Chinese Kale

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Chinese kale (or Chinese broccoli), Brassica oleracea var alboglabra, is distinguished by its white flowers and a white bloom on the leaves, which are borne on thick, smooth stems.

The leaves have a stronger flavour than Chinese flowering cabbage (see chinese cabbage), but the peeled stalks are a delicacy. When young and tender (in bud but not in flower), Chinese kale may be cooked whole by boiling or steaming, like broccoli. Slightly older shoots have a better flavour, but their stems may need peeling and chopping. The latter is anyway necessary before stir-frying, the usual Chinese method of cooking this vegetable.