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Kencur - fresh or dried - near Berkeley

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Kencur (kaempferia galanga) is a rhizome related to ginger (but tasting NOTHING like) that is used in Indonesian cooking. By other names it is used in other Southeast Asian cuisines. A trip to 99 Ranch in El Cerrito didn't turn any up. Any ideas where to find some?

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  1. I have bought some from New May Wah in SF's richmond district, so i guess not anywhere near Berkeley. But a pretty decent place to find things like Weissman and other essentials for Indonesian cooking/baking. (what are you making with kencur?)

    1. Berkeley Bowl sometimes has something that's not ginger or galangal, but I'm not sure it's that.

      You might ask at Jayakarta if they know where to get it.

      Dried, maybe a Chinese herbalist.

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      Berkeley Bowl
      2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

      Jayakarta Restaurant
      2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

      1. Galangal is avaiable at Monterey Market sometimes. I think that there must be a season for it. I am not sure that this is what you are looking for since it has a ginger like flavor but is somewhat different. NOTHING like it is not the way I would describe it. It is kept by the young ginger when they have it.

        4 Replies
        1. re: wally

          Galangal, which tastes nothing like ginger to me, is relatively easy to find these days. They have it at the Berkeley Bowl, at Ranch 99, other places.

          Kencur, although related, tastes like neither. But thanks for reminding me of the Monterey Market. I don't go there often enough.

          Anyone know if there a shop in Berkeley/Oakland that specializes in Thai ingredients? I don't know where since the Tuk Tuk Market on University closed.

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          Berkeley Bowl
          2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

          1. re: Lilinah

            Have you tried Sontepheap Market in Oakland. It's amazing the amount of good things they have in such a small space and a staff that can point you to what you want.

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            Sontepheap Market
            1400 14th Ave, Oakland, CA

            1. re: Lilinah

              There's a Thai store at 1704 University in Berkeley. When I looked a few years ago they had no produce, but somebody told me recently that they do. Maybe they added those when Tuk Tuk closed. Have not gone by to check.

              Sontepheap has a lot of unusual stuff. Lao Market's worth checking, too.

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              Lao Market
              1619 International Blvd, Oakland, CA 94606

              Thailand Grocery
              1704 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Just peeked in to the Thai Market and the place appeared to have few of the shelves filled and no apparent produce, at least this morning.

          2. Hi @Lilinah, have you found any kencur around the area? I grew up in Indonesia and have been looking for this darn ingredients for the longest time. It'd be lovely to make some peanut sauce to accompany my gado-gado/ketoprak.