Inventory, 30 lbs : 11.24
This item was last sold on : 09/24/23
Gai Lan can vary in size and shape, depending on the variety, but typically bears long, fleshy stalks with wide and flat leaves, averaging twenty centers in length. The thick stems are pale green, smooth, and crunchy, and the broad, variegated, blue-green to dark green, waxy leaves are semi-glossy with prominent veining. As the plant matures, it develops small, edible flower buds that will eventually open and bloom white flowers, and the entire plant is harvested when young for its crisp and tender consistency. Gai Lan has a similar, but slightly stronger flavor to broccoli and is bitter-sweet with a green, vegetal flavor.
Gai Lan is available year-round.
Gai Lan, botanically classified as Brassica oleracea var. alboglabra, are thick-stemmed plants that are members of the Brassicaceae family along with kale, collard greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. Also known as Kai Lan in Cantonese, Chinese Kale and Chinese Broccoli in English, and Jie Lan in Mandarin, there are many different varieties of Gai Lan sold through fresh markets, specialty grocers, and seed catalogs. Gai Lan is one of the most popular vegetables found across Asia and is favored for its thick, tender stems and bitter-sweet flavor. All parts of the plant, including the leaves, stems, flower buds, and flowers are edible, and Gai Lan is primarily utilized in Asian stir-fries, soups, and as a side dish.
Gai Lan is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, calcium, and folate. It also contains some antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lutein, and vitamins K and B9.
Gai Lan can be consumed raw, but it has a slightly bitter taste and is more commonly cooked with aromatics or light sauces to help balance out the flavor. Associated with Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Burmese cooking, Gai Lan can be stir-fried, boiled, blanched, braised, or steamed. The leaves and stems can be stir-fried with other vegetables, mixed into noodle soups, or lightly sautéed and served with savory main dishes. The greens can also be used as a wrap for cooked meats, herbs, and sauces, mixed into pot pies, or blended into green juices and smoothies. Gai Lan pairs well with sauces such as oyster or soy, garlic, ginger, meats such as pork belly and beef, fish such as mahi-mahi and salmon, mushrooms, pasta, rice, walnuts, red pepper, and basil. Fresh leaves and stems will keep 4-7 days when stored unwashed, in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Gai Lan can also be blanched and stored in the freezer for up to one year.
In China, Gai Lan is one of the most commonly consumed table vegetables, but it is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to help treat anemia, soothe sore throats, and reduce phlegm. In Chinese medicine, five elements are used to describe the organs in the body, including water, wood, metal, fire, and earth that need to remain in balance. Gai Lan is believed to help the fire organs, which consist mainly of the heart and small intestine, to function correctly. The bitter flavor of Gai Lan is believed to help increase digestion and also detox the body.
Gai Lan is believed to be native to China and has been cultivated since ancient times. As cultivation increased, non-heading cabbages were heavily grown in China, and many new varieties were created and introduced into neighboring countries in Asia. Today Gai Lan is one of the most popular vegetables found at local markets across Asia and Southeast Asia, and it can also be found at specialty grocers and Asian markets in Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Gai Lan. One is easiest, three is harder.
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