Scallop and Watercress Salad

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 30m

Serves 6

Two much-loved ingredients combine to make this delightful salad. Curiously, however, the Chinese have not totally embraced salads as has the West. This reluctance to accept uncooked foods is rooted in hygiene, as raw food has always been considered unsafe. In today's China, there are still comparatively few salads as we know them abroad, but in Hong Kong, Singapore and wherever else the Chinese have settled, salad dishes of this type find ready acceptance.
Watercress is an important vegetable in Chinese cooking, thought to have found its way to southern China from Persia in the early nineteenth century, when it was cultivated for its health-giving properties. But almost certainly it was growing wild in very wet fields well before that time.
Watercress is a perennial green leafy plant belonging to the mustard family; hence the refreshing, peppery flavor that make it ideal for salads. The southern Chinese enjoy this green vegetable in clear chicken or pork broth.


  • For Dressing:
  • 2/3 cup walnut oil or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • White pepper
  • 10 fresh scallops
  • 3 cups watercress; discard woody stems, select tender tips only
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, halved
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, topped and tailed
  • Nasturtium flowers and leaves, for garnish


Mix the dressing ingredients together in a jar and shake well.

Place the scallops on a plate suitable for steaming. Sprinkle the scallops with a little of the dressing and steam gently over boiling water for 6 minutes.

Wash and dry the watercress, and snap into 5-inch sections. In a serving bowl, combine the watercress, water chestnuts, cherry tomatoes, walnuts and bean sprouts. Pour on the dressing and toss with the vegetables and nuts. Gently mix in the scallops. Garnish with 1 or 2 nasturtium flowers and leaves.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2583

nutrition information per serving

320 calories; 31g total fat; 8mg cholesterol; 447mg sodium; 6g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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