05 May

As one of the most essential ingredients in Asian cuisine, ginger is a must-have in any restaurant that offers Thai dishes. Known for its distinct aroma, flavor, and health benefits, Thai ginger adds a unique touch to any recipe it is used in. However, the secret to creating authentic and flavorful Thai dishes lies in the freshness and quality of the ginger used. In this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about finding, selecting, and using fresh and authentic Thai ginger in your restaurant. From its health benefits to storage techniques, recipes, and more, we've got you covered.

Introduction to Thai Ginger

Thai ginger is an essential ingredient in many Asian dishes, including Thai cuisine, due to its distinct flavor and aroma. Its scientific name is Zingiber officinale and it belongs to the same family as cardamom and turmeric. Thai ginger has a pale yellow or beige color and a thin skin that is easy to peel. It is commonly used in soups, stir-fries, curries, marinades, and sauces to add a spicy and pungent flavor.

What is Thai Ginger?

Thai ginger, also known as galangal, is a root vegetable that is grown and widely used in Southeast Asia. It is one of the key ingredients in Thai cuisine and is used in a variety of dishes, from traditional soups to modern fusion cuisine. Thai ginger has a more complex and earthy flavor compared to regular ginger, and it's also less fibrous, making it easier to cook with.

Why Thai Ginger is a Popular Ingredient in Asian Cuisine

Thai ginger is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine because of its unique flavor and aroma, which complements various dishes. Its complex flavor profile is a mix of citrus, herbal, and floral notes, with a hint of spice and sweetness. Thai ginger is also known for its medicinal properties, which has made it a staple in traditional medicine practices throughout Asia.

Health Benefits of Using Fresh Thai Ginger

Overview of Nutritional Value

Thai ginger is a nutrient-dense ingredient that is rich in vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system, and vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision and skin. Thai ginger is also a good source of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Anti-Inflammatory and Digestive Benefits

Thai ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. It is also known to aid in digestion by stimulating the production of digestive juices and enzymes.

Antioxidant and Immunity Boosting Properties

Thai ginger is a natural antioxidant that can help protect the body from free radicals and oxidative damage. It is also known to have immunity-boosting properties and has been shown to help improve overall immune function.

Tips for Selecting High-Quality Thai Ginger

Appearance and Texture

When selecting Thai ginger, look for roots that are firm, smooth, and free of mold or soft spots. The skin should be thin and have a light brown or beige color. The flesh should be pale yellow and juicy.

Fragrance and Flavor

Thai ginger should have a strong and aromatic fragrance, with a spicy and floral scent. The flavor should be pungent and slightly sweet, with a hint of citrus and herbal notes. Taste a small piece before purchasing to ensure it meets your taste preferences.

Sustainability and Fair Trade

When buying Thai ginger, look for brands that are certified sustainable and fair trade. This ensures that the crops are grown in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, which benefits both farmers and the environment.

How to Store and Preserve Thai Ginger

Proper Storage Techniques

Thai ginger should be stored in a cool and dry place, such as the refrigerator or a cool pantry. It should be stored in a paper bag or wrapped in paper towel to help absorb excess moisture and prevent mold growth. Avoid storing it in plastic bags, as this can cause it to rot.

Prepping and Freezing Ginger

To prep Thai ginger, start by peeling off the skin with a vegetable peeler or the edge of a spoon. Then, slice or chop the ginger according to the recipe's instructions. Ginger can also be frozen to preserve its freshness. Simply peel and chop the ginger, then freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Ways to Use Leftover Ginger

Leftover Thai ginger can be used to make ginger tea or added to soups and stews for added flavor. It can also be grated and added to smoothies or salad dressings. For a quick snack, try pickling leftover ginger with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Ways to Use Thai Ginger in Restaurant Recipes

Thai ginger is a versatile ingredient that adds a unique flavor and aroma to any dish. Here are some popular and creative ways to use Thai ginger in your restaurant recipes:

Popular Dishes with Thai Ginger

- Thai green curry: Thai ginger adds a hint of spiciness and warmth to the creamy coconut curry.

- Tom yum soup: The tangy and spicy soup features the zingy flavor of Thai ginger and lemongrass.

- Pad Thai: Thai ginger enhances the savory and slightly sweet sauce of the classic noodle dish.

- Stir-fries: Thai ginger adds a subtle heat and crunch to vegetable, chicken, beef, or seafood stir-fries.

Thai Ginger in Beverages

Thai ginger can also add a refreshing and aromatic twist to your beverages, such as:

- Thai ginger iced tea: Add some grated Thai ginger to your sweet black tea to balance the flavors and add some health benefits.

- Thai ginger lemonade: Combine Thai ginger syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water to create a bright and spicy drink.

- Thai ginger beer: Mix Thai ginger syrup, lime juice, and carbonated water to create a non-alcoholic "beer" with a kick.

Other Creative Uses of Thai Ginger

Some chefs have experimented with using Thai ginger in unexpected ways, such as:

- Thai ginger ice cream: Infuse your homemade ice cream base with grated Thai ginger for a spicy and creamy treat.

- Thai ginger marinade: Combine Thai ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and chili flakes to create a bold and tangy marinade for meats or tofu.

- Thai ginger pickles: Ferment Thai ginger with vinegar, sugar, and spices to create a tangy and crunchy condiment.

Where to Find Fresh and Authentic Thai Ginger

To fully enjoy the flavors and benefits of Thai ginger, it's important to source it from reliable and quality suppliers. Here are some options for finding fresh and authentic Thai ginger:

Local Markets and Specialty Stores

Many Asian grocery stores and specialty markets carry fresh Thai ginger, either in whole or grated form. Check your local farmers' market or co-op for organic and locally grown Thai ginger.

Online Suppliers

Several online retailers specialize in delivering fresh and exotic produce to restaurants and businesses. Look for suppliers that source their Thai ginger directly from Thailand and ensure prompt and safe delivery.

Direct Sourcing and Relationships with Farmers

For larger restaurants or chains, establishing direct relationships with Thai ginger farmers or cooperatives can ensure a steady supply of high-quality and sustainable ginger. This approach also allows for fair trade practices and community support.

Conclusion: Why Thai Ginger is a Must-Have Ingredient in Your Restaurant

Beyond its distinctive taste and aroma, Thai ginger offers several benefits that can elevate your restaurant's offerings:

The Versatility and Uniqueness of Thai Ginger

Thai ginger's flavor profile is different from other types of ginger, with a spicier and more floral taste. This uniqueness can set your dishes apart from competitors and offer customers a new and exciting flavor experience.

The Health Benefits and Consumer Appeal

Thai ginger has been used traditionally for its medicinal properties, such as aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and boosting immunity. Incorporating Thai ginger into your menu can attract health-conscious customers and add to your restaurant's appeal.

Recipes Using Fresh Thai Ginger for Your Customers to Enjoy

Try these recipes that highlight the flavor and versatility of fresh Thai ginger:

Thai Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry


- 1 lb chicken breast, sliced

- 1 tbsp vegetable oil

- 1 cup mixed vegetables (such as bell pepper, broccoli, snow peas)

- 2 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 tbsp grated Thai ginger

- 2 tbsp soy sauce

- 1 tsp honey

- 1 tsp cornstarch

- Salt and pepper to taste

- Cooked rice for serving


1. In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, honey, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through.

3. Add the mixed vegetables and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until tender-crisp.

4. Add the garlic and Thai ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant.

5. Pour in the soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for another minute until thickened and well combined.

6. Serve over cooked rice.

Thai Ginger Iced Tea


- 4 black tea bags

- 4 cups boiling water

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 1/4 cup grated Thai ginger

- 1/4 cup lemon juice

- 4 cups cold water

- Ice cubes for serving


1. Steep the tea bags in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags.

2. Add the sugar and Thai ginger to the hot tea and stir until the sugar dissolves.

3. Cover and refrigerate the tea mixture for at least 1 hour or until cold.

4. Strain the tea into a pitcher and discard the grated ginger.

5. Add the lemon juice and cold water and stir well.

6. Pour over ice cubes and garnish with lemon slices or fresh mint leaves.

Spicy Thai Ginger Pork Noodles


- 8 oz rice noodles

- 1 tbsp vegetable oil

- 1 lb ground pork

- 1 onion, chopped

- 6 garlic cloves, minced

- 2 tbsp grated Thai ginger

- 1 tbsp soy sauce

- 1 tbsp fish sauce

- 1 tbsp brown sugar

- 1 tbsp chili flakes

- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

- Lime wedges for serving


1. Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until browned and cooked through.

3. Add the onion, garlic, and Thai ginger and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant.

4. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili flakes.

5. Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until well combined.

6. Add the cooked rice noodles and chopped basil leaves to the skillet. Stir-fry for another minute until heated through and well coated with the sauce.

7. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over the noodles. Incorporating fresh and authentic Thai ginger in your restaurant can elevate your dishes to a whole new level. Not only does it add unique flavor and aroma, but it also brings a variety of health benefits to your customers. As you embark on your journey to find the best quality Thai ginger, we hope this article provided you with valuable insights, tips, and recipes to help you get started. So go ahead and give your customers the authentic Thai cuisine experience they deserve.


Where can I find fresh Thai ginger?

You can find fresh Thai ginger at your local markets and specialty stores that sell Asian ingredients. You can also purchase it online or directly from farmers through various websites.

What are some creative ways to use Thai ginger in my recipes?

Aside from traditional Thai dishes, Thai ginger can be used in various recipes such as salads, marinades, dressings, and even cocktails. Its unique flavor can add a zesty and fresh taste to any dish.

How long can I store fresh Thai ginger?

You can store fresh Thai ginger for up to two to three weeks in the refrigerator. To extend its shelf life, you can also freeze it for up to six months.

What are the health benefits of using fresh Thai ginger in my dishes?

Fresh Thai ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits, which can help soothe upset stomachs and reduce inflammation in the body. It is also rich in antioxidants and can boost the immune system, making it a healthy addition to any dish.

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