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Torch Ginger or Ginger Flower
by Chef Adam

Malay - Bunga Kantan
Chinese - Laksa Bua
Thai - Dok King, Kaalaa

Through my travels, I have only found this "gift of the gods" in Malaysia and Singapore. The fragrant petals of this edible "flower" are not only amazing but enhances food and flavors to the max.

Said to originate in Indonesia and Malaysia, both countries use it in various ways. In Thailand I have never seen it but heard that they serve the young shoots with chili paste dip. Any cooks that I have worked with from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar have also said that they don't use it in their cuisine but are blown away when exposed to it's aroma.

A potent ginger and strong aroma pairs well with most asian foods including sauces, dips and salads. Like fresh coriander (cilantro), I prefer not to cook it but to add to mixtures last minute for fragrance or to blend it into dressings for flavor. It must be sliced thinly, shredded or even minced or pureed or ground in order for it to be consumed. Using it in marinades also improves dishes.

This ginger flower has impressed my friends from all over Asia and the world and I always bring a kilo or two with when I come from Malaysia or Singapore. Next time in the market, don't pass it up. Buy a bulb or two and try it out!!!

Enjoy,
Chef Adam


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