Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

February/March 2005

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

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.

"Very tasty dish, I had it as a main course. Enjoyed it over a bed of rice with some toasted sesame seeds. The sauce tasted great mixed in with the rice. "
Watercress with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce

Makes: 4 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 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

This recipe calls for:


  1. 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.


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

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

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 fat

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