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Torch Ginger Bud

Torch Ginger BudNutritionSubstitutionMore Herbs & SpicesCookbooks


The long-stemmed bud of the ginger flower looks spear-like before it blossoms into a waxy-petaled ginger flower, its pale pinky-red inflorescence resembling a torch. Though technically a herb, this member of the perennial ginger family is often referred to as a spice. Due to the waxiness of the petals the flower is not very aromatic, but when cut, the bud releases an aromatic, floral, grassy fragrance with citrus notes and a hint of pepper.

The showy pink flowers are used in decorative arrangements while the flower buds are an important ingredient in the Nonya dish laksa.

The showy pink flowers are used in decorative arrangements while the flower buds are an important ingredient in the Nonya dish laksa.

Using Torch Ginger Buds

The ginger bud can be thinly shredded and used in salads and sauces. It is an indispensable ingredient in Nyonya (Chinese-Malay) cuisine, where it is halved lengthwise and used in fish-based curries and soups to mask strong fishy tastes, as in the famous Penang Asam Laksa – a sour, fish-based noodle soup notably different from the Singaporean laksa due to the absence of coconut milk.

In Karo, it is known as asam cekala (asam meaning ‘sour’), and the flower buds, but more importantly the ripe seed pods, which are packed with small black seeds, are an essential ingredient of the Karo version of sayur asam, and are particularly suited to cooking fresh fish.

In North Sumatra, the flower buds are used for a dish called arsik ikan mas (Andaliman/Szechuan pepper Spiced Carp)

It is known in Indonesian as bunga kecombrang or honje, Malay as bunga kantan and Thai as ดาหลา daalaa. In Thailand it is eaten in a kind of Thai salad preparation.The long-stemmed bud of the ginger flower looks spear-like before it blossoms into a waxy-petaled ginger flower, its pale pinky-red inflorescence resembling a torch. Though technically a herb, this member of the perennial ginger family is often referred to as a spice. Due to the waxiness of the petals the flower is not very aromatic, but when cut, the bud releases an aromatic, floral, grassy fragrance with citrus notes and a hint of pepper.


  • Sorry, we have not been able to source any reliable nutritional data for Torch Ginger Bud

Availability and Substitutes in Australia

  • Originally grown in South East Asia, but now also in the North of Australia and is used primarily in Australia as a cut flower.
  • Asian markets may stock fresh buds however your most likely source is in the frozen section.
  • There really isn’t any good substitute for them, but you might try Myōga (Japanese ginger)
  • Fresh ginger will not replace the flavour or texture


When making substitutions in baking and cooking, you may end up with a somewhat different product. The taste, moisture content, texture and weight of a product can be affected by changing ingredients.





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