Galangal is a plant in the ginger family, with culinary and medicinal uses originating in Indonesia. They are used in various Asian cuisines like Thai and Lao tom yum and tom kha gai soups, Vietnamese Hu? cuisine (tré) and throughout Indonesian cuisine in soto. Galangal is related to and resembles ginger. While ginger tastes a little like galangal, most cooks who use both would never substitute one for the other and expect the same flavor.