I keep a whole hand of ginger in the freezer, not even wrapped. I microplane it into whatever I'm making and it works great. Is it OK to treat galangal the same way?

If I use it in recipes that call for ginger, is it a one to one substitution? Is there any way I should treat it differently from ginger?

3 Answers 3


Galangal should keep equally as well in your freezer as ginger does. Some Asian markets even sell frozen galangal. However, galangal is usually harder than ginger so I'm not sure if your microplane will handle it.

Regarding substitution, one to one is correct. Keep in mind though that galangal has a different flavor than ginger. Whenever I use galangal I am specifically looking for that different flavor rather than the flavor I get from ginger.

I have seen several cooking shows that basically said that the flavors were pretty much the same. Based on my experience, I disagree and treat them as two different ingredients.

Hope this helps. I would be interested in your feedback as to your use and what you think about the flavor.

  • 1
    Thank you for the input! I don't expect the flavors to be the same (or why bother?), but it's good to know that a 1:1 substitution won't be completely out if the realm. If I do find it hard to microplane, what do you recommend?
    – Jolenealaska
    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:33
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    A very, very sharp, hard bladed or ceramic knife. You would want to slice it very thin and cut into very thin matchsticks. Depending on what you are using it for you can use the matchsticks, finely chop the matchsticks, or grind them in a spice or coffee grinder. All that said, let me know if the microplane works. If it does, I may need to try a different type of microplane. :)
    – Cindy
    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:43
  • I find it hard to believe that the microplane won't handle it. It is a grate originally designed for wood planks. Maybe you have a generic grate in the same shape but of inferior quality?
    – rumtscho
    Aug 23, 2014 at 11:57
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    @rumtscho I have several microplanes with different types of grating surfaces for different applications. All are Microplane brand. I agree that there most likely is one that will handle the job. I was just saying that I may not have tried one that is appropriate or I may not have one that is. In either case I may need to try a different one.
    – Cindy
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:22
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    Just for the record, I tried the microplane on both frozen and fresh galangal, it works a charm both ways. I agree that the flavor profile is different in the two products, but the substitution seems to work either way (different, but both good).
    – Jolenealaska
    Nov 16, 2014 at 16:50

I keep ginger, galangal, and turmeric roots all in my freezer. They all keep fine.

Galangal and ginger cannot substitute for each other without significant flavour profile differences in the final dish.


I'm glad to see that people have clarified that galangal and ginger though they may look alike have totally different flavours and uses. I use a sharp knife to slice frozen galangal. It's not hard if you give it a few minutes to thaw a bit first.

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