Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘W’ for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans

The A-Z of food…a culinary tour through the alphabet today the letter W for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans etc.

Welcome to this weeks edition of the Culinary Alphabet…Where I am exploring some culinary delights beginning with the letter W…


Wakame is a species of edible seaweed and classed as a sea vegetable. Popular in Japanese cuisine it is used in soups and salads.


Classed as one of the world’s healthiest foods the Walnut originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! HaHa…

In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%.


Wasabi aka Japanese Horseradish is so rare that the wasabi you eat with your sushi probably only contains about 5% wasabi. Wasabi is harvested by hand and has a long growing season of about 18 months…

Quite simply the staff of life…colourless, odourless, a tasteless chemical substance which provides no nutrients however it is essential to all life forms.

Water Bath…

Quite simply a water bath is simply a pan of hot water placed in the oven, this method has two benefits when baking. First, a water bath adds moisture to the oven and this is important for baking foods like cheesecakes, which tend to crack from the heat of the oven, or custards which can become rubbery without moist heat.

Water Chestnuts…

Wandering around a food market in Wanong, Northern Thailand…losing myself among the sights and smells of beautiful tempting Thai food. I spied a few fruits and vegetables which were unknown to me and this one.

Although once I knew what it was then I recognised the taste …without knowing the name I was puzzled I sort of knew the taste but didn’t connect the dots…lol

We were talking and looking for these a whille ago when we were thinking about what to cook for dinner and reminiscing about the Chinese food we remembered having years ago with these crunchy water chestnuts in…you never got many just a few slices…

I was then looking in the shops at imported goods to see if I could find them with no luck…
Then there they were right under my nose and fresh ones….strange world… When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Usually available in specialty groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw.

At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.


Watercress is an often over looked leafy green that packs a powerful nutrient punch. Its small, round leaves and edible stems have a peppery, slightly spicy flavor.

Watercress is part of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables, which also includes kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.

Once considered a weed, it was first cultivated in the UK in the early 1800s but is now grown in watery beds throughout the world…The watercress here in Thailand is slightly different than the watercress in the UK…

The one in the UK had larger leaves and was a little more tender…I love egg and watercress sandwiches but the watercress here is a little tougher and better wilted in rice.

Orange Pork with watercress rice


• 1 1/2 cups of rice
• 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
• 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
• 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 3 tbsp of oil
• 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
• 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
• A ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
• Salt and pepper to season

Let’s cook

  • Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
  • Season the pork and with the pan on medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.
  • Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan.
  • Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.
  • Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.


Is a Flemish stew…If you think the Irish and British have got a monopoly on comfort food, be prepared to meet Belgian waterzooi.

The chicken stew originating in Ghent will leave you and your stomach mightily satisfied on a rainy day. Best served piping hot with a basket of bread it is one delicious dish of comfort food containing leeks, carrots and potatoes in a cream-based soup with either chicken or fish…

Wax Bean…

There is very little difference between green beans and yellow waxed beans…Green beans get their colour from chlorophyll, and yellow wax beans are simply green beans that have been bred to have none of this pigment. Found at farmer’s markets and gardens in the warmer months of the year they are sometimes known as yellow snap beans.


Whey is what is left after the milk has been curdled and strained…Popular many years ago it has now had a resurgence in the healthy eating market and once again is popular and now has several lucrative commercial uses.

Whole Grain Mustard…

Who doesn’t love mustard on their cold meats or in a sandwich or a sauce?? Mustard is very expensive and not always available here hence I had to learn to make my own…It is easy, cheaper and has no nasties and tastes much nicer all the reasons why we should make our own mustard.

Wild Rice…

I love wild rice and it is freely available here… I normally mix it with white rice to add a bit of texture and of course I like it. Wild rice is an aquatic grass, not a grain, though it’s referred to as rice because it looks and cooks like all other types of rice. … It’s also the only rice native to North America and only two other varieties exist worldwide, which are grown in Asia where they’re consumed as a vegetable, not a grain.

Wine Vinegar…

Made using red or white wine…A common question is about the alcohol content…There are traces of alcohol in vinegar but a very small amount. Wine vinegar such as red or white wine and balsamic vinegar do start with a dilute wine which is then fermented. … Consequently, using a tablespoon of white wine vinegar might have a drop of alcohol in it.


Photo credit: Eyebee on / CC BY-NC-SA

I love whitebait and it is a popular starter in the UK…where whitebait principally refers to the fry of Clupeidae fish, young sprats, most commonly herring. They are normally deep-fried, coated in flour or a light batter, and served very hot with sprinkled lemon juice and bread and butter…Delicious…

Here in Thailand, the same little fish are eaten alive with herbs and chilies…Aston absolutely loves them..,me I have tried it I like it …just don’t love it especially when they jump out of the bowl.

Wolf Berry…

More commonly known as the Goji berry it is popular in Asia and used in traditional Asian cuisine. This tiny vibrant red berry has grown in popularity due to being packed with anti-oxidants and powerful medicinal properties…sold in powder or dried form they are added to many supplements and juice blends.


Is sausage in Germany…There are about 1500 different types all with their own unique fillings…The Germans have a saying: Alles hat ein Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei. (Everything has an ending, but the sausage has two).

Just as different parts of Germany have different accents and beers each region has its own wurst or sausage often made to a long-held family secret recipe.

It is common street food, found at festivals, sporting events and even fine dining restaurants…

Did you know? 

Volkswagon who make cars also produce a wurst?

Take care and be well xxx

Thank you for reading I hope you have enjoyed this post…We are nearing the end of the alphabet now next month it will be a combined XYZ

My thanks to Carol for another fabulous post about food… as always she would love your feedback.


About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology Amazon US

Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

48 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘W’ for Wakame, Wasabi, Walnuts, Watercress, and Wax Beans

  1. Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:
    The letter W…Where does the time go? Only one post and this series will come to an end…It has been lovely of Sally to rerun my updated series of the A-Z of food aka The Culinary Alphabet…Thank you, Sally xx…
    If you are loving this series then you will love the following series where thanx to another blogger I am working on foods and cooking terms where the end letter comes into play I.E. ( herB)…Challenging but fun…In the meantime enjoy the letter W…X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol, I am in awe of your knowledge of different foods and equally amazed by the recipes. Wow! Thank you, Sally, for spotlighting Carol. I’ve learned a lot through this post.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I always learn about new foods here, but I’ll pick out two I’m sort of familiar with: watercress and wasabi. The dean of women at the college I attended enjoyed watercress sandwiches + Asian students introduced me to wasabi. Looking forward to XYZ. You’ll have to celebrate completing this marathon, Carol!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Always a new food to learn about from you Carol. I loved the video on wasabi. I had no idea it was such a precious commodity. 🙂 And good idea to mix the wild rice with a softer rice, thanks! ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Once again, Carol, you’ve given me excellent ideas and lots of interesting information on food I didn’t know. With Christmas coming, I will put your recipes to good use. Many thanks. Sending you and Sally Thanksgiving day hugs. All the best.
    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – November 22nd – 28th 2020 – Friends and Collaborators, Thanksgiving, Food, Book Fair, Alexander Technique, Music and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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