Galangal is a plant related to ginger and turmeric. Its use is mainly just like ginger, especially in Thai, Chinese and Indian dishes. Mostly, the root part of Galangal is used, and it gives a spicy taste to the dish.
Galangal can be used fresh or in powder or paste for quite a long time, provided that it is stored properly. The time for which it remains fresh depends upon where and in what form it is stored. If the taste, smell, and appearance of galangal changes will tell you that it has started to go bad.
How to store Galangal?
Although Galangal remains fresh for a long time yet, it is important to properly store it to keep it fresh for use even longer. The more it will lose its moisture, the faster it will go bad, so you have to make sure that you store it in a dry place such as a pantry or a refrigerator or freezer.
Following are some places where Galangal can be store:
In a pantry
Galangal can be stored outside the fridge at room temperature in a pantry. Just make sure you do not wash it before storing it, and also place it in a dry place in the pantry. If cut Galangal is stored in a pantry at room temperature, it goes bad quicker than the whole one, so if you cut a piece of Galangal, you have to make sure it is used within an hour or else it will start to go bad.
In the refrigerator
If you want to store Galangal for a longer period, you can keep it in a dry place in a fridge. You can place a whole piece of it in the refrigerator as it is. It does not necessarily need covering, while if you have to store a cut piece of it or the paste form of Galangal, make sure that you keep it in an airtight container or a plastic bag. This will help in locking the moisture in it, and it will remain fresh for long.
In the freezer
Galangal will remain fresh for the longest when it is stored in a freezer. But freezing is not the best option for storage of all forms of Galangal. Only the whole Galangal and the paste form can be stored in a freezer, while the powdered form should not be stored in a freezer.
Can you freeze Galangal?
Although there are many ways in which Galangal can be stored, if you want to keep it for the longest period, freezing it would be the best way. Galangal can stay fresh in the freezer for a few years but when you take it out of the freezer, use it within an hour.
Whole Galangal and the paste form of Galangal are best stored in a freezer, but powdered form and a cut or peeled piece should not be frozen as loss of moisture will make them go bad quickly. So freezing is not a good option for powdered or cut Galangal.
How long does Galangal last?
If it is stored properly, Galangal can last from one week to a few years. Its shelf life depends on where and in what form it is stored.
The whole Galangal lasts for one week at room temperature, a month in the refrigerator, and the longest, i.e., for one to two years in a freezer. Whereas if it is cut, it should be used within an hour. A loss of moisture will make Galangal go bad faster, so it will rot faster in hot weather than in a cooler temperature.
Galangal is a powdered form that can last up to 1 to 2 years at room temperature, and this is the only way it is stored. If Galangal is in a paste form, it will take 6 to 7 months to go bad outside the refrigerator at room temperature while 1 to 2 years in a fridge or freezer.
How to tell if Galangal is bad?
Changes that will show if Galangal has gone bad are as follows:
- Appearance: As Galangal will start losing its moisture; its appearance starts to change. It will change in color, and due to loss of water, its skin will become soggy. Even the inside of it will become dry. Sometimes, even a mold can appear on it as well. Moreover, the cut piece’s outer edges also start to become darker that will show if Galangal has gone bad.
- Taste: Galangal that is stored for too long starts to change its taste. It loses that spicy taste of a fresh plant. It becomes dry and tasteless, and that is when you should know that it’s time to throw it.
- Smell: as Galangal starts to rot, it will begin to smell bad. If a mold appears on it, it will start to smell even worse. Hence, throw it as soon as possible.