Chinese Watercress Soup: A Refreshing Sichuan Treat

Chinese watercress soup – Cháshū (沼蔬) – is a traditional Sichuanese specialty that I just can’t get enough of! This nourishing yet mild herbal soup is an all-in-one meal: incredibly tasty, incredibly healthy and incredibly easy to make in the comfort of your home.

An ancient Chinese medicinal treatment, this recipe incorporates key ingredients that not only help heal and detoxify the body but also leave you feeling warm and refreshed. As each bowl of this soup includes both watercress and pork, it provides a unique balance of flavors – a delicate sweetness of the pork along with the bright and bitter watercress. Truly a feast for the taste buds.


• 1/2 pound of pork thigh, cut into thin strips
• 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil
• 2-3 tablespoons of minced garlic
• 4 ounces of Chinese watercress (Lobularia Maritima)
• 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons of sugar
• 2 tablespoons of white Cooking Wine
• 4 cups of chicken broth
• 2 teaspoons of sesame oil


1. Heat a large pot over medium-high flame and add the cooking oil. When the oil is heated, add the strips of pork thigh and cook until lightly browned.

2. Add the garlic to the pork and stir until fragrant.

3. Add the watercress and stir-fry everything together for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the soy sauce, sugar, cooking wine, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

6. When the soup is done, turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil.

7. Ladle the soup into individual bowls and serve hot.

Serving Suggestion

This delicious soup can be served with some steamed Jasmine or Basmati rice. It’s also common in Sichuanese culture to add some chili or other spices for an extra kick.

Chinese watercress soup is the perfect meal for a cold winter day, but it’s surprisingly light and refreshing all year round. So if you’re looking for something light yet nourishing, then grab a pot and start simmering your own bowl of Chinese watercress soup. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed!