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Krachai (or Gkrachai) (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, June 16th, 2010

Lesser Ginger or “Rhizome”

Lesser Ginger

Lesser Ginger – Krachai (or Gkrachai)

Lesser Ginger, sometimes labeled “Rhizome” and called krachai (or gkrachai), in Thai, is one of the lesser-known Thai ingredients and can be hard to find.

We’re very lucky in the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in Oakland. We have fabulous Southeast Asian markets where we can get nearly any Thai ingredient we want. There are, however, a few that we simply can not obtain fresh.

We can this rhizome frozen (Kasma’s second preferred form) or in brine but not fresh. It’s an essential ingredient is many Thai salads and the occasional stir-fry (such as Sizzling Stir-fried Squid (Bplah Meuk Pad Chah)).

Contrast this with nearly any open-air Thai market, where you come across fabulously fresh krachai, such as the picture above, which was taken in the morning market in Sukhothai.

The other ingredient I regret the most is fresh green peppercorns: it’s not used in a lot of Thai dishes but makes such a difference in those dishes! (For instance, see Spicy Southern-Style Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sataw or Fava Beans (Gung Pad Sataw)).

Check out Kasma’s Lesser Ginger – (gkrachai).

Looking for a Thai market in the S.F. Bay Area? Check out our S.F. Bay Area Market Listing.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

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