I was browsing around on epicurious.com yesterday, and I noticed that they had a small article on a Thai market in chinatown that had a great selection of hard-to-find fresh Thai ingredients. Since I work withing walking distance of Chinatown, I knew I had to check it out.
My first experiment was fresh galangal, which is a root vegetable that has a taste somewhat similar to ginger, but milder and more citrus-y. I used about 1 square inch of fresh galangal, and I just cut it into small pieces, but you could also grate it, which I think I'll try next time. It was delicious, and adds a very unique flavor to a conventional stir-fry dish. Serve this over rice for a vegetarian entree, or add chicken or shrimp for a heartier main dish.
I'm not planning to cook with it again in the next few days, so I washed, peeled and sliced the rest of the galangal and froze it. The owner of the store told me it freezes well, so look for more recipes with fresh galangal from me in the future!
Galangal Stir Fry
2 heads of broccoli, sliced into florets
1 can of water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1" square of fresh galangal, cut into pieces
1/2 white onion, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1. Heat a saute pan or small wok for 3-4 minutes.
2. Place onion, galangal, garlic and sesame oil in the pan, and saute until onion is translucent.
3. Add broccoli, water chesnuts, and soy sauce, and saute for 6-8 minutes, or until broccoli is cooked and liquid is mostly absorbed.
4. Divide onto two plates, and serve.