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48 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Where do you find that?

The frozen stuff I get at Hmart in Ktown looks like that... also, when I used to go to Chinatown and the SE Asian store on Mulberry or the Thai store on Mosco.  The fresh stuff at Hmart in Ktown can be pretty decent, but sometimes it's not there at all or is old.

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One of the local Chinese markets that has more exotic ingredients always has fresh Galangal.

 

Sadly I have not experienced it FRESH (from the source - with knowledge of what it should aspire to!) so I find it difficult to tell what the quality is like.  Bought some once, smelled and tasted really funky, almost off - tossed it.

 

 

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

Where do you find that?

 

Pretty much any Chinese supermarket in the Boston area will have it *most* of the time. The smaller shops I visit are mostly Korean and Japanese, and I don't remember buying it in any of those.

 

I am pretty sure I have gotten it at the big HMart in the suburbs, but not at the smaller one in Cambridge.

 

There is one local grocery chain (Market Basket) that carries a fairly decent selection of various SE Asian vegetables, and very occasionally I see it there. 

 

That said, metro Boston has an unusually large Cambodian immigrant population which probably skews the balance a bit.

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38 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Galangal, even fresh, is like a woody ginger... and it has a scent I can't quite categorize - almost medicinal

 

But not used in isolation. The beauty of spice paste is the interplay of flavors.

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12 hours ago, heidih said:

 

But not used in isolation. The beauty of spice paste is the interplay of flavors.

True... but galangal is not always used in paste form.  Many times it can be added in sliced form - like in Tom Kha.  But also I can't think of a time when galangal is eaten raw, either in pounded or sliced form.  Cooking changes these flavors - like shrimp paste - it smells putrid raw, but cooked it's a thing of beauty.

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