This is a very simple salad and takes no time to prepare. Watercress Salad with cucumber is a Western style salad but the Wasabi Dressing is full of Japanese flavour, with soy sauce and a good amount of wasabi.
Watercress is a bit bitter, hot and peppery. I was quite surprised to find out that adding another hot spice (wasabi) worked so well with watercress. Wasabi Dressing somehow makes the watercress less tangy.
If you think about it, there are some dishes where two ingredients that are similar in some ways but also quite different go well together, producing an unexpectedly nice flavour.
Wasabi Dressing and Watercress Salad is one of them. They are both spicy and hot but when mixed together, the watercress is transformed and is easier to eat.
Wasabi Dressing Ingredients
My dressing consists of light flavourless oil (such as grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil), soy sauce, lemon juice, a pinch of sugar, and wasabi.
I use quite a bit of wasabi – 1 tablespoon of wasabi for about 3 tablespoons of the other ingredients.
It is a simple dressing. Just add all the ingredients to a small jar and shake.
You might find that the saltiness from the soy sauce is too strong. If so, I’d recommend replacing ½ tablespoon of soy sauce with ½ tablespoon of dashi stock.
I talked about wasabi in detail in the post Root Vegetable Salad with Wasabi Mayonnaise.
If you can buy a fresh wasabi root, I recommend grating it for use in your salad. If you can only find wasabi paste in a tube, try to get one of the brands that contain real wasabi. They are labelled as ‘hon-wasabi’ (本わさび).
If you are using an artificially made wasabi paste (horseradish + colouring) the kick from the wasabi might not be as strong as it should be, and you might need to increase the amount of wasabi to make Wasabi Dressing.
Other Vegetables You May Want To Try
I used watercress and cucumber today but there are other vegetables that can go well with Wasabi Dressing.
To name a few, avocado, tomato, mizuna, daikon, onion. For example, diced avocado and baby tomatoes (or diced tomatoes), sliced daikon and cucumber would be great with Wasabi Dressing. Very thinly sliced onions would be good, too.
I think mixed green leaves also can do well with Wasabi Dressing.
The quantity of each ingredient required to make the Wasabi Dressing in my recipe produces the flavour I liked. But you may want to adjust the amount of soy sauce, wasabi, and lemon juice to suit your palate.
In particular, the amount of kick you get from the wasabi will depend on how tolerant you are of the spiciness. I hope you find the right combination of ingredients and enjoy the salad!
PS: I added a new section ‘MEAL IDEAS’ below the recipe card. It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and the new recipe in this post that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you!
This is a very simple salad and takes no time to prepare. Watercress Salad with cucumber is a Western style salad but the Wasabi Dressing is full of Japanese flavour with soy sauce and a good amount of wasabi.
- 80g/2.8oz watercress
- 80g/2.8oz cucumber
- 2 tbsp light flavourless oil (note 1)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp grated wasabi/wasabi paste (note 2)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- a pinch of sugar
If watercress comes with long stems rather than in sprigs, cut them in half or into three pieces so that they can be picked up more easily.
Cut the cucumber vertically to quarters into sticks. Then cut each stick to 2cm pieces perpendicular to the first cut.
Add watercress and cucumber pieces to a bowl.
Add the Wasabi Dressing ingredients to a small jar and shake well until sugar is dissolved and there are no lumps of wasabi paste.
Add the dressing to the bowl of vegetables and dress well.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
1. Light flavourless oils include grapeseed oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil.
2. Please refer to my post Root Vegetable Salad with Wasabi Mayonnaise for details about wasabi.
The amount of wasabi required depends on how hot you want the dressing to be. Please adjust the quantity to your liking. It also depends on the type of wasabi you use. The fresh wasabi has strongest wasabi flavour and kick.
3. Nutrition per serving.
serving: 115g calories: 168kcal fat: 15g (23%) saturated fat: 1.1g (6%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 2.8g monounsaturated fat: 11g cholesterol: 0mg (0%) sodium: 792mg (33%) potassium: 246mg (7%) carbohydrates: 7.2g (2%) dietary fibre: 1.1g (4%) sugar: 2.3g protein: 2.1g vitamin a: 26% vitamin c: 31% calcium: 4.7% iron: 2%