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Watercress Soup with Chicken & Ginseng

Watercress Soup (西洋菜汤)
(with chicken, red dates, carrots, pao shen & wolfberries)

This is a recipe for watercress soup cooked with chicken (versus the usual pork ribs). You can still substitute the chicken with pork ribs if you like, or even use a combination of both. For this recipe, I added some pao shen 泡参 (short american ginseng) which makes this soup extra ‘cooling’ (since pao shen has cooling properties just like watercress) & herbal tasting. This is an easy & nutritious soup which is perfect for the hot & humid weather in Singapore. The benefits of watercress are countless (among them: anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, high in Vitamin C).


(serves 2)

– 1/2 fresh chicken, chopped and skin removed (or 2 chicken drumsticks/thighs, or 200g pork ribs)
– 200g watercress (ends trimmed and roughly chopped)
– 80g carrots, peeled & cut to pieces (I used peeled baby carrots this round)
– 15 pitted red dates
– 1 tbsp wolfberries, soaked in water till puffy
– 1300ml water
– 5 to 10 short american ginseng (aka ‘Pao Shen, 泡参) [optional]
– a small pinch of salt [optional]

1. Blanch chicken in boiling water for 5 minutes (so that you are rid of the icky small bits). Set aside.
2. Place water, watercress, carrots, red dates, previously blanched chicken and short american ginseng in pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (with lid partially closed) for about 40 minutes.
3. Five minutes before you are done simmering the soup, add the soaked wolfberries. Season with salt and serve with white rice.

Watercress leaves: a pretty sight

Similar Recipes

Watercress Soup with Luo Han Guo
Watercress Soup with Chicken & Ginseng

More info about watercress:
Wiki: Watercress
Watercress: Anti-cancer superfood

More watercress soup recipes:
Didally’s watercress soup
Cuisine Paradise’s herbal watercress soup


I’m submitting this recipe to weekend herb blogging, which is hosted by Kalyn this week.

Leave a Comment

31 Responses to “Watercress Soup with Chicken & Ginseng”

  1. wiffy — April 12, 2008 @ 2:24 pm

    ^ Hi Chef Erik, thanks for visiting my blog … and …omg you are a real chef! =O Hope you like the recipe and if u can, give me some honest feedback ;)


  2. Marc @ NoRecipes — April 18, 2008 @ 11:46 am

    Looks tasty although I’m having trouble imagining what it tastes like. I guess I’ll have to try it out:-) BTW, I love you present your list of ingredients.


  3. wiffy — April 18, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

    Is it really that exotic? =D Thanks for your kind words =)


  4. Worried — April 27, 2008 @ 12:25 am

    I would like to know..where can i purchase the water cress vegetable from and is it known by another name?? Cant find it in NTUC and shop n save…


  5. wiffy — April 27, 2008 @ 9:03 am

    Hi Worried, I always have no problem getting it at NTUC and I often see it at Shop n Save too! I think it’s labeled as ‘watercress’ (西洋菜). Where my NTUC is, it’s usually found in the same fridge as where the mushrooms are placed. Hope u find it!! :-)


  6. Ellena — September 29, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

    Wow…. thanks for sharing your watercress recipe. This is new to me to add “american ginseng” to this soup :) And thanks for referring to my recipe link too :D


  7. wiffy — September 29, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

    Ellana, ‘american gingseng’ lends a more herby taste and makes it more cooling too, hee … You’re welcome about the link, I am a huge fan of your food blog … thanks for visiting me =)


  8. Ellena — September 29, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

    Oh i see.. thanks for the explaination :) and your kind compliment on my blog. I had nv see you around my blog until i saw your bloglink thru the counter :) It’s great to know u thru there cos you have a fantastic blog that full of wonderful recipes and pictures… :)


  9. ally — October 11, 2008 @ 8:30 am

    btw i tried cooking this soup but it turn out to be very bitter.. i know it shld nt be so bitter. any solution to it?



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