[Watercress Rice]

In fact, watercress, although treated like a supporting role, seems to have considerable health benefits. In Europe, it is said to be one of the oldest medicinal vegetables with health benefits dating back more than 3,000 years. In a study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "41 vegetables and fruits rich in 17 essential nutrients," it was found to have the highest nutrient density. These vegetables are rich in functional components that help increase immunity and prevent obesity. Incidentally, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, fudan, beet leaves, and spinach followed in second place. The data showed that beets had even more nutritional value not in the root but in the leaves, which was a surprise to me, even though it is an extra.

In Japan, watercress was cultivated during the Meiji period (1868-1912) to provide to foreigners and was called "Dutch mustard." Even now, we Japanese may not have many opportunities to eat it in our daily lives, but we should definitely take it in.

As for cooking methods, meat dishes and stir-fries are recommended since the absorption rate increases when taken with oil. Nutrients leach out in water, so if it is soup, eat it whole. Consomme soup stir-fried with bacon is easy, and this time I tried rice cooked with watercress and beef. The burdock root and beef seasoned with soy sauce go well with the bitterness of the watercress. Ceramic Japan's earthenware pots have also made quite a few appearances this winter, both in hot pots and for takikomi-gohan. I also like its simple design that can be served as is on the dining table. The lack of a flat lid or handle makes it easy to store. The black color is also recommended for kimchi and tomato-based foods. Watercress is in season from March to May, and we hope you will enjoy it.

Ingredients (for 2 cups):
200 g beef (trimmings)
2 cups rice
1 burdock root
2 bunches (100g) watercress
2 red pepper
1 tablespoon each of sake and mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon each of sake and soy sauce
1 tablespoon salad oil

1. Wash rice and drain in a colander. Put the rice in a pan, add 430 ml of water and soak.
2. Scrape the skin off the burdock root, cut into small pieces, rinse in cold water and drain. Remove seeds from red pepper and cut into 1 cm wide slices. Cut watercress into 2 to 3 cm lengths. Cut large pieces of beef into 3 cm pieces.
3. When the color of the meat changes, add burdock root and red pepper and saute until wilted.
4. Add B to 1, mix, pour over 3 with its liquid, cover with a lid and cook over medium heat. When it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
5. When finished cooking, top with watercress, cover and steam for 3 minutes.

Ceramic Japan's do-nabe L