Ginger & Other Rhizomes

Ginger & Other Rhizomes
Rhizomes are knobby underground stems that have pungent and flavorful flesh. Ginger is the most familiar example, other rhizomes include turmeric, galangal, lesser galangal, and fingerroot.
fingerroot, Chinese ginger, Chinese key, ka chai, kra chai, krachai
fingerroot
This ginger relative is popular in Thailand. It resembles long fingers jutting from a hand.
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galangal, galanga, galangale, galingale, greater galangal, Java galangal
galangal
Look for this in Asian markets. It's sold fresh, frozen, dried, or powdered, but use the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch.
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ginger root, fresh ginger, geung, ginger, gingerroot, khing, shoga
ginger root
With its sweet yet pungent flavor, ginger has become a mainstay of many of the world's cuisines. European cooks like to use dried, ground ginger to flavor gingerbread and other baked goods. Asian and Indian cooks prefer their ginger fresh, and they use it in spicy sauces and stir-fries. Ginger not only tastes good, it's also believed to have medicinal properties, and people sometimes use it to soothe their upset stomachs and boost their energy. Ground ginger isn't a good substitute for fresh, but dried whole ginger will work in a pinch, as will the minced or puréed ginger that's sold in jars.
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green ginger, baby ginger, new ginger, pink ginger, spring ginger, stem ginger
green ginger
These pink-tipped, shiny pieces of young ginger are mild and usually don't need to be peeled. They're easy to find in Asian markets.
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lesser galangal, kencur root, kentjur root, lesser galangale, zedoary
lesser galangal
This Indonesian rhizome looks a bit like ginger, only it's smaller and darker. It's hard to find in the U.S., but your best bet is to look in Asian markets. It's sold fresh, frozen, pickled, dried, or powdered. Used the dried or powdered versions only in a pinch.
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miyoga, Japanese ginger, miyoga ginger, myoga, myoga ginger
miyoga
These are flower buds that emerge from a variety of ginger. They're quite mild. Look for them in Japanese markets.
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turmeric, fresh turmeric, Indian ginger, mango ginger, yellow ginger
turmeric
Turmeric has a pungent flavor, but it's more widely known for it's brilliant yellow color. You can find fresh roots in Southeast Asian and Indian markets, but dried ground turmeric is far more commonly used. Be careful when handling fresh turmeric--it can stain your hands and clothes.
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