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Watercress and Pork Soup

Watercress soup is one that almost every Chinese family knows how to prepare. The Chinese name for this vegetable is 西洋菜 (xi yang cai), and it is packed with lots of vitamins and anti oxidants, always a good thing to have every now and then :) The easiest way to cook this soup is with some pork ribs and salt along with the watercress, but I am adding a bit more ingredients like dried red dates, dried goji berries, and Chinese almonds to add sweetness and even more vitamins to this healthy soup.

Watercress and Pork Soup

Watercress and Pork Soup

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins

Serves: 4


  • 400 gram pork (ribs or loin), cut into bite size pieces
  • 8 dried jujube fruits/red dates (Chinese: hong zao)
  • 1 tablespoon wolfberry fruit/goji berries (Chinese: gou gi zi)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese almonds (Chinese: hang yen)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 liter water
  • 250 gram watercress (Chinese: xi yang cai / Indonesian: selada air), remove ends and roughly chopped


  1. Place pork, red dates, goji berries, Chinese almonds, salt, and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and use a ladle to remove scum.
  2. Add watercress into the pot and cook until boiling again. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off heat and serve immediately.


  • Pamela Lee says:

    Hi Anita. I'm a Malaysian Chinese & I love your blog and I hv tried a few of ur recipes. They r very practical. Regarding this watercress soup, I went to the shop trying to buy Chinese almonds, the actually have south n north Chinese almonds.Which one do you use?

    • Anita says:

      I usually use the south Chinese almonds (the sweet ones), though my Mom prefers half south and half north :)

      • Pamela says:

        Thnx :)

  • Lian says:

    Hi! Do you have to marinate the pork before putting it into cook?

    • Anita says:

      Hi Lian, you don't need to marinate the pork. But, if you want a really clear soup, you can blanch the pork in hot water and drain to help remove the scum :)

  • the lousy cook wife says:

    My husband and I really loved this dish! Thank you<3

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Stephanie.

  • Tina says:

    Hi! I don't have an Asian store near me to find watercress. Is there a substitute vegetable you might recommend? Thank you :)

    • Anita says:

      It won't be called "watercress and pork soup", but you can also use daikon, winter melon, lotus root, or even napa cabbage. Cooking time will vary based on the vegetable you use. My rough guideline is as long as the vegetable is soft and tender, the soup is done (of course, the pork needs to be fully cooked as well).

  • Em says:

    Hi Anita I cook this and it was my first time adding south apricot kernel Not sure why the soup was bitter Can u advise what went wrong Tks

    • Anita says:

      Hi Em, as far as I know south apricot kernel is not bitter, while north apricot kernel is bitter. Perhaps the one you bought is wrongly labelled?

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