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Gai lan or kai-lan (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra)[1] is the Cantonese name and jie lan is the Mandarin name for a vegetable that is also known as Chinese broccoli [2] or Chinese kale. It is a leaf vegetable with thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves with thick stems, and flower heads similar to but much smaller than broccoli, another Brassica oleracea cultivar, but gai lan is in the group alboglabra (from Latin albus "white" and glabrus "hairless"). Its flavor is very similar to that of broccoli, but slightly more bitter. It is also noticeably stronger.

Gai lan
Gai lan
SpeciesBrassica oleracea
Cultivar groupAlboglabra Group
Gai lan
Gai lan (Chinese characters).svg
"Gai lan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese芥蘭
Simplified Chinese芥兰
Hanyu Pinyinjièlàn
Jyutpinggaai3 laan4*2
Literal meaningmustard orchid
Burmese name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetcải làn or cải rổ
Thai name
Thaiคะน้า  [kʰā.náː]



Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and gai lan, produced by Mann Packing Company, Inc.[3]


Gai lan can be sown in late summer for early-winter harvesting. Seedlings planted in autumn will last all winter.[citation needed] As with other plants, Gai Lan should be harvested and consumed before the yellow flowers bloom as the stems can become woody and tough when the plant bolts.


Gai lan is eaten widely in Chinese cuisine, Common preparations include gai lan stir-fried with ginger and garlic, and boiled or steamed and served with oyster sauce. It is also common in Vietnamese, Burmese and Thai cuisine.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Brassica oleracea L. var. alboglabra (L. H. Bailey) Musil". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  2. ^ Patrick J. Cummings; Hans-Georg Wolf (2011). A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant Harbor. Hong Kong University Press. p. 62. ISBN 9789888083305.
  3. ^ "Broccolini". Washington State University. Retrieved 2018-08-14.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Kai-lan at Wikimedia Commons