Ginger is used widely throughout SE asia as a seasoning (and medicine). Mature ginger has a thin, brown skin that is removed before slicing or grating. Mature ginger is rather fibrous, has a strong flavor, and can be quite "hot". Ginger is added to many dishes as a flavoring.
Young ginger has a delicate thin skin which allows the underlying yellow color to show through, and green stems. The flavor is milder and the texture is less fibrous than mature ginger. It is often pickled or used in marinades.
There are several types of ginger available in SE asia. One common example is Thai ginger, which is also available in neighboring countries like Laos. It has a different taste, which we found quite appealing.
Market and storage tips Look for plump but firm pieces of ginger root, light tan in color, with a tight skin. Wrinkled skin indicates dryness and age. Keeps well for several weeks in the refrigerator. Or, store peeled ginger for months in a jar covered with sherry.