Gai lan is a well-liked cabbage vegetable native to mainland China. It is without doubt one of the hottest leafy greens discovered at native markets throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia.

At this time, together with related seasonal greens corresponding to choy sum (Chinese language flowering broccoli), komatsuna, tatsoi, and many others., it’s also discovered at specialty grocers and Asian markets in Europe, Australia, and america.

Chinese language broccoli is often grown as a fall, winter, or early spring crop. Recent greens start arriving at markets, peaking from fall by spring. It may be grown year-round in greenhouse observe.

Harvest gai lan earlier than the flowers open, though a couple of open flowers will not lower the standard of the vegetable.

Harvest stalks within the early morning to attenuate water stress, and tie them into bunches of 5 to 7 vegetation. The principle stem must be 1.5-2.0 cm vast on the base and 4-6 inches lengthy.

Search for contemporary greens that includes crispy, pale inexperienced stems and deep blue-green leaves. A number of open flowers will not lower the standard of the vegetable. Keep away from stems with wilt, noticed or discolored leaves, and bolted florets.


Chinese language broccoli experiences a fast lack of moisture, given the big floor space of its leaves, if saved uncovered to greater temperatures. At house, retailer the leaves within the fridge quickly after shopping for. Place them inside a breathable polythene bag in a crisper drawer. Keep a relative humidity of 95-100%.

Though they are often saved for as much as 3 days in chilly storage, contemporary Chinese language broccoli greens must be used as quickly as doable to acquire most dietary advantages.

Preparation and Serving Strategies

Chinese language broccoli options very prominently in Cantonese, Thai, Malay, Korean, and Vietnamese cooking. Recent leaves, flower buds, and stems are utilized in quite a lot of cuisines throughout East Asia and within the U.S.

Earlier than cooking, wash the leaves completely in clear working water to take away sand or any insecticide residues.

Peel stalks which are greater than 1/2-inch in diameter, then halve lengthwise. Chop the stalks and leaves into 2.5-inch lengthy items, preserving the stalk ends separate from the leaves.

Tender leaves and flower ideas of Gai Lan may be consumed uncooked. However bigger leaves and stems impart a barely bitter style and are often loved stir-fried, boiled, blanched, braised, or steamed. Its pungent, mustardy taste is considerably toned down if cooked with aromatics or gentle sauces to assist steadiness out the flavour.

Gai Lan enhances properly with sauces corresponding to garlic, oyster, or soy. It mixes properly with spices like ginger, meats corresponding to pork and beef, fish, mushrooms, pasta, rice, pine nuts, bell pepper, and basil.

Listed below are some serving ideas:

Gai lan (stir-fry Chinese broccoli/kale)
Gai lan (stir-fry Chinese language broccoli/kale). Courtesy: Ewan Munro
  • Recent tender gai lan is loved uncooked in salads, combined with different seasonal greens and greens.

  • Chinese language broccoli could also be preserved as a pickled vegetable (Gat kimchi 갓김치), which is a well-liked recipe in Korea and China. It may be substituted for choy sum, broccolini, bok choy, and many others., for a extra extremely flavored model of kimchi.

  • It enhances properly when added to soups and stews or braised with fragrant spices corresponding to garlic, star anise, garlic, and scallions.

  • The leaves and stems may be stir-fried with different greens, combined into noodle soups, or frivolously sautéed and served with savory principal dishes.

  • They may also be used as a wrap for cooked meats, herbs, and sauces, combined into pot pies, or blended into inexperienced juices and smoothies.

Security profile

  • Reheating Gai lan leftovers could trigger the conversion of nitrates to nitrites and nitrosamines by sure micro organism that thrive on ready nitrate-rich meals, corresponding to Gai lan, mustard, spinach, and lots of different inexperienced greens. These toxic compounds could show dangerous to well being.

  • Phytates and dietary fiber current in Chinese language kale could intervene with the bioavailability of iron, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Chinese language broccoli, being a Brassica household vegetable, comprises oxalic acid, a naturally occurring substance present in some greens that will crystallize as oxalate stones within the urinary tract in some individuals. Folks with identified oxalate urinary tract stones are suggested to keep away from consuming greens belonging to the Crucifer household. Satisfactory consumption of water is, due to this fact, crucial to keep up regular urine output.

  • Chinese language broccoli may include goitrogens which can intervene with thyroid hormone manufacturing and may trigger thyroxin hormone deficiency in people with thyroid dysfunction.

(Medical Disclaimer: The knowledge and reference guides on this web site are supposed solely for the final data of the reader. It’s not for use to diagnose well being issues or for remedy functions. It’s not an alternative choice to medical care supplied by a licensed and certified well being skilled. Please seek the advice of your well being care supplier for any recommendation on medicines.)

You might also wish to learn ≻≻

≺≺ Again to Greens from Chinese language broccoli. Go to right here for a powerful checklist of greens with full illustrations of their vitamin information and well being advantages.

≺≺ Again to Dwelling web page.

Additional studying:

  1. Stanford Faculty of Medication Most cancers data Web page- Vitamin to Scale back Most cancers Danger (Hyperlink opens in new window).

  2. USDA Nationwide Nutrient Database.

  3. Chinese language Kale-College of Guam.-PDF.

  4. Kitazawa Seed Firm (Hyperlink opens in new window).

  5. Specialty Produce- Gai lan (Hyperlink opens in new window).

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