Ingredient Name: Watercress
Traditional Chinese Name: 西洋菜 (xīyáng cài)
A very popular vegetable used to remove excess heatiness in the body. It’s a versitile plant with uses in a variety of cultures. The one thing that I hate about this plant is the high level of bugs you can find in them. When boiled in soup, the bugs usually float to the top of the soup – which makes it easy for extraction, but even then, as a kid, it was the grossest thing to see in your soup. As a mother now, I just wave it off and think “more nutrients” but caution prevails because many of the bugs are actually parasites.
What is this?
- A fast-growing aquatic plant that is part of the cabbage family
- It can be eaten cooked or raw and is often found in salads, sandwiches and soups
- The plant is cultivated before flower buds appear or else the leaves become too rank in flavour for consumption
- Watercress is not normally found in dried form and therefore can only be stored for a short period of time – ideally, it is consumed fresh
- This plant is available all year round
How do I prepare it?
- Wash in cold salted water at least twice to remove potential pesticides and parasites
Where can I buy this?
- You are able to purchase fresh watercress from most supermarkets
- It is a highly perishable food and needs to be consumed within a few days of purchase
What is the cost?
- Watercress is very affordable and costs around $1.00 – $2.00 per bundle
- Watercress is high in iron, calcium, folic acid, and Vitamins A & C
- When boiled in soup, it assists in removing heatiness and relieves coughs
- Western studies have found that watercress may reduce the risk of cancer
- Watercress tends to grow in areas of high animal waste and is good breeding grounds for parasites and bacteria, therefore it is highly recommended to thoroughly wash watercress before consumption
- Be sure to add watercress to BOILING water, else it will make the watercress bitter
- Flowering watercress is also bitter, so buy young and flowerless watercress to reduce the chance of bitterness in the soup
I always separate the stem n the leaf before boiling. I will boil the stem with the soup (I out it in before water boils) for bout 1.5hours then only add the leaf in the last 30minutes or so.The soup doesn’t taste sour at all