galanga \ga*lan"ga\ (?), galangal \ga*lan"gal\ (?) ], n.[oe. galingale, of. galingal, garingal, f. galanga (cf. sp. galanga), prob. fr. ar. khalanj&?;n. ] the pungent aromatic rhizome or tuber of certain east indian or chinese species of alpinia (a. galanga and a. officinarum) and of the k?mpferia galanga), -- all of the ginger family.
Galangal is a rhizome of plants in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originating in Indonesia. The rhizomes are used in various Asian cuisines (for example in Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in soto). Galangal is related to and resembles ginger. While ginger tastes a little like galangal, most cooks who use both rhizomes would never substitute one for the other and expect the same flavor.