2/15/2012 10:37:00 AM

The Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Crispy Watercress Salad at Sripraphai

The crispy watercress salad at Woodside's iconic Thai spot Sripraphai may not be healthy, but when it tastes that like it does, who cares. Stalks of steamed Chinese watercress are coated with batter, lightly fried and topped with cashews, served alongside a bowl containing a generous amount of shrimp, chicken and squid that's swimming in a dressing composed of lime, fish sauce, sugar and chilis.
Taking a bite containing all the elements results in an ideal balance of sweet, sour and spicy flavors, with a satisfying layered texture provided by the snap of the nuts, the delicate flakiness of the vegetables and the slight chew of the proteins. Rarely would you describe something fried as refreshing (have you ever had a "light" onion ring?), but this dish, despite its heavier elements, is exactly that.

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