Minari or Seasoned Korean Watercress

Minari or Seasoned Korean Watercress

The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
22 Calories
1g Fat
2g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 22
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1227mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 25mg 126%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 214mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Use this recipe to make minari or seasoned Korean watercress. This peppery Korean vegetable dish is a popular namul (vegetable side) and ingredient in bibimbap, the mixed rice dish that's arguably the most famous Korean dish worldwide. Minari is lively, simply seasoned, but with a lot of flavor like other bitter greens. If you're not yet ready to make Korean entrees, try making this watercress dish first and then work your way up to making Korean staples like bibimbap.
If you're a Westerner, you may be completely unfamiliar with Korean watercress. But the Eastern version is not so different. That's because minari is a water plant just like American or European watercress, but it has a much stronger herbal flavor. It is also sometimes labeled as Chinese celery or Japanese parsley. However, minari should not be confused with mitsuba in grocery stores.

Ingredients

  • 1 (6- to 8-ounce) bunch watercress, washed and trimmed

  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 medium scallion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Minari or Seasoned Korean Watercress ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil with 6 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of salt.

    water in a pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Blanch the watercress until wilted. (Dunk it in the boiling water for about 30 seconds and then quickly remove it).

    Blanch the watercress until wilted

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. Quickly shock the blanched watercress in ice cold water.

    blanched watercress in ice cold water

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  5. Drain the watercress and squeeze through to remove excess water.

    Drain the watercress and squeeze through to remove excess water

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  6. Cut watercress into 2 to 3-inch lengths.

    Cut watercress into 2 to 3-inch lengths

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  7. In a mixing bowl, combine watercress with remaining seasoning ingredients.

    combine watercress with remaining seasoning ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  8. Mix well to combine and coat with seasoning.

    Minari or Seasoned Korean Watercress

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Interesting Facts About Watercress and Water Dropwort

Watercress belongs to a genus of plants in the family Apiaceae. It tends to grow in damp ground, marshes or water.

Several kinds contain oenanthotoxin, which is poisonous. One poisonous variety, O. crocata, looks like celery and has roots that resemble white carrots. Animals and people have died after exposure. This kind of watercress is particularly dangerous because it looks like a number of edible plants.

Asian watercress belonging to the species O. javanica is widely known as Chinese celery or Japanese parsley and is edible. In fact, many countries in East Asia grow it. It's also grown in South Asia and in Italy. 

Watercress has a number of reported health benefits. It's believed to help with sex drive, cure hangovers and even improve mental health conditions. Native Americans used watercress to treat liver and kidney trouble, particularly to dissolve kidney stones. Because watercress contains a significant amount of iron and other minerals, it is often used as a blood purifier. Its iron content is higher than spinach. It also has more calcium than milk and triple the amount of Vitamin E as lettuce. Because of its water content, watercress is a low-calorie food, and it also has good portions of vitamins A and C.