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Feb 7, 2010 10:25 PM

Cress / Watercress

I kind of 'discovered' this green recently and have become smitten by it. How do you like to prepare/serve it?

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  1. Watercress & Enoki Soup

    A great side soup to accompany many Korean fish or meat dishes.

    Servings: 4


    5 cups Korean Anchovy stock (Recipe)
    3 ounces watercress
    1 package (4 ounces) fresh Enoki mushrooms
    5 cloves garlic

    2 small green [spring] onions
    2 medium eggs


    Trim root and any discolored leaves from the green onions, then chop.
    Separate egg yolks from whites, then whip each.
    Heat a fry pan over medium low heat, add a small amount of neutral flavored cooking oil.
    Pour the beaten yolks into the fry pan and spread into a thin sheet, cooking until the top is just set and the bottom is lightly browned.
    Turn and cook until lightly browned.
    Repeat with beaten egg whites.
    Cut the cooled egg sheets into narrow strips.

    Wash and cut the lower portion of Enoki mushrooms and discard.
    Trim any discolored parts from the watercress, then rough chop.
    Trim the hard top portion from the garlic, then thin slice from top to bottom.
    Bring the Anchovy stock to a slow simmer over low heat, add watercress, garlic, and Enoki mushrooms, then simmer for 4 to 6 minutes, until watercress is dark green.

    Serve at once, garnished with chopped green onion and egg strips.

    Korean Anchovy Stock

    While chicken and beef broth have become popular in modern Korean cooking, this traditional soup base remains the stock of choice for many traditional Korean soups and stews, adding an extra dimension of flavor to the dish.

    1 cup dried anchovies
    2 ounces kelp (kombu/dashima/dasima)
    10 cups water

    Additional Ingredients for Method 2:
    1/2 small onion
    2 cloves garlic


    Method 1:
    Add kelp and anchovies to cold water and soak for 2 hours.
    Bring to a slow simmer over low heat.
    Simmer for 5 minutes.
    Strain the broth and discard solids.
    Use broth immediately or store in fridge or freezer for later use in Korean soups and stews.

    Method 2:
    Roughly chop the onion.
    Slice the garlic into thirds from top to bottom.
    Place dried anchovies and kelp in a pan and slowly toast over low heat.
    Transfer toasted anchovies and kelp to a soup pot, add onion, garlic, and water, then gently heat to a slow simmer over low heat.
    Simmer for 5 minutes.
    Strain the broth and discard solids.
    Use broth immediately or store in fridge or freezer for later use in Korean soups and stews.

    1. absolutely love it. eat it every week. nice in sandwiches, hot pot/soups, or simple green salads. as my allergies are so terrible i must first squeeze a lime over raw cress else i get a reaction and can't taste my wine and beer for another 24 hours.

      for young cress [sprouting broccoli etc] i like it on Schwarzbrot [dark rye bread] or pumpernickel. over a layer of cottage cheese :D

      1. Hey Alex,

        We love cress and find it very easy to raise. If you have any ground at all to plant stuff in, even in light shade, you can plant a variety of cresses along with mesclun mixes. Then you just pick leaves of each as you use them. We use ours in great salads for tons more flavor than the market stuff.

        Try Johhny's

        Park Seeds

        Reimer Seeds

        Different varieties have different degrees of bite or heat to them and really add zing to cold dishes.

        Heck, you might even try planting them in a bright window indoors.

        1. It's delicious fresh in all sorts of ways you'd use fresh greens, but I also like it wilted with sauteed radishes. Don't remember exactly where I saw this, but you don't really need a recipe -- just heat a tablespoon or two of butter in a large skillet until foaming, drop in halved (or quartered, if they're large) radishes and sautee with a little salt until carmelized and tender. (Probably 10 mins or so.) Toss in the watercress and heat until just wilted. It's a really fast and elegant side dish -- the radishes mellow nicely.

          1. It's delicious as a stirfried green. I love it in ma po tofu (use either ground pork or ground soy substitute), garlic, ginger, brown or black bean sauce, minced reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, minced green onion, fish sauce, a little soy sauce, broth or water to lighten, over rice). Way yum.