Market on Kern: The Mighty Kai-lan

Posted by Kim Leonard

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About a month before The Market on Kern was set to open I received a call. Well, I receive a lot of calls because, you know, totes popular. This one stood out from the usual calls we recive- it was someone who was very specifically looking for Chinese Broccoli, or Kai-lan.  I let her know that we definitely would have it at the Market on Kern if she could just wait a few more weeks and she got really super excited.

Because Kai-lan is flipping awesome.  My first experience with it was at a roadside stand. It looked like 3 veggies in one to me- broccoli, kale and a little bit like it might be an asparagus’ cousin with the long stocks. I asked what it was and how to prepare it and went home with a bunch in my hot little hand. It was love at first bite. Kai-lan tastes pretty green and has a slightly bitter/spicy aftertaste. And of course, with anything that green, you know it has to be good for you- check out the nutritional nitty gritty here.

I picked up a bunch at the Thao Produce booth yesterday- it was Market on Kern’s first day back after what i’m just going to refer to as “winter break”. I had semi-big plans to comb Pinterest for a recipe and try something new but after a whole day in the sun at the Market i decided to do the easy thing- I asked my husband to do a tofu stir-fry. I like Kai-Lan  best when it’s just a little wilted- cooked but not soggy. You know, with a slight crunch to it. The obliging husband used a sauce of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, garlic and ginger and it was fantastic.

Here are a few other ideas of things to try with you Kai-lan. I’m excited to try them- so far I’ve only used it in stir-fry, curry and soup. How have you used Kai-lan?

Chinese Broccoli saag/ keerai masayal (Vegetarian)

Chinese broccoli in ginger sauce (Vegetarian)

Chicken broth with pork dumplings and Chinese broccoli

Salmon and broccoli lattice tart

Happy chomping!

 

 

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