Gai lan

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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
Vietnamesecải làn or cải rổ
Thai name
Thaiคะน้า [kʰā.náː]

Gai lan, kai-lan, Chinese broccoli,[1] Chinese kale, or jie lan (Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra)[2] 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. It is also noticeably stronger than broccoli.


Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and gai lan.[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 brassicas, gai lan is harvested and consumed just as its 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. ^ 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.
  2. ^ "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.
  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 Gai lan at Wikimedia Commons