After hearing countless talks about watercress recipes Chinese from friends and strangers alike- mind you, I am usually stranger phobic. this got me thinking. What is the deal with Chinese watercress? With that I made, a resolve to try this dish. Not that I have never tasted it. It was served often when I was a little kid, but you know kids with vegetables, right?
The fact is that the praises it has been receiving on several internet forums have been intriguing. It is known for the right reasons.
Chinese water cress, specially prepared with garlic stir fry, is common place in most homes and restaurants. That is because it requires a short preparation time, and the vegetables + garlic combination are rich in vitamin A, C, and many other minerals. Did I mention that it is tasty and has low caloric content?
This is the perfect lunch dish for those who are watching their weights. But first, it is vital to understand the origin of this delicacy.
Origin of Chinese Watercress
The vegetable is called Xi Yang Cai, which in English is, “Western Vegetable.” That alone is enough of a hint of where this is heading; and yes, it is not a native dish. Some food theorist (is that even a job), traced it back to 1932 when a Chinese man returned from Portugal with some watercress seeds.
I tend to believe that at that time, the Chinese hyped it as “The western vegetable,” which led to it receving its name. A crazy story is told of a man who was terminally ill for the longest time, till the day he tasted the vegetable. I don’t know how true that is, but let’s leave it for another day. I would be doing a disservice to this legendary man if I completely ignored the benefits of watercress.
With everyone committing to lead healthy lifestyles though diet and exercise, this should be the best time to review some of the health benefits of water cress. Also, if you are interested in more healthy Chinese takeout foods, you can refer to the list of goodness I created a while ago.
The caloric content in this meal is intriguing. Imagine, by clearing an entire serving; you will have consumed around 180 calories only. That is good news, but that is not all it has to offer. The meal has phytonutrients, which are excellent for the formation of healthy blood vessels, and DNA strands- biology is flowing today. Anyway, what that means is that the dish is medicine to anemic patients and those suffering from sickle-cell. Generic Viagra
Preparations for Watercress Recipes Chinese
First, it is important to get the ingredients in order. For most watercress recipes Chinese, you will need the following:
- Finely chopped watercress
- Dried chili pepper
- Canola oil
- Whisk rice wine
- Oyster sauce
- Water starch
First, remove the stem part of the watercress. Though it is edible, most people prefer not to eat them. However, if you like your vegetables crunchy, you can opt to finely dice the stem part and cook it together with the leafy section.
Wash the vegetables in a sink of running water. There is nothing worse than having to crush sand grit while enjoying your soup. Once its clean, you can chop the vegetable to your preferred size. Fun fact: Did you know that the technique of cutting vegetables to the right size is known as chiffonade?
It is important to note that cutting vegetables before washing is a rookie mistake. That is because, by the time you are done, you will have washed away all the nutrients.
Depending on your preference, again, you can cut the garlic or use it whole. But if you find garlic taste too intense, you should chop it finely.The meal is prepared using a flat-bottomed wok.
Onto The First Step
Heat the flat-bottomed wok over medium or high heat settings until it becomes hot to vaporize a bead of water in a second or two. To the wok, add canola oil, and swirl it such that it spreads out evenly in the cooking wok.
Add your garlic and stir-fry until it turns brown and produces fragrance. Remember, if you are using whole garlic, you should lower your heat to ensure that it is properly cooked on the inside, and follow it up with watercress vegetables.
Stir fry the contents of the wok continuously for about 10 seconds to prevent uneven cooking of the vegetables. If you don’t, you run the risk of scorching a portion of the greens. Once it begins to shrink, you can add stir rice wine and oyster sauce, and allow it to cook for a few minutes.
If you cooked using whole garlic, you could remove them at this stage. However, if you are comfortable with its taste, well and good.Serve while hot.
Cook’s Expert Tips on Watercress Recipes Chinese
Good food is spotted at first sight, even before tasting it. Therefore, you mustn’t overcook the vegetables. You want it to retain its bright green color while being served.
Cooking using the watercress recipes Chinese should be done rapidly under medium to high heat settings. That means that you are bound to miss out on the nutrient content, more so the vitamins. However, by adding water starch with the vegetables, you will retain the nutrients.
The vegetable should be washed well in advance and allowed to drain before cooking.
You can also add chili to make it hot.
If you are unsure of well seasoned rice wine, try Shao Hsing. It is available in most Chinese markets and major supermarkets. However, in the unlikely event that you cannot find this particular sauce, suitable alternatives include dry sherry.
Since variety is the spice of life, here is a list of five different ways to enjoy your watercress:
- Salads:watercress is an excellent base for a salad since it adds the vibrant dark green color and the crunchy feel.
- Smoothies:Watercress soup or using it as an ingredient in making soup.
- Try making watercress sandwiches: Did you know the first ever sandwich was made by John Montagu consisted of watercress with cold roasted beef?
- Dips: watercress can be prepared specially as a dip which serves as the perfect accompaniment to raw vegetables
- Omelets: I have tried this. you should too. It completely revolutionizes omelets.