One of my favorite green vegetables is the watercress. Watercress is great to enjoy in many different types of salads. However, I would like to introduce the Korean way of preparing the watercress. It is simple to make, but the flavor is amazingly satisfying to serve with rice.

I would like to share with you 2 different recipes for watercress. One is with simple Korean soy sauce for soup based seasoning, and the other is with Korean soybean paste(doenjang) seasoning. Korean soy sauce for soup is called "gook-ganjang (국간장)". It is slightly different than most of soy sauce that we know. It is more translucent than regular soy sauce and more pungent in flavor. If you can't find it, you can use regular soy sauce,

Each recipe turns the unique taste of slightly bitter watercress into tender and very flavorful dish to serve as a side dish. They will go very well with any Korean meal or other types of Asian meal as well.

This is the way I prepare my watercress and my kids wouldn't eat their watercress any other way than this.

First, Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the watercress with some salt and blanch for 10-20 seconds. 

Drain and rinse with cold water to cool down. Squeeze out gently to remove extra moisture from the watercress.

#1: Watercress with Korean soy sauce for soup(gook-ganjang, 국간장) seasoning

In a mixing bowl, mix Korean soy sauce for soup, garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Add the watercress and toss to coat evenly with a gentle massaging motion.

#2: Watercress with Korean bean paste(doenjang, 된장) seasoning

In a mixing bowl, mix Korean soybean paste, Korean chili flakes, garlic, sesame oil, water, green onion, fresh chili, and sesame seeds. Add the blanched watercress and toss well with a massaging motion to coat evenly with the sauce.

Here it is. One watercress, two different flavored dishes.

It is hard to say which one is my favorite because I like them both equally. If you prefer mild and mellow flavor of watercress, go for the first recipe. If you like more robust and pungent flavor and don't mind of gentle heat from the chili flakes, you will love the second recipe.

These watercress dishes are perfect for vegans/vegetarians or anyone who would like to eat vegetables. I enjoyed my watercress with a bowl of rice and felt good. Hope you can try this soon when you find a large bundle of watercress at the store. You won't be disappointed.

~ Holly

Korean Watercress Side Dishes

serves 4 as a side dish

 Ingredients for #1:

  • a bundle of watercress (about 150g)
  • 2 teaspoons Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Blanch the watercress with a few pinches of salt in the boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Drain in the strainer and rinse under cold water. Squeeze out gently to remove extra moisture.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of ingredients. Add the watercress and toss well with a gentle massaging motion to coat evenly. Serve as a side dish at room temperature or chilled

Ingredients for #2:

  • a bundle of watercress (about 150g)
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soybean paste (doenjang
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons Korean chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chili, finely sliced, optional

Directions:

  1. Blanch the watercress with a few pinches of salt in the boiling water for 10-20 seconds. Drain in the strainer and rinse under cold water. Squeeze out gently to remove extra moisture.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of ingredients. Add the watercress and toss well with a gentle massaging motion to coat evenly. Serve as a side dish at room temperature or chilled

Click the image below to get more delicious Korean side dish recipes.

 Spicy Tofu and Bean Sprouts  Korean Stir-fried Mung Bean Sprouts  Pickled Cucumber Salad

  

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