Kai-lan, gai-lan, Chinese broccoli, Brassica alboglabra Bailey
Chinese kale is a leaf vegetable featuring thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves with thick stems and a small number of tiny 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 slightly more bitter. It is also noticeably stronger. Broccolini is a hybrid between broccoli and kai-lan, produced by Mann Packing Company, Inc.
Chinese kale is eaten widely in Chinese 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.
Chinese kale can be sown in late summer for early-winter harvesting. Seedlings planted in autumn will last all winter.