Gai lan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gai lan
Gai lan.jpg
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 Pinyinjièlán
Jyutpinggaai3 laan4*2
Literal meaningmustard orchid
Burmese name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetcải làn or cải rổ
Thai name
Thaiคะน้า [kʰā.náː]

Gai lan or kai-lan (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra)[1] is the Cantonese name for Chinese broccoli[2] 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 florets similar to (but much smaller than) broccoli. Another Brassica oleracea cultivar, gai lan is in the group alboglabra (from Latin albus "white" and glabrus "hairless"). When gone to flower, its white blossoms resemble that of its cousin Matthiola incana or Hoary Stock. The flavor is very similar to that of broccoli, but slightly more bitter (think a tad less bitter than broccoli raab--aka rapini). It is also noticeably stronger than broccoli.


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 just as white flowers start to 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.[4]

See also[edit]


  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.
  4. ^ Hung, Melissa (2019-10-31). "When authenticity means a heaping plate of Tex-Mex". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-11-05.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Kai-lan at Wikimedia Commons