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September 10, 2011

What the hell is Galangal?

Filed under: Philosophy — Erik Nabler @ 11:48 pm

It sounds like something nasty or something that you have pierced, but only if you are kind of a freak.


I love the tv show Chopped. It is on the Food Network. It is the perfect complement (antithesis?) to the Iron Chef (America, sadly, because I can’t seem to find the original around any more). The perfect ratio is about 5 Chopped’s and then 1 Iron Chef. The Iron Chef is just kind of a palate cleanser to show you what great chefs with staffs of helpers, virtually any ingredient they want, and advance notice, can do.

Chopped is better. This is the show where you get four professional chefs, but usually your average Joe chef who works in some smaller restaurant in New York and wants to win 10,000 dollars. They get a mystery basket for each course (Ted Allen “For the entree course you get – beef tenderloin, sour worms, feta cheese and GALANGAL!”) Which leads me to my somewhat of a complaint.

Do they make these things up? What the hell is Galangal? Where do you get it? Why does it exist? I have never in my life even heard of galangal, and I am reasonably well read and conversant in food. Not a professional or anything, but seriously – Galangal?

Now, before you yell at me, I googled it up, so I now know what it means, and that it is not a made up term – although, Ted Allen might be messing with Wikipedia, hmmm- and here is a picture, although I could also post a picture of the “moon landing” as if that proves anything.

There, rant done – for now.

Does this actually exist? GALANGAL!


  1. If you get Cooking Channel, they show Original Iron Chef every weeknight at the same time. 11pm Eastern, I think.

    Comment by Dawn — September 11, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  2. Dang, thanks for the info, but I do not presently get Cooking Channel, I don’t think. I will check, though. These tv’s are so complicated, I am not sure if I don’t get it, or if I don’t have it on my favorite 85 channels or whatever that are the only ones that show up. I will look though, as I love the original. thank you again.

    Comment by Erik Nabler — September 11, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

  3. I guess being “reasonably well read and conversant in food” doesn’t include South or South-East Asian cuisine…

    I keep galangal in my pantry with other fragrant roots like turmeric (both the white and yellow/orange kinds) and ginger for spice bases for all kinds of things – grilled meat seasonings, coconut sauces, savory rice dishes…

    You’ve heard of ginger, right?

    Comment by os — September 13, 2011 @ 8:26 am

  4. I think I have heard of ginger. *Googles* Yeah, I remember it now.

    TBH, I do not do much in the way of cooking or paying attention to South-East Asian cuisine. I eat it very occasionally I do not cook it nor study the cooking of it at all. An area that I probably should work on, but it kind of intimidates me. I will have to look around the area and see if galangal is even available around here. Maybe an Asian market. It is possible that I have seen it and just assumed it was ginger or did not pay much attention since I was not looking for said G root.. Powdered Turmeric is a spice that I have and I believe that I have never used it. So, perhaps I should amend my statement to “slightly conversant in certain areas of food”, although I am an enthusiastic eater who is trying to branch out.

    Comment by Erik Nabler — September 13, 2011 @ 8:59 am

  5. It not only exists, it grows in abundance in British Columbia. But I’m not that all about ginger of any kind, so I can’t say I’ve used it much.

    You remind me of me when I failed the Pony Club exam because I didn’t know what the hell a numnah was. Well, apparently it’s a British Raj term for a saddle pad. No tremendously relevant in central Ontario, although the term bosal, which was not on the exam, was indeed relevant.

    Comment by raincoaster — September 14, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

  6. You leave me speechless.

    Comment by Erik Nabler — September 14, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

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