you can change them out 1:1. The same is true for ground galangal and ginger.

What is galangal root similar to?

Alternatives to galangal

Turmeric, like galangal, is from the ginger family and has an earthy flavor. Lemongrass may also be used as a replacement, particularly in soups, curries, and stir-fries, giving the same lemony overtones but in a milder form.

What is the flavor difference between galangal and ginger?

The golden to creamy flesh may be nearly luscious. Although most people are familiar with the pungent, somewhat sweet, peppery flavor of fresh ginger, galangal tastes more like pepper than ginger. It also has whiter flesh and is denser than ginger, which has a light greenish flesh.

How to make ginger taste like galangal?

To best simulate the flavor of fresh galangal, 4 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice was used. If you don’t have any galangal on hand, you may substitute fresh ginger with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

What is the purpose of galangal in cooking?

Galangal is thought to disguise fishy flavors, thus it’s popular in seafood dishes like Vietnamese braised carp with a sweet-salty galangal sauce. I used two tablespoons of the powdered spice in a Thai-style coconut-curried shrimp dish comparable to tom kha goong (kha is Thai for galangal).

Does galangal taste like ginger?

Taste: Galangal has a lemony flavor with a bite and a faint pine flavor, while ginger has a spicy, peppery flavor. Despite their appearance, they are not interchangeable owing to a significant difference in flavor.

Is turmeric more powerful than ginger?

A rheumatoid arthritis animal research discovered that, although both turmeric and ginger decreased the frequency and severity of flare-ups, turmeric had much higher anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential than ginger.

What is the taste of galangal?

Since galangal has a harsh lemony, almost piney taste and ginger is fresh, pungently spicy, and scarcely sweet, they cannot be used interchangeably.

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