What is Kai Lan?
Kai Lan (Brassica alboglabra), also commonly known as "Chinese Broccoli", is part of the mustard family, similar to that of the European Broccoli. The youngest plant parts are preferred, as they are the sweetest and most tender part of the plant. Kai Lan can be eaten fresh or boiled, steamed or fried.
What is Kai Lan? It is a stout plant, with most varieties growing to about 18inc (45cm) when mature. It has flat and broad leaves, and stalks that are thick and sturdy. Unlike their European counterparts, the Chinese Broccoli has loose buds that do not form a part of a large head. The flower stems are chunky, succulent and very smooth on average 1/2 to 3/4 in (1-2cm) in diameter. The whole flowering shoot is much "meatier" then the Choi Sum (Choy Sum) shoots.
Kai Lan is essentially green or a distinct blue-green, although most varieties have a slight grey, waxy outer look. Depending on the variety they can be dull or glossy, smooth or wrinkled, round or narrow and pointed.
Other Kai Lan Names
Asian Broccoli, Chinese Kale, Jie Lan, Gai Lan and leaf broccoli.
Where to buy Kai Lan?
Kai Lan can be found at most specialist Oriental outlets. For trade sales enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01945 583033.
Storing Kai Lan
Kai Lan should be stored in a plastic bag in cold refrigeration, and isolated in the crisper drawer with other cold-storage vegetables.
How To Cook & Prepare Kai Lan
Kai Lan is generally cooked in much the same way as Choi Sum (Choy Sum) usually stir-fried, either on its own or with meat and prawns.
Try our Kai Lan Recipes: Noodles with garlic beef and Chinese broccoli (Kai Lan) or Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce.
See also Kai Choi >>