Botanical Name: Alpinia galanga
How to grow it: Galangal is a hardy perennial plant to 2 metres that is grown for it’s underground rhizomes and used to flavour oriental flavoured dishes.
Grows in full sun to shade, handles annual dry seasons well, but responds well to lots of water.
Grows all year round in the subtropics & tropics, and will die back and resprout in spring in cooler areas. Doesn’t like frost, so in cooler areas use as an understorey plant.
For large and easy to harvest rhizomes, plant in a deep, loose soil.
Propogation is by root division basically anytime it’s warm – simply dig up some roots and put them in their new position. I’ve often struck plants from rhizomes found in fruit and vegetable stores and markets, so keep your eye out.
Will do well in pots for a year or two until it becomes potbound & you have to dig it all up & start again.
Using it in the kitchen:
Galangal is used almost exclusively in asian soups, curries & curry pastes. It has a unique aroma that adds authenticity to these dishes, and in my view, cannot be omitted or replaced. Lucky it’s a gorgeous plant & virtually unkillable!
Slice it thinly and add it to soups, or chop it finely and add it to stir fries, curries or curry pastes.
It also has a pleasant perfumy aroma that goes well with herbal teas.
Not the most important of survival plants for it’s very limited use, but it’s really easy to grow & looks great. If you love asian food – it actually is a survival plant!!