Store fresh turmeric and galangal in your refrigerator. For best shelf life turmeric should be wrapped in paper towels and kept in a zip-top bag.
For longer-term storage, galangal can be frozen. Freezing galangal may degrade its texture, making it more woody.
Turmeric: 2-3 weeks
Galangal: 1 week refrigerated, longer frozen.
Fresh turmeric and galangal can be used together or separately.
Fresh Turmeric can be grated like you would ginger to season dishes or peeled, chopped and simmered or stir fried for use as a vegetable.
Use fresh turmeric in curries, stews, soups, couscous and stir fries. Though it is most commonly found in savory applications, there are some Southeast Asian sweets that include turmeric. It can also be steeped in hot water with or without other ingredients to make tea (try ginger, galangal or lemongrass).
Pair turmeric with ingredients like chilies, citrus fruit, fresh herbs (lemongrass, mint, cilantro), cardamom, kefir lime leaves, lentils, squash, poultry, or seafood.
Fresh turmeric will attempt to dye almost anything it comes into contact with yellow, so avoid using wooden utensils and consider wearing gloves. Any yellow color should eventually fade from most dyed items with repeated washing.
Fresh Galangal can usually be used as you would fresh ginger, and can be substituted for ginger in most recipes to impart a more peppery flavor. It is often used in Southeast Asian soups, stir fries and curries. In addition to cooked applications, it can be finely grated for use in salads.
Fresh galangal pairs well with flavors like chili peppers (particularly Thai chilies & japones chilies), lemongrass, fish sauce, lime juice, fresh cilantro and coconut milk.