5 BEST Galangal Powder Substitutes in Cooking

Have you heard of galangal powder?

This pungent Southeast Asian spice is made from the root of galangal, a herb related to ginger and turmeric.

Galangal powder adds a unique flavor to dishes such as curries, marinades, and salads.

But how do you use it effectively in cooking?

On top of that, what other ingredients can be used as suitable substitutes if you don’t have any galangal?

We’ll explore these useful tips for achieving the most flavorful dishes with galangal powder and review the top five alternatives.

What is Galangal Powder?

Galangal powder is a highly fragrant, knobby root that adds immense flavor to dishes when it’s used as an ingredient in cooking.

It belongs to the same ginger family as turmeric, and it grows mainly in Southeast Asia, India, Bangkok, and other tropical regions.

The dried version of it is available in the form of powder which gives a reddish hue to any dish in which it’s used.

When tasted raw, galangal has a very spicy, citrusy, and earthy flavor with a slightly tart aftertaste.

Its texture and consistency can be compared to a young ginger root – fibrous with a crispy texture when chewed and a powerful aromatic smell that provides boldness to your dishes.

When cooked, its pungent taste mellows down, and it gives out pleasant sweetness, almost like licorice.

Galangal powder goes excellent with soups, stir-fries, or curries; one teaspoon will suffice for most of these recipes.

It blends in exquisitely well with garlic, lime juice, coconut milk, and chili pepper – all great ingredients that activate the palate even more.

Whether you want to try something new or master a traditional Southeast Asian cuisine, you cannot go wrong with galangal powder which can easily become your pantry’s must-have item.

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5 BEST Galangal Powder Substitutes in Cooking

If you are a food enthusiast and have been looking for a suitable substitute for galangal powder, you have come to the right place.

Galangal powder is an essential ingredient in many dishes and can be incredibly difficult to replace.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that will enable you to create delicious dishes without compromising on flavor.

1 – Fresh Galangal

Fresh galangal is a root-like vegetable used in Southeast Asian cooking.

It has an intense flavor similar to ginger and has a woody texture that separates it from most other root vegetables.

The mellow taste and unique aroma make it popular for stews, marinades, and curries.

Using fresh galangal is a great way to add more depth and complexity of flavor to any dish.

Galangal powder can be used as a substitute for fresh.

However, it does lack some of the subtle flavor found in the fresh variety.

To use galangal, simply slice it crosswise into thin strips or grate it into small pieces before adding it to any dish.

Fresh galangal can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if unpeeled, making it easy and accessible to anyone wanting to try this exotic ingredient.

2 – Ginger Powder

Whether it’s for a smoothie, soup, or other culinary creations, ginger powder is sure to add a kick of flavor.

This potent spice packs a punch despite its small size.

Its earthy, slightly sweet notes and combination of warm and spicy flavors make it irresistible in many dishes.

If you’re tasting it on its own, you may get an extra tangy aftertaste that some people find irresistible.

And as far as texture goes, this finely ground powder adds great depth and texture without detracting from any other spices in the dish.

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When using ginger powder, you can substitute it with galangal powder too.

Simply use half the quantity and mix with other herbs and spices that complement the flavors in your meal.

3 – Mace and Cinnamon

Mace and cinnamon are frequently used in the same cooking recipes because of their similar taste profiles.

The two spices, derived from different parts of the same tree but harvested at different times, have a distinct sweet yet savory flavor perfect for enhancing the taste of dishes.

Mace tastes like a more delicate version of nutmeg with a slight hint of citrus, while cinnamon carries strong notes of flavor, both sweet and warm.

Texture-wise, mace is bright orange in color and has an outer layer that can be peeled off to reveal a tender reddish-brown inner membrane, while cinnamon is a reddish-brown powder with tiny bits or sticks finely grounded or crushed.

As you delve deeper into cooking and baking with these two spices, you will quickly observe that they provide complementary accents without either overpowering or overcomplicating the dish itself.

When galangal powder isn’t available, mace and cinnamon make an amazing substitute, as they bring out nuances in flavor that contribute to an exquisite umami experience.

4 – Fingerroot

Fingerroot, also known as lesser galangal or Chinese ginger, is a pungent and flavorful root closely related to ginger.

It has an earthy smell reminiscent of pine, citrus, and camphor with a slightly spicy taste that has a hint of musky sweetness.

This unique flavor profile and fragrant aroma make fingerroot an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes.

In particular, it is especially popular in Thailand, where it is often used to impart a depth of flavor to soups and curries.

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Fingerroot can be found fresh in specialty stores or pre-ground into powder which helps it to better infuse the food with its distinctive flavor.

As a substitute for galangal powder, fingerroot may be used while cooking up some Thai fare as they have similar properties in terms of taste and texture – just grind the fresh root into a fine powder before adding it to your favorite dish.

5 – Lemongrass Powder

Lemongrass powder is a simple yet flavorful ingredient that should be in every pantry.

It adds an unmistakable freshness to any dish and has a distinctive citrusy aroma, with light notes of lemon pepper in the background.

Made from finely ground dried lemongrass, its texture is slightly fibrous and easily absorbs liquids, making it perfect for marinades and sauces.

To get the most out of your lemongrass powder, use it to season dishes by adding it during the cooking process or even as a finishing touch.

Additionally, this flavor enhancer can be used as an excellent substitute for galangal powder – just add a pinch more than what is called for if using lemongrass instead.


In conclusion, galangal powder adds an exquisite flavor to any dish and can be difficult to find or replace.

However, with the five best substitutes for galangal powder in cooking – ginger powder, mace, cinnamon, fingerroot, and lemongrass powder – you can now easily add a unique depth of flavor to your favorite dishes without worrying about its availability.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect combination that suits your taste palette.

5 BEST Galangal Powder Substitutes in Cooking

5 BEST Galangal Powder Substitutes in Cooking

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Fresh Galangal
  • 2 – Ginger Powder
  • 3 – Mace and Cinnamon
  • 4 – Fingerroot
  • 5 – Lemongrass Powder


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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