Stir-Fried Watercress

March 17, 2023

Sai yeung choi is a super nutritious green vegetable. People don’t know what to do with it, so it goes to waste at the market. But this stir-fried watercress is simple to make at home and is a delicious and nutritious alternative to the usual vegetables.

A Valuable Food That Should Be Served

Vitamin E, iron phosphate, calcium, and vitamin C are abundant in watercress. We love this nutritious green vegetable stir-fried with some fresh ginger and garlic.

Commonly, watercress is sold in shallow containers in small bunches. The ideal environment for the watercress is near moving water. When I was young and living in upstate New York, we would go out and harvest it from the wild. However, if you can’t find it in the wild, you can expect to pay around $2 for a bunch if you decide to buy some.

Watercress pork bone soup is a wonderful way to warm up with this peppery, slightly bitter, and spicy green vegetable in the winter.

But now that spring has sprung, and summer is on the horizon, you should add this stir-fried watercress to your repertoire of easy vegetable side dishes.


  • 3 cloves of finely minced garlic
  • 2 bunches of watercress (washed thoroughly)
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of finely julienned fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of MSG (VERY optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon of sesame
  • ⅛ teaspoon of white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon of sugar
  • Oil


  1. In a wok, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers and spreads out to cover the entire surface.
  2. Put in the ginger and let it caramelize in the oil. Please be cautious and avoid letting it burn. Put in some minced garlic and mix it in. Put the watercress in right away (if you wait too long, your garlic could burn). Increase the temperature to high.
  3. Use a stir-fry method to quickly and evenly disperse the ginger, garlic, and oil throughout the watercress, taking no more than 20 seconds total. Once everything is combined, mound the watercress in the middle of the wok and cover it.
  4. Take the lid off the wok after 45 seconds. Steam should be in abundance now. The watercress and liquid should be dragged around the sides of the sizzling wok in a circular motion while being stirred.
  5. A wok hay flavor can be achieved by stirring the watercress against the hottest, driest part of the wok. Reposition the watercress in the center of the wok. This part of the process should take at most 20 seconds to give you a sense of the total cooking time.
  6. While the sides of the wok are heating up, add the white pepper, sugar, salt, sesame oil, and MSG (if using). Put it to your own personal use!
  7. Toss the ingredients in a wok and give them another stir-fry to incorporate the seasonings, this time making sure the watercress and liquid are splashing against the sides of the pan to create more wok hay.
  8. Scoop the watercress with a wok spatula into a shallow-rimmed bowl, collecting the remaining liquid, which is rich in nutrients thanks to the watercress, garlic, and ginger. This would be great as a side or even as a complete meal with some white rice for a vegan.
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