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MARCUS HAS IDENTIFIED IT AS GALANGAL GINGER. Thank you Marcus :)

I'm trying to identify exactly what I have here - ginger? galangal? Can't be Turmeric as the flesh is whiteish but there is a pinkish tinge to the skin. It smells gingery to me (with my poor sense of smell) and I grated some and used it last night.

It's very hard and rather woody, not like the lovely ginger I buy at the shops, but grated ok.

The plant...

...leaves and spent flower...

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Morning!

It's looks like Alpinia galanga, greater galangal. That piece is well aged, was in the ground for a few years? Ours is young and very pink, as you saw from the pieces I brought along yesterday.

Someone gave the original piece to me just a short time back at one of the GV. Maybe 6mths to a year, can't remember. This could be one of the original bits of the plant, didn't think of that when I was fighting it out of the ground and hacking at it with a trowel :/

I'll have to try to get a bit from the other end which might be younger and fresher.

We broke a shovel getting the clump out of the ground. In the end it took two of us with crowbars to free it and I still had to chip (hammer/axe) away a few smaller clumps to obtain enough leverage. I hate to think how big it'd have grown in another 12 months. Mum didn't want us to take it out as the rhizomes would still be young - Asian people seem to prefer the really old hard rhizomes.

Better medicinal value perhaps?

Are they all this difficult to remove from the ground???? Surely, if grown in the right ground it should be easier to crop.

Stronger flavour.

I prefer the young ones as they smell nice. The older rhizomes are too strong for me. I have to find a use for them.

Their property is mainly sandy soil. :) I'd not want to pry that clump loose from clay.

These are growing in my banana bed which is created soil from compost and bags of garden soil - should be friable but it's not.

Yeah we spoke about this before Lissa.. Love galangal.. the asians love the older bits (as per joseph's post) but it's pretty hard to hack through.. I believe its the way the root system grows.. I'm trying to find out how I can get more Rhizomes than leaf growth (my rhizomes are small!)

great accompaniment to Beef (we use them grated with salt and black fermented beans in Beef Noodle soup) but i'm sure beef casserole would be awesome too..

Goes really well with braised soy-sauce duck too!

Someone told me braised chicken in galangal and soy and wine is awesome but I haven't tried..

Currently have mine grown in a pot so I'll just need to pull it out of the pot or cut it open rather than try to pry them from mother earth's embrace.. :)

Good grief, Braised Soy Sauce duck. Yummo.

I will try some Galangal in casseroles. I'm using the Vietnamese Mint in chicken soup and it really adds great flavour. I don't make it without it now.

It's not just about using these herbs in traditional foods but finding ways to incorporate them into our exisiting diet (says this westerner who can't cook good eastern food).

The pot growing sounds like a great idea...just tip the whole thing out and cut with a knife.

have just added photos of what I think is Lesser Galangal, very disapointed with the bland taste.

It is a core ingredient of Pad Thai as well.  

That's right, Matt. "Son, just go fetch a piece from the garden" Umm, using what? A hammer drill might work well. I snapped a trowel clean off while trying to pry loose a small piece some time ago to test for "ripeness". You have to get right in under the stalks and they don't leave much room for a mighty swing.

You mean the soil around the galangal should be friable or just the soil in that bed?

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