By Kyle Suzuki
On Sumida Farm, we believe nothing brings family, friends, and the community together better than a home cooked, shared meal. We love making simple home cooked meals with watercress at the center for our family and friends.
We believe in the connections built over a shared meal. One of those favorite family meals is our take on Hainanese chicken rice. A meal that wastes nothing. Poached chicken, where the stock is used to make the rice and then the chicken is chopped and served over the rice with accompanying sauces.
The sauces are our favorite part of this meal, so make sure to double the amount, you do not want to run out! Traditionally this dish is served with a chili and soy dipping sauce, but our two favorite sauces are a spin on the classics with watercress as a key added ingredient. Instead of the standard ginger, scallion sauce we add watercress to the mix. We also prepare a quick and easy watercress chili crunch tsukemono to serve on the side. Adding in fresh chopped watercress with the cucumbers and cilantro served on the side of this dish is always a great option too.
Check out the recipes below for our two favorite watercress sauces to serve with chicken rice or really any shareable meal with your ohana.
Asian "Pesto" (watercress, ginger, scallion sauce)
- 1/2C vegetable oil
- 1C Sumida Farm chopped watercress stems (with some leaves)
- 2T ginger (grated or minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (grated or minced)
- 1/4C green onion (minced)
- 1t kosher salt
- 1t granulated sugar
- 1/2t black pepper
- 1T cilantro minced (optional)
- In a small saute pan, heat the vegetable oil on high, hot enough that when you dip a piece of watercress into the oil it sizzles (300F).
- Place all of the other ingredients into a heatproof bowl and then pour the hot oil over the ingredients. Steep for five minutes and then immediately cool.
- Optional to puree until combined to create a smoother sauce.
- Another option if you want to turn the sauce into a dressing is to add some rice vinegar for acid and emulsify the oil and vinegar together.
Easy Watercress Chili Crunch Tsukemono
- 1/2 bunch Sumida Farm watercress chopped
- 2t of kosher salt
- 1T of chili crunch oil
- sealable container
- Rinse watercress and chop half a bunch of watercress into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- Add 2t of kosher salt to the chopped watercress and mix
- Store in a sealable container and let rest in the refrigerator for one hour
- Pull out of the refrigerator and drain excess salt water from the watercress
- Mix in 1T of chili crunch oil your choice and serve