An easy Korean side dish made with watercress! It’s a great way to incorporate this healthy vegetable into your diet.
As I mentioned in my post on Sigeumchi Namul, Namul is the general term that refers to a seasoned vegetable side dish. In Korea, endless amounts of farm or wild vegetables are used in the preparation of nauml dishes. One of my favorites that is easy to find here in America is watercress. I love its slightly bitter, spicy and peppery taste. Lightly cooked, watercress has the crispy and chewy texture that Korean namul is known for.
Did you know that watercress is number one on the US Centers for Disease Control’s Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables list? It is packed with many important nutrients such as important vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin K. Now you have another watercress recipe to add the healthy vegetable to your diet!
Although not a common vegetable in Korea, watercress is very similar in texture and taste to minari (미나리, waterdrop herb), but slightly more bitter and peppery. When minari (aka Korean watercress) isn’t available, I use watercress as a substitute in dishes like agujjim and daegutang.
Watercress namul is prepared very similar to siguemchi (spinach) namul. In fact, many Korean namul dishes are prepared in the same or similar way—the vegetables are blanched and seasoned with a few basic ingredients. Try this recipe with other green veggies like baby kale and minari.
Like spinach, watercress cooks significantly, so double the recipe if you’re serving more than 2 people or want to have some left over for the next day. It’s also great in Bibimbap.
This Namul dish keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More vegetable side dishes
15 Korean vegetable side dishes
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The recipe for watercress was originally published in November 2011. I’ve updated it with a recipe card, more information, new photos, and minor tweaks to the recipe.