Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Kai-lan, also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, is a slightly bitter 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. As the Alboglabra group of ''Brassica oleracea'', kai-lan is of the same species of plant as broccoli and kale. Its flavor is very similar to that of broccoli, though not identical, being a bit sweeter.

''Kai-lan'' is eaten widely in Chinese cuisine, and especially in Cantonese cuisine. Common preparations include kai-lan with ginger and garlic, and kai-lan served with oyster sauce. Unlike broccoli, where only the flowering parts are normally eaten, with kai-lan the leaves and stems are eaten as well, normally sliced into bits the proper size and shape to be eaten with chopsticks. It is also common in Vietnamese cuisine, where it is called ''c?i làn'' or ''c?i r?''.

The name kai-lan and its American version, gai-lan, come from . It is pronounced jiè-lán in .


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