’Chinese broccoli” (also “Chinese kale") is the Americanized name of “kai-lan” (also “gai-lohn,” “gai-lon” and “gai-lan"). The plant has flat leaves, long stems, and tiny flower heads. Although Chinese broccoli was rarely seen in most of the United States before the 1980s, the vegetable is part of Cantonese cuisine and has long been available in New York’s Chinatown.
“Chinese broccoli (gai lan)” has been cited in print since at least 1938.
Kai-lan, also known as Chinese broccoli, is a leaf vegetable featuring thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves with thick stems and a small number of tiny, almost vestigial flower heads similar to those of broccoli. Broccoli and kai-lan belong to the same species Brassica oleracea, but kai-lan is in the group alboglabra [Latin albus+glabrus white and hairless]. Its flavor is very similar to that of broccoli, but slighty more bitter. It is also noticeably stronger. Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and kai-lan, produced by Mann Packing Company, Inc.
Kai-lan is eaten widely in Chinese cuisine, and especially in Cantonese cuisine. Common preparations include kai-lan stir-fried with ginger and garlic, and boiled or steamed and served with oyster sauce. It is also common in Vietnamese cuisine, Myanmar and Thai cuisine.
Cook at Home in Chinese
By Henry Low
New York, NY: Macmillan
BEEF WITH CHINESE BROCCOLI
Gai Lan Ngow Yuk
1 lb. Chinese broccoli (gai lan)
The Vegetable, Fruit & Nut Book:
Secrets of the Seed
By Barbara Friedlander
New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap
Gai-Lon is Chinese broccoli. Unlike common broccoli, it has more leaf than flower. It can be recognized by its long stem, at the end of which are long light-green leaves and small flower buds.
New York’s Chinese Restaurants
By Stan Miller; et al
New York, NY: Atheneum
Beef with Chinese Broccoli. The broccoli here is the rabe-like variety, its toughness suggesting excessive age.
25 February 1982, San Diego (CA) Union, “In China, It’s The Cuisine That Spices Life,” pg. Food-2, col. 3:
Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lohn): This vegetable, often called Chinese kale, is similar to Italian broccoli. It has sturdy green stalks, large flat green leaves, and fewer flowers than regular broccoli. Both the stalks and leaves are delicious.
Specialty and Minor Crops Handbook (Second Edition)
By the University of California, Davis. Small Farm Center.; University of California (System). Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Oakland, CA: Available from University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Communications Services—Publications
Chinese Broccoli, Kailan. Gai-lohn, Chinese Kale
Brassica oleracea Alboglabra group is a member of the Brassicaceae (mustard) family. Varieties are usually listed as Gai-lon (or Gai-lohn), Kailan, Chinese Broccoli, or Chinese Kale.
The Chinese broccoli plant resembles our more familiar broccoli, except that the leaves are a bit broader, the stems are longer and the head is much smaller. Flowers form first in diminutive heads, and then elongate rapidly into stalks bearing yellow or whie flowers.
Chinese broccoli can be used in stir-fried and other cooked dishes.
The Chinese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with Over 200 Easy and Authentic Recipes
By Deh-Ta Hsiung
New York, NY: St Martin’s Press
(GAI LAN) Brassica aiboglabra
Broccoli is one of the oldest recorded brassicas—it was eaten in Ancient Greece over two thousand years ago. Not everyone realizes that broccoli is one of the healthiest as well as one of the most versatile and delicious vegetables around.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Clean
By Diane A. Welland
New York, NY: Alpha Books (Penguin Books)
Chinese broccoli, known as Gai Lan and Chinese kale, has long dark green leaves, small florets, and long green stems. It is milder and sweeterthan regular broccoli.
New York City • Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, October 16, 2012 • Permalink
Broccoli is my favorite vegetable. Its nice that I was able to learn its Chinese translation.