Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

4.0 (9)
Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

In this healthy Asian vegetable stir-fry recipe, watercress is cooked then tossed with traditional Chinese oyster sauce. Use a salad spinner so the watercress is dry to the touch, or the stir-fry will become too wet. If the watercress is young and tender, stir-fry the whole stems. If the stem ends are woody and tough, discard them.

Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 25
Total Time: 25


Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice wine (see Tip) or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons oyster-flavored sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Watercress Stir Fry

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 24 cups watercress (14 ounces or about 6 bunches) or 16 cups spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. To prepare the sauce: Whisk rice wine, oyster sauce, sugar and salt in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare the watercress: 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 the 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.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Step 1) for up to 1 week; 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.


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 C (146% daily value), Vitamin A (130% dv), Calcium (25% dv), Potassium (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving 0

Exchanges 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

From EatingWell February/March 2005