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Watercress Soup with Pork Ribs – Redux (and a giveaway!)

August 10, 2010

It’s been quite a while since I first blogged about Watercress Soup, so I thought it would be alright to do a little revisit of this good healthy dish, especially since I know that so many of you, like me, have been feeling under the weather… (And thank you for all the well-wishings everybody – I’m getting better.)

Watercress Soup is one of those dishes I turn to whenever someone at home is unwell. It’s full of nutritious ingredients and just very comforting all round. And thanks to wiffy’s excellent post, I was inspired to add some luo han guo (罗汉果) to my soup last week as well. I’ve always liked drinking luo han guo with longan at local eateries, but never thought to use it in my cooking till now.

Did you know that 罗汉果 is also called monk’s fruit, and is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar?

And it certainly added a most welcome sweetness to my soup =)

Wiffy put the cracked luo han guo in some nifty little soup stock bags that she got from Daiso (gotta go get me some!), but since I didn’t have any, I put the fruit in a coffee filter and sealed it with some baker’s string. See:

Without further ado, here’s the simple recipe (I’ve modified it somewhat from my previous post).

Watercress Soup with Pork Ribs

Click here for printable recipe.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 medium potatoes (optional)
  • 1 luo hang guo fruit (optional)
  • 200g watercress
  • 300g spare ribs
  • 12 chinese red dates OR 8 black dates (the middle eastern variety) (if you don’t use any luo han guo, I actually recommend using black dates because they have a much richer natural sweetness than Chinese dates)
  • 1-1.5 litre water (enough to cover the other ingredients)
  • 1.5 tbsp wolfberries (lycium/qi zi)
  • 1-3 tsp salt (to taste)


1. Cut carrots and potatoes into chunks. Use the back of a knife to make a crack in the luo han guo, and put the cracked fruit into a sealed soup stock bag, or cheese cloth or coffee filter secured with string.

2. Put carrots, potatoes, luo han guo, watercress, spare ribs and dates into a large pot. Cover with water and bring to boil.

3. Lower heat and let soup simmer for about 40mins.

4. Add wolfberries and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add some salt if desired.

5. Remove luo han guo before serving.


See the very pretty red table mat in my first two pictures? Doesn’t it remind you of the beautiful patchwork pieces our moms and grandmas used to make back in the day? Well what’s extra special about it is it was made by a talented group of underprivileged elderly folk. I picked it up from a wonderful little social enterprise called Teddy Thotz, at the PATH arts market in Vivocity. I liked it so much that I couldn’t resist getting two pieces. Soooo….

I’m giving away the beautiful new purple hand-sewn patchwork table mat you see at the end of this post!

If you’d like to have the table mat, just leave a comment and let me know what kind of food you like to eat when you’re feeling under the weather (if you’ve blogged about that particular dish, go ahead and leave the blog link too!).

Winner will be chosen at random. Entries from all countries are welcome, and the deadline is 20 Aug 2010.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Ryan G permalink
    August 10, 2010 8:55 pm

    For some reason, when I’m feeling down I crave buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, extra spicy. Always picks me up.

  2. Jordan P permalink
    August 10, 2010 8:56 pm

    I find that appetizers tend to cheer me up, especially if I’ve cooked them myself!

  3. August 10, 2010 11:50 pm

    This is the combination I used to make for my family. But I find it quite difficult to find those watercress with long stems in my nearby wet market. I can be easily cheered up by spicy food. 😉

  4. Eileen permalink
    August 11, 2010 11:27 am

    When I am feeling unwell, a bowl of hot chicken congee will be just right!

  5. August 11, 2010 12:56 pm

    wah your soup must be very yummy with the potatoes and black dates. I’ve not tried black dates before, must find some. And your soup colour is more pleasing than mine … dunno why mine always turns out so dark. Thanks for the mention hehe =p

    When I’m feeling under the weather, I love a bowl of chicken macaroni soup with home made broth … never fails to perk me up!

  6. August 11, 2010 1:36 pm

    I can fight with noobcook over the Chicken Macaroni Soup 🙂

  7. August 12, 2010 11:39 am

    I drink watercress soup too! But mine don’t have the Luo Han guo, I put mushroom and dates. Nice post here!

  8. Cons permalink
    August 12, 2010 11:19 pm

    Hum…when I’m sick, I just want a bowl of hot porridge to go with my preserved cai xin :-). I don’t really like Luo Han Guo, it has that weird taste.

  9. carmen permalink
    August 13, 2010 1:11 am

    i like a bowl of rice porridge/congee or hot soup with wontons. 🙂

  10. August 13, 2010 9:00 am

    Thanks everyone for sharing!
    food-4tots: Giant has good watercress!
    noobcook: Funny thing is I thought “how’d she get her soup to be so nice and dark”… haha.

  11. August 13, 2010 11:27 am

    We love watercress soup! When I add in LHG, I don’t bother to filter it, just dump the whole fruit into the soup 😛

    My mom used to make floor mats like this but I didn’t learn the skill. I thought you made it until I read you bought it 😛

  12. August 13, 2010 12:07 pm

    blessedhomemaker: haha no I wish I was so skilled!

  13. August 13, 2010 11:47 pm

    That looks delish! You should try my favorite split pea soup with kielbasa– it amazing!

  14. ds8607a permalink
    August 14, 2010 1:17 pm

    I usually go for plain pasta or plain noodles with a little butter and salt if I’m feeling under the weather.

  15. August 15, 2010 6:28 am

    When I’m feeling ill, I like to eat something that is warm on my throat and feels very thick in texture. I often opt for “creamed carrots” — which are carrots chopped and boiled within a thick cream sauce I received from my grandmother. Not only do I feel a bit closer to home with my grandmother’s recipe when I need it the most, but the recipe itself is not hard on my stomach. The carrots are not mushy, but are easy to bite — perfect for my upset stomach + sore throat that I often find myself with throughout the winter.

  16. Lori H permalink
    August 15, 2010 9:44 pm

    There’s nothing like a bowl of chicken noodle soup to make you feel better when you’re under the weather. Saltine crackers aren’t so bad either.

  17. August 17, 2010 2:22 pm

    Oh wow! I didn’t know can use luo han guo to make this water cress soup! Sure taste wonderful! Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

    Well, when I’m not feeling too good, I like mee sua soup. Any ingredients in there can do. Mee sua is salty, so at least it has taste in my plain tongue. 🙂

  18. Catherine permalink
    August 22, 2010 10:37 pm

    When I’m under the weather it’s soup soup and did I say soup? I love homemade chicken, turkey or beef soup with barley, tomatoes and whatever I have handy at the time.

  19. August 27, 2010 3:02 pm

    Jane: I love mee sua too!

    Thanks a lot for taking part in the giveaway everyone. Results to be announced in my upcoming post!

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