English Name: CHINESE BROCCOLI
Asian Name: Gai Lohn, kaai laan tsoi, gai lan, gai lum
Latin Name: Brassica alboglabra bailey
- Chinese Broccoli is a fast growing plant with a single fleshy stem with dark green rounded leaves on long stems.
- The plants will start to flower when there are approximately ten leaves present.
- This broccoli is a perennial but is typically grown as an annual.
- There is a number of cultivars available with varying stem length and colour.
- If you cut the centre stem as the first harvest, this will allow sideshoots to develop, increasing the harvesting potential.
- Harvest the flower heads complete with a small amount of stem and 3 to 4 young leaves, just as the flowers begin to open. Leave other growth shoots on the plants so future harvests can be possible.
- For the best flavoured florets, harvest the flowers well before the buds open.
- The more regularly the flowers are harvested, the more that the plant will produce.
- Chinese broccoli grows best in fertile, well-drained soil, rich in organic matter.
- The plants can tolerate some frost, allowing them to be grown in most areas of Australia.
- When planting, Chinese Broccoli should not be spaced too far apart as this will cause the stems to thicken and toughen.
- Keep well watered during dry weather.
- You can use the broccoli steamed, braised, boiled or in stir-fries.
- Try serving the Chinese Broccoli as a side dish with a small amount of oyster sauce.
- Chinese Broccoli is useful as a flavour enhancer in soups, noodle and stir-fry dishes.
- The flower stalk, unopened flower buds and tender leaves can all be used, whole or chopped.