Gai lan 芥蘭

Gai lan belongs to the Brassicaceae family amongst other well-known species such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, rapeseed. The word Brassicaceae describes the arrangement of the four petals of mustard flowers resembling a cross. If you have either tasted gai lan long before pesticides and herbicides became so cheap, or you are able to grow your own, or you have access to good quality organic gai lan, you will notice a distinctive mustardy flavour together with a hint of bitterness from both the leaves and the stems. That is evidence that gai lan belongs to the Brassicaceae family. The gai lan bought from the market these days may not be so flavourful anymore. All there is to the vegetable is the crunch, the fiber, and a kind of chemical taste.