Now my torch ginger flower is fully opened so I took the opportunity to photograph it.
According to wikipedia, Etlingera elatior or Torch Ginger is also known as Ginger Flower, Red Ginger Lily, Torch Lily, Wild Ginger, Combrang, Bunga Siantan, Philippine Wax Flower, Xiang Bao Jiaing, Indonesian Tall Ginger, Boca de Dragón, Rose de Porcelaine and Porcelain Rose. In Malaysia, we call it bunga kantan.
We usually cut off the flowers during the budding stage for use in cooking, so they 'disappear' before they can fully open.
This a cut cross-section of the flower bud that we use in nyonya or peranakan cooking. It is also used to cook assam laksa (Malay style) and tom yam (Thai style). Some dishes include:
a) Thai tom yam soup - finely chopped as garnishing or whole flower bud is crushed and cooked
b) Assam laksa - as garnishing or crushed and cooked.
c) Perut ikan (pickled fish tripe soup)
d) Deep fried chicken (e.g. boxing chicken) - finely chopped flower bud is used as marinade
e) Rojak (a mixed fruits and vegetable dish) - as garnishing
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