from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A plant (Alpinia officinarum) of eastern Asia, having pungent, aromatic roots used medicinally and as seasoning.
  • n. The dried roots of this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several east Asian plants of the ginger family, used as a spice, but principally Alpinia galanga.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dried rhizome brought from China and used in medicine (but much less than formerly), being an aromatic stimulant of the nature of ginger.
  • n. A sedge, Cyperus longus, with an aromatic tuberous root. Also called English galangal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. European sedge having rough-edged leaves and spikelets of reddish flowers and aromatic roots
  • n. southeastern Asian perennial with aromatic roots


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Variant of galingale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French galingal, from Arabic قالنجان (qālanjān) (cognate with Persian قولنجان (kūlinjān), Sanskrit कुलञ्जन (kulañjana)), perhaps from Sinitic 高良薑 (read gāoliángjiāng in modern Mandarin), from 高良 (a district in China) +  ("ginger").


  • "The spice of life," as she called galangal, appears in many Hildegard formulas.

    Paulchens FoodBlog?!

  • A return visit snagged me my galangal, which is like ginger and coriander having a party in your mouth.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • They used many spices, some of which we no longer use (zedoary, long pepper), others of which today are associated with ethnic cuisine (such as galangal, an important ingredient of Thai cooking).

    A Conversation with Jack Turner

  • I have a brochure produced by Malaysian Tourism Ministry to promote some common cuisine of Malaysians and in one of the pages, it shows the picture of herbs the Malays use in their cuisines with English names, including lengkuas which was given 'galangal' as its English equivalent name. LENGKUA/GALANGAL.

  • You'll also find common Thai ingredients throughout the menu, such as galangal, lemongrass, lime-chili sauce, yellow-bean paste and bamboo shoots. -

  • At another event, the menu featured naniura, carp prepared sashimi-style but infused with turmeric, galangal and andaliman, an Indonesian relative of Sichuan pepper, resulting in a dish similar to ceviche.

    Jakarta's Secretive Restaurant Scene

  • Coconut milk base with galangal, mashroom and lemon leaf

    A+ Thai Opens For Lunch Today | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan

  • Ingredient lists contained nigella seeds, manouri and galangal with little, if any, explanation.

    Cookbooks From Britannia Rule!

  • A sample half of Golden Triangle's City Gold (£1.50) was in fair condition, while a bowl of creamy, fragrant chicken, galangal and coconut milk soup (£4.95) was probably the single best thing that I ate in Norwich.

    Norwich's 10 best budget eats

  • Peel the galangal and grate it very finely, then add to the carrots and pork.

    Nigel Slater's pork recipes


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "On another island, 'Iana' (perhaps Java or Ceylon), wonderful spices grow, including aloe wood, camphor, galangal, nutmeg, cinnamon, and mace, but part of the island is ruled by women (the Amazons being another well-established monstrous race)."

    Paul Freedman, <i>Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination</i> (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 100

    Another usage/historical note can be found in comment on cubebs. And mandrake.

    January 8, 2017

  • "Galangal is the root of Alpinia officinarum, a native of eastern Asia related to ginger, with a similar though slightly more astringent taste. Still popular in Thai cuisine, it was widely used in Europe in the Middle Ages."

    --Jack Turner, _Spice: The History of a Temptation_ (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), 46 (n)

    November 28, 2016

  • It must be the feague.

    October 28, 2009

  • well, aren't you speedy with the bon-bon mots

    October 28, 2009

  • It's an everlasting word. And not at all decrepit!

    October 28, 2009

  • I always have trouble restraining the syllables when saying this one; my tongue wants to go galangalangalangalanga

    October 28, 2009

  • Thanks, yarb!

    October 10, 2008

  • Monovocalic alert.

    October 10, 2008

  • a spice similar in flavor to ginger, used in southeast Asia to season curries, soups, and grilled meats and fish.

    February 6, 2007