Definition of galangal in US English:


(also galingale)


  • An Asian plant of the ginger family, the aromatic rhizome of which is widely used in cooking and herbal medicine.

    Genera Alpinia and Kaempferia, family Zingiberaceae

    • ‘Ginger and galangal are both rhizomatous plants which grow easily in warm, frost-free areas.’
    • ‘A typical paste will contain lots of chiles, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, black pepper, and sea salt.’
    • ‘Coconut, ginger, galangal, red pepper, sesame, tamarind, peanuts, basil and tea leaves - in addition to staples like homemade noodles and white rice - appear frequently in Myanmar's cuisine.’
    • ‘The chicken is marinated with turmeric, ginger, galangal and chili.’
    • ‘In a food processor, purée the lemongrass, garlic, turmeric, galangal, ginger, candlenuts, onion, chilies, and blachan.’


Middle English galingale, via Old French from Arabic ḵalanjān, perhaps from Chinese gāoliángjiāng, from gāoliáng (the name of a district in Guangdong Province, China) + jiāng ‘ginger’.