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I’ve always liked the crunchy texture of watercress and lately, I’ve been using it more in my cooking. Beyond it’s crunchy texture and subtle peppery flavor though, it’s packed with antioxidant vitamins and minerals! The nutritional value of this super-food goes unrecognized by most people. But now, you know! 🙂

As I was experimenting with watercress last Fall, I came up with this delicious salad. I made it over the holidays for my family and to my delight, it was a big hit with them, also. When I first posted up the picture on my Facebook Fan Page, some of you had requested the recipe. So as promised, here it is (finally) – my Watercress Shrimp Salad recipe. Enjoy!

1 lb shrimp
1/2 tbsp chili oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

6 cups chopped watercress
1 small to medium sized red bell pepper, sliced
1-2 carrots, shredded (long shreds)
4 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup reserved sauce from cooking the shrimp
1 lime juiced (about 1/8 cup lime juice)

In a saucepan, heat the chili and sesame oils. Cook the shrimp in the hot oil until they’re almost fully cooked. Add the sweet soy sauce and fresh ginger during the last minute of cooking. Coat the shrimp with the sauce and finish cooking the shrimp. Then, remove the shrimp immediately from the pan to prevent overcooking.

For the salad dressing, measure out 1/4 cup of the sauce from cooking the shrimp. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes to room temperature and mix it with the juice of one lime. The rest of the sauce can be reserved for another use. Stored in the refrigerator, it should be used within 2-3 days. Or, you can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To mix up the salad, remove the large stems from the watercress. Depending on the how tender your watercress are, you might not have to trim very much of the stem off. If you’re unsure how much to trim off, have a taste! If it’s bitter, you won’t want to use that part in your salad. In a soup or other cooked dish, the peppery flavor actually adds to the dish. However, for your salad, you won’t want to have too much of the bitter peppery taste.

Next, rinse the watercress well and coarsely chop the watercress into 1.5-2 inch pieces. Run the chopped watercress through a salad spinner to remove the excess water or dry it with paper towels. Place the dry watercress into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients including the dressing that you made and delicately toss the salad. There you have it – a delicious watercress salad!

Suggested add-ons: toasted sesame seeds or canned mandarin oranges (drained).

Let me know how you like it and if you made any changes to the recipe! One of the fun parts about cooking is sharing. Happy dining!

Watercress Shrimp Salad