Gourmet Food Source
Also known as Grachai or Krachai, it is a rhizome and a member of the ginger and galangal family. Most commonly found in the jungle regions of Thailand and Laos it has an orange-brown skin with a strong peppery taste. Wild ginger is a difficult spice to record, some call it lesser galangal and many confuse it with the American and European plant of the same name.
Uncommon in the West it can be found in Chinese supermarkets if you are lucky enough to chance upon it. A useful addition to certain green curry pastes and most jungle curries it requires soaking in cold water before scraping the skin with a sharp knife.
Donít be tempted to put too much into your paste as it can turn a curry quite bitter. I have seen packets of dried powdered lesser galangal for sale in parts of Asia, whether or not this is wild ginger or galangal I am not sure but I would avoid it either way. Having tried powdered galangal once before I would not make the same mistake.