The Truth About Gai Lan

Kai-lan (also written as gai-lan) is the Cantonese name for a vegetable that is also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale.  Gai lan has dark green leaves, slender stalks and small white flowers. It is leafier, thinner and sharper in flavor than traditional green broccoli.

Gai Lan photo
photo via Melissas.com


Both Broccoli and Gai-Lan originated from the species, Brassica oleracea, which is the species of plant that includes many common foods as cultivars, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, savoy, kohlrabi and Chinese kale.  Brassica oleracea is native to coastal southern and western Europe. Its tolerance of salt and lime and its intolerance of competition from other plants typically restrict its natural occurrence to limestone sea cliffs, like the chalk cliffs on both sides of the English Channel. [1]
-----

What you need to know about Gai Lan [2]:


Buying and Storing Gai Lan
Choose heads with full, dark green leaves and fresh stalks. Avoid any brown spots which may indicate decay.

How to Store Gai Lan
Store unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Benefits of Gai Lan
Fat free, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, low in sodium, an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and a good source of iron and calcium
-----

How is Gai Lan different from Broccoli?  

We asked Martin Yan and this is what he had to say...
-----

Gai Lan recipe ideas:

Wonton Soup with Gai Lan recipe photo
Wonton Soup with Gai Lan

Garlicky Coconut Gai Lan recipe photo
Garlicky Coconut Gai Lan 

GAI LAN WITH TANGERINE GLAZED CHICKEN recipe photo
GAI LAN WITH TANGERINE GLAZED CHICKEN


Sources:
[1]  Snogerup, S., Gustafsson, M., & Von Bothmer, R. (1990). Brassica sect. Brassica (Brassicaceae) I. Taxonomy and variation. Willdenowia, 271-365

[2]  Melissa's Great Book of Produce, Page 188-189

Popular Posts