Galangal is a wonderfully versatile spice similar to ginger in how it looks and tastes – you can find fresh galangal in several grocery stores and most Asian stores. To keep it fresh, you may be tempted to freeze it… But is this something that’s OK to do?
Can You Freeze Galangal?
Yes, you can freeze galangal for up to 2 months. The best way to do this is to place the galangal in a resealable freezer bag and press out as much air as possible. Seal the bag and then pop it into the freezer.
Does Galangal Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Galangal? Yes
How to Freeze Galangal
There’s nothing to freezing fresh galangal, but the thing to bear in mind is that you must keep the skin on to be sure that it maintains its flavour.
Just like ginger, galangal loses flavour once it’s oxidized, and keeping the skin on will prevent that from happening. Here’s the process for freezing galangal:
- Bag Up: Take the galangal, and add it to a freezer bag, pressing as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing.
- Wrap: From there, wrap the bag in one or two sheets of foil to make sure that you prevent freezer burn as much as possible.
- Label and Freeze: Label the outermost section of the foil, and be sure that you keep it at a constant temperature – it will freeze for up to two months.
The other option when freezing galangal is to grate it into an ice cube tray with other spices and herbs to create cubes of instant flavour that can be popped into your cooking.
3 Tips for Freezing Galangal
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing galangal to have the best results:
Keep the Skin On
Galangal loses flavour through oxidation, and keeping the skin on prevents that from happening.
Remove Excess Air
This is a good rule of thumb when freezing anything, but it’s an especially good idea in this case: You’ll prevent freezer burn and oxidation over time.
Look for Smooth Skin
Galangal with smooth, tight skin will be galangal that stays fresh for longer. Make sure to avoid buying galangal that is a little shrivelled up or mouldy, as that’s a surefire way to get some low-rent galangal.
How Long Can You Freeze Galangal?
Galangal will freeze for up to 2 months. The reason that you can’t really freeze it for much longer than that is the same reason that you can’t keep it in the fridge for more than a week or so: It will dry out over time, losing its flavor and becoming poorly textured.
Galangal, and crops like it, such as ginger, are very fibrous and very liquid heavy. This means that when the water evaporates from them in a fridge or freezer, they become solely fibrous, meaning that their texture is utterly ruined.
Galangal will keep in the fridge for around 1 week. It’s a good idea to pop it into a resealable bag to stop it becoming impacted by other smells in the fridge.
How Do You Defrost Galangal?
The best way to defrost galangal is to chop off small sections of galangal when you’re planning to use it and then heat it rapidly.
Since you’ll only need to use small increments of the root each time you need it, you’ll only need to defrost small portions.
To rapidly defrost small portions of frozen galangal, we would suggest either running it under a hot tap in a sieve or simply crushing or mincing it a little – the heat of the room will defrost it rapidly, or you could use the heat of the pan that you’re cooking with to defrost the paste you’ve created very rapidly indeed.
Can You Refreeze Galangal?
Yes, you can refreeze galangal. It freezes much better than other ingredients since it’s much more robust than other ingredients in your kitchen.
The main thing that prevents you from refreezing things repeatedly is that water molecules will swell and shrink, damaging the molecular structure of the item in question.
For galangal, this isn’t an issue – since it’s so densely fibrous, you’re unlikely to damage its structure in any meaningful way.
Does Galangal Freeze Well?
Yes, galangal does freeze well. To ensure that you get the most time in your freezer for galangal, we recommend placing it in an airtight freezer bag and pressing out as much air as possible before sealing it. Then, wrap the bag in a layer or two of foil before labeling and freezing.
If you follow those directions, you’ll be able to keep your galangal fresh and ready to use for up to 2 months!
When we ask if something freezes well, we’re really asking how well it compares to its pre-frozen self when you thaw it. The answer to that question is very well.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing galangal or galangal in general, then these may help:
Yes, galangal paste can be frozen. Spoon portions of the paste into the slots of an ice cube tray, top up with a neutral-tasting oil and then freeze.
In most cases, Thai ginger is simply another name for galangal. As you can freeze galangal, you can also freeze Thai ginger.