Also known as Thai ginger, this unique rhizome looks similar to ginger, but has a shinier skin and stonier look.
While it’s thought that you can substitute ginger for galangal that isn’t very true. Many Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, and Indonesian recipes call for both as they have different flavors. Galangal has a ginger-ness to it, but it also had an intense floral sweetness, piney flavors, and a more penetrating spice with a hint of cinnamon.
Whole galangal is fibrous and very hard, and is more so when dried. It can be added to soups or stews and fished out later. To use it otherwise you will need a strong spice grinder.