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Gai lan or kai-lan (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra) is the Cantonese name for Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale; jie lan is its Mandarin name. 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.
|Cultivar group||Alboglabra Group|
"Gai lan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
|Literal meaning||mustard orchid|
|Vietnamese alphabet||cải làn or cải rổ|
Gai lan can be sown in late summer for early-winter harvesting. Seedlings planted in autumn will last all winter. 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.
In Americanized Chinese food, gai lan was frequently replaced by broccoli, when gai lan was not available.
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- 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.
- "Broccolini". Washington State University. Retrieved 2018-08-14.
- Hung, Melissa (2019-10-31). "When authenticity means a heaping plate of Tex-Mex". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
- "Chinese Kale (Gai Lan, Chinese Broccoli)". Evergreen Seeds. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- Media related to Kai-lan at Wikimedia Commons