Watercress is in the family of Brassicas like radish and mustard relating to their peppery flavor. It closely resembles the taste of nasturtiums and the name is the same but they are actually distant relatives and they are easy to grow.
Watercress is not available in the Philippines when I was growing up so I don’t really have any knowledge about this plant. We have the green vegetables we call “Kangkong”, also known as “Un choi”, which is similar to how they grow, in water and in land. They have the same stems which are hollow but “Kangkong” doesn’t taste peppery at all.
I like to grow watercress for salads but I like them also as substitute for Kangkong for making “sinigang”, a sour soup almost like “Tom yum soup”of Thailand. It is good because it has the taste of radish too which we incidentally also put in “sinigang” or sour soup.
The health benefits are numerous but more significant are Vitamins A and C which are considered anti-oxidants which are cancer-fighters. It also has B vitamins like folic acid and trace amounts of sodium, magnesium, iron, etc.
I like to eat out once in a while and one time we had a chance to eat a local Hawaiian food restaurant. They were serving beef soup with watercress. I can’t believe how tasty it is even though they only have these two ingredients, beef and watercress on top. I enjoyed the dish very much so after that I like to try and cook something like that with watercress. Theirs is much better than what I made but as long as there’s watercress, I can try making it again because I know the restaurant owner will never give me their recipe.