Sous Chef Kenji, Me, and Chef Ming – the only thing missing is the watercress.
Watercress – the less looked-upon green – until now! Growing up in a Chinese household, watercress was always in our greens rotation. Figuring prominently in hot pot meals, soup, and as a stir-fried veggie, I always loved this spicy, slightly bitter green. So, I was super excited to attend last week’s watercress dinner hosted by Chef Ming Tsai and B&W Watercress Growers. Featuring a 6-course meal featuring watercress, I was curious to see how versatile the vegetable could be. And I was certainly not disappointed! See for yourself:
We started with watercress-artichoke dip served with whole wheat pita chips:
Followed by a watercress salad with warm Shiitake-corn vinaigrette – you can see the watercress plated with the roasted shiitakes on the right:
Chef Ming and his team plating the salads:
And the finished product – SO delicious!
We then moved onto one of my personal favorites – watercress and shrimp wontons in a ginger broth:
Chef Ming also walked us how to make the wontons – I doubt mine will come out as nicely…
Next was the first of two entrees – extra virgin olive oil poached halibut with watercress pesto:
I loved that the halibut was prepared sous vide style – I might try replicating this at home!
The second entree followed – red roast pork shoulder with watercress fried rice, served family style:
The fried rice featured one of my favorite Chinese ingredients – lap cheong, or Chinese sausage. Its smoky sweet flavor was a perfect addition to the fried rice and complemented the roast pork shoulder amazingly.
We finished with dessert, the only course that didn’t feature watercress – a banana flambee sundae with macadamia nuts and toasted coconut. The sundae reminded me of Hawaii, one of my favorite places in the world!
It was such a fun evening to see a nostalgia-inducing food from my youth so deliciously featured in so many different ways. It certainly gives me some ideas for my own home cooking, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for B&W Watercress Growers watercress during my next grocery store visit! They recently launched a triple-washed baby watercress variety, which I’m super excited about because let’s face it – cleaning veggies can sometimes be a drag for lazy ol’ me ;).
Thank you Chef Ming, Sous Chef Kenji, and your team for a delicious evening!