Readers ask: What Is Rhizome Thai Food?

Grachai (also known as wild ginger, krachai, lesser ginger, kaempferia panduratum, zerumbet, boesenbergia pandurata or lesser galanga) is a rhizome with long orange finger-like roots. A member of the ginger family, it is most often used in Thai seafood dishes, because of its distinctive aromatic flavor.

  • In English, the root has traditionally been called Fingerroot, because the shape of the rhizome resembles that of fingers growing out of a center piece. In Thai it is called Krachai. It has a slightly medicinal flavor and is used in certain fish dishes such as Khanom Jin, and in some curries. In the west it is usually found pickled or frozen.

Lesser Ginger or “Rhizome” Lesser Ginger, sometimes labeled “Rhizome” and called krachai (or gkrachai), in Thai, is one of the lesser-known Thai ingredients and can be hard to find. It’s an essential ingredient is many Thai salads and the occasional stir-fry (such as Sizzling Stir-fried Squid (Bplah Meuk Pad Chah)).

  • Referred to in Thailand as krachai (กระชาย), this herb has medicinal and culinary uses throughout Southeast Asia. The edible part is known as the rhizome, which is a bunch of roots and shoots emerging from an underground stem. In this sense, it’s similar to galangal and ginger.


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What is pickled rhizome?

Also known as Grachai in Thai, pickled rhizome strips are made from the long finger-like roots of the wild ginger. On any dish, it will produce its own delicious aroma while neutralizing those odors meat can give off. Rich in Vitamin A, pickled rhizome easily makes a healthy addition to many curries and stir-fries.

What does galangal root taste like?

It’s commonly found in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking. The skin of galangal is smoother and paler than ginger and its flesh is much harder. It can’t be grated like ginger can, but instead must be sliced. The flavor of galangal is much stronger too; it’s earthy, sharp, and extra citrusy.

What does krachai taste like?

Lesser Ginger is an essential ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Lesser Ginger is also known as Kra-Chai or finger root, and is used in recipes like tom Kha Gai, traditional soups and curries. A strong flavor with notes of ginger, but spicier and with a mild tang; best describes Lesser Ginger.

What are common ingredients in Thai food?

5 Essential Ingredients of Thai Cooking

  • Allium Vegetables. Allium vegetables like shallots, onions, scallions, and garlic frequently appear in Thai dishes and are often the star of the show.
  • Coconut Milk. Coconut milk is a required component in many Thai dishes, and there is no appropriate substitute for it.
  • Chiles.
  • Fish Sauce.
  • Fresh Herbs.

What is finger root powder?

Boesenbergia rotunda (Family: Zingiberaceae) as known as fingerroot is a daily food ingredient and traditional medicinal plant in Southeast Asia and Indo-China. It has been shown to possess anti-allergic, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiulcer activities and also shown wound healing.

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How do you use krachai?

Because its exuberant, aromatic quality freshens the taste of seafood, it is used primarily in seafood dishes. The fingers are cut into fine slivers and tossed along with other fragrant herbs into hot-and-spicy seafood stir-fries, curries and incendiary soups.

Is Galangal same as turmeric?

Galangal is closely related to ginger and turmeric, and all three roots can be used fresh or dried to add flavor to your dishes. Ginger offers a fresh, sweet-yet-spicy taste, while galangal’s flavor is sharper, spicier, and slightly more peppery. Turmeric has the most pungent and bitter flavor of the three.

Do I need to peel galangal?

To prepare fresh galanga for cooking, wash skin thoroughly (you may also peel or scrape it off, if preferred) and crush, grate or cut into chunks. Remove the latter from your prepared dish before serving as its inedible woody texture does not soften with cooking.

What is galangal in English?

The word galangal, or its variant galanga, can refer in common usage to the aromatic rhizome of any of four plant species in the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family, namely: Alpinia galanga, also called greater galangal, lengkuas or laos. Kaempferia galanga, also called kencur, black galangal or sand ginger.

What gives Thai food its flavor?

The flavors come from chilis, garlic, shallots, shrimp paste, tamarind paste, and a bit of sugar. Curry Pastes – Red, Panang, Green, Yellow, and Massaman Thai curry pastes are widely available at Asian / international grocery stores.

Is ginger used in Thai cooking?

In fact, the use of fresh ginger is so prevalent in Asian cuisines, that Solomon describes it as a base ingredient, with soups, noodles, stir-fries and steamed dishes being just a few of the foods it’s added to. It is similar in appearance to ginger and Solomon says it’s sometimes called Thai ginger.

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What makes Thai food different?

What makes Thai food so different from other cuisines is its use of contrasting flavors. Thai food often pairs hot spices with sweet, light citrus flavors like lime and mango. The signature peanut sauce is somewhere between sweet and savory and adds depth to any dish.

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