Is fresh ginger a good substitute for galangal in a Thai Green curry? (I cannot get fresh galangal here anywhere)

Would I use less or more ginger than galangal quantity?

  • 1
    Preserved or dried galangal no good? I've used preserved before, found it extremely hard to chop but the flavor was there.
    – jontyc
    Jun 15, 2012 at 9:36
  • nice idea I did not know you could get it in those forms, will try to find either of them and see how that goes, thanks. Jun 15, 2012 at 18:23
  • Consider making yellow curry instead - there is supposed to be ginger in it anyway :) Jun 12, 2018 at 13:54
  • Dried galangal powders nicely in a bladed coffee grinder. The flavor mostly keeps through drying, and powdering. It has a bit more kick to it than ginger, so it is worth the extra bother. Jun 12, 2018 at 23:11

4 Answers 4



Use equal amounts of ginger to substitute for galangal. And yes, it is the best substitute available from your average non-Asian grocery store.

If you can get your hands on dried, powdered galangal, however, you can do better. Add about half the amount of ginger, and around midway through cooking add a teaspoon of powdered galangal for every tablespoon of fresh in the recipe. The combination of fresh ginger and powdered galangal will be very close to fresh galangal in flavor.

Also, if you make a field trip to an Asian market, peeled galangal cut into chunks freezes quite well.


It won't be quite the same in flavour, but it is near enough that the food will still taste good and the combinations of flavours will work well.

Unfortunately, I too have had only store-bought ginger since my galangal died...


I know it sounds strange, but when in Thailand, at a cooking course, I was told that the substitute for galangal was lemongrass.


Because of its flavor, I would say you need mostly ginger and a bit of lemongrass together to approximate the galangal flavor (in a pinch, a little lemon, or better yet, a kaffir lime leaf).

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