Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

3.7 (6)
Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

Traditional Chinese cooks love to stir-fry watercress year-round; use a salad spinner so the watercress is dry to the touch, or a stir-fry becomes a braise. If watercress is young and tender, stir-fry the whole stems. If the stem ends are woody and tough, discard them.

Yield: 4 servings, about 1/2 cup each
Active Time: 20
Total Time: 20


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 24 cups watercress, (14 ounces or about 6 bunches)
  • Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce, (recipe follows)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl canola oil into the pan, add garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add watercress and stir-fry until it just begins to wilt, about 1 minute. (The wok will become very full as the watercress is added; stir constantly to avoid scorching the greens.) Stir Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce and swirl it into the pan; stir-fry until the watercress is just tender but still bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in sesame oil. Remove garlic. Serve immediately. Variation: Use 16 cups spinach in place of watercress. Per serving: 123 calories; 9 g fat (1 g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 343 mg sodium. 1 Carbohydrate Serving

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Wash and dry watercress up to 4 hours ahead
  • Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available in most Asian specialty markets and some larger supermarkets in the Asian section. If unavailable, dry sherry is an acceptable substitute.

This Recipe Calls For:


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 104
fat 8 g (1 g sat, 5 g mono)
cholesterol 0 mg
carbohydrates 4 g
protein 5 g
fiber 1 g
sodium 285 mg
potassium 674 mg

Nutrition Bonus Vitamin K (649% daily value), Vitamin A (190% dv), Vitamin C (150% dv), Calcium (25% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

From EatingWell February/March 2005