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2006-09-09

>torch ginger

The pretty pink bud of torch ginger, bunga kantan in Malay (botanical name Phaeomeria speciosa or Etlingera elatior), is not only improbably beautiful, it is also edible. Not only edible, it is indispensable in one version of Malaysian dish Penang Laksa.

There is no substitute for this bud, and I can’t ever find the authentic Penang (asam) Laksa anywhere in America, even in Vancouver.

Chopped torch ginger can be added to a salad to impart an inimitable flavor. Torch ginger, with a name people could easily remember, will become as much a household name as kaffir lime has.

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