Recipe: Watercress Dumplings

I love watercress. Whenever I see them at the market, I buy them. They have a refined fresh grassy taste that’s reminiscent of spring – not as fibery as nettles nor as dull as spinach.


There are many ways of cooking watercress. They can simply be sautéed or throw into salads. They are fine additions to a traditional Chinese pork bone soup to balance out the grease. But my favorite use of this ingredient is to make dumplings.


Now coming from the north, we grew up making dumplings every week that we do not really need a recipe. Most of the time, we throw in the ingredients that we believe works well with each other in hopes that together they enhance the flavor. So I’ve played with this “recipe” several times and finally settled on the version that I love, both the flavor and the texture.

Watercress Dumpling

Click here for instructions on how to prepare the dough (frozen packaged ones are available at most Asian markets), wrap the dumplings, cook them and suggestion for my favorite dipping sauce.

For the Filling:

  • 1.5 lb watercress
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions (for the filling):

  1. Blanch the watercress in boiling water for two minutes.
  2. When cooled, squeeze out as much water as possible (reserve the liquid) and finely chop the watercress in small even pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil until it just starts to smoke.
  4. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Add ground pork and stir to combine with oil
  6. Add minced ginger, green onion and salt
  7. Use the hand to massage the meat to ensure even distribution.
  8. Add the liquid reserved in step 2, if the pork is lean and hard to combine (optional).
  9. Add watercress, egg and sesame oil.
  10. Mix well.


There you have it. Simple and delicious.

Note: Watercress is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is a good source of Protein, Folate, Pantothenic Acid and Copper, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese.

15 thoughts on “Recipe: Watercress Dumplings

  1. Ohh, I love dumplings! I live in Singapore, so the Chinese cuisine here is more influenced by southern Chinese food and one tends to see more wontons than the jiaozi type you made above. I never knew watercress could be used for them – I always thought the green stuff was chives, hmm. Now this makes me want to get a good plate of potstickers….

    Liked by 1 person

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