Saturday, February 11, 2012

Watercress, Duck Gizzards and Pork Soup

Watercress is in season!
Watercress is one of the many members of the cabbage family so it is not surprising that it also has a similar peppery and strong taste.  This leaf vegetable is said to be rich in vitamins and have many health benefits.

Cantonese people usually make soups with watercress and cook it with diverse dried ingredients for additional flavour (and health benefits). Another way is to stir-fry it. This is very different from the Western style.  I remember my Mum’s cream of watercress soup (made with potatoes and a dollop of fresh butter or crème fraîche!) and her watercress and hard boiled eggs salad (prepared with the young and tender leaves).  

Watercress, Duck Gizzards and Pork Soup

  • 300gr (1/2 catty) pork shank
  • 1 tablespoon of  apricot kernels
  • 1 honey date
  • 1 ½ duck gizzards
  • 300gr (1/2 carry) fresh watercress
  • 1.5 – 2 litres of cold water

  1. Blanch both the duck gizzards and pork.
  2. Bring water to a boil.
  3. Add the apricot kernels, honey date, and blanched pork and gizzards.
  4. Bring to a boil again. Lower heat and simmer for at least 2 hours
  5. Add fresh watercress and boil for at least another 30 minutes or until the watercress becomes soft.

This soup is traditionally used as a cough remedy.

As I had bought 1 catty of watercress and only used ½ of it in my soup (above recipe) I wrapped the remaining watercress in sheets of newspaper and stored it in the lower compartment of the fridge. Although the leaves had withered a bit, once in the water they revived and were good to stir-fry the following day.

Stir-fry Watercress
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • ½ catty (300gr) watercress
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

  1. In a wok, heat oil and add garlic. Stir fry for 10 seconds.
  2. Add watercress in wok. Stir-fry until watercress begins to wilt (1 min).  Stir constantly.
  3. Pour seasoning in and stir-fry until vegetable is tender but still bright green (1-2 min).
  4. Turn off heat. Add sesame oil. Stir well.
  5. Serve.

Next time I will try to make dumplings with watercress like my friend Jane does - she is the one who add pickled mustard root in her dumplings too!

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