What Does Galangal Taste and Smell Like? + How to Use it

what does galangal taste like

What does galangal taste like?

If you have seen ginger roots at some point, then, you know what galangal looks like. However, the two do not taste alike. So, what does galangal taste like? Galangal has sharp citrus taste. Citrus fruits have tastes that range between sour and sweet. So, if you want to imagine the kind of taste galangal would add to your food or drink, it is safe to imagine the taste of citrus fruits. It also may add a slight fishy flavor to your food.

What does galangal smell like?

Now that you have an idea of what galangal tastes like, let’s tackle the next question of what galangal smell like? Funny enough, the smell has almost nothing to do with the taste. Galangal has a strong mint scent. So, when you bring it close to your nose, you inhale something similar to menthol and pine. You’d see that the minty scent has nothing to do with the hot taste.

How to use galangal

Galangal is a very useful spice and you can easily get it from stores and local markets. It is available as fresh roots and in powdered form. On tips on how to use galangal, check out these;

As a result of its fishy flavor, galangal is added to meals where seafood is used as an ingredient. Examples of sea foods include shrimps, crabs, etc.

When you grate galangal into small slices, you can add the slices to your smoothie.

Add galangal to other ingredients for your drink and then, blend them together to form a drink. You can sieve out the residue if you want your drink to have a smooth feel against your tongue. The flavor of the galangal root would still remain with your drink.

Galangal, when grated can be added to your stir-fry foods—spaghetti, noodles, rice, etc.

You can use galangal for making curry powder. You can also use it to spice up your regular curry powder. This powder can be used for your soups and stews.

Below is a recipe on how you can work with galangal. The recipe is for the making of the green curry paste.


  • Lemongrass (Ensure that the grass is sliced thinly)
  • Coconut milk
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Garlic
  • Galangal
  • Shallot
  • Jalapeno
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice
  • Cumin powder
  • Coriander powder
  • White pepper powder
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt


1. Place all the ingredients for the green curry paste inside a blender and then, pulse. The more the coconut milk you add to the mix, the more watery the mix comes out to be. If you would rather pound the ingredients, work with the solid ones first before adding the liquid ingredients. After doing that, you can proceed to set the green curry paste aside.

2. Place a large pan on a cooker with low heat. Next, add about three teaspoons of olive oil and then, shake the pan so that the oil smears across all of the surfaces. After that, add the green curry paste to the steaming oil. Use a wooden spoon to stir fry the green curry paste.

3. Add tofu, peas or any other ingredient of your choice to the green curry paste. Then, continue to stir-fry until the newly added ingredients are coated properly with the sauce.

4. Add chicken stock or any other stock you have to the paste. Then, stir the sauce for five more minutes. You can then proceed to add in lime leaves to the sauce.

5. Add in your coconut milk, veggies, and then, allow the mix to simmer for about ten more minutes. The time frame could be less though. All you just want to ensure is that the veggies are soft enough for consumption.

6. Taste the curry to know if you need to add any seasoning—pepper or salt. If the curry has too much salt, squeeze in some lime juice to it.

7. When the curry cools down, you can serve into a plate and sprinkle shredded basil leaves across the surface of the curry. The basil leaves help to make your curry look nicer.

It is advisable that fresh galangal is used for cooking purposes instead of the dried one. The reason is because the fresh galangal has more active constituents than the dried galangal. One more thing that you need to note is that galangal must be peeled before it is used. The outer covering is relatively hard and inedible. Galangal can also be used in place of ginger.