I tried to see if I could somehow replicate SriPraPhai’s crispy Chinese watercress salad (Joyce wrote about it last year). How was I going to recreate the “carnival of colors, textures, and tastes”? Haha.
First I made the sauce. I figured it was mostly fish sauce so I started by dumping in about a cup. Then I added some jaggery, lime juice, fresh bird’s eye chilis, chopped red onion, and bruised mint. It wasn’t sweet enough so I shaved in a little more jaggery.
After I washed the watercress i set it up on some paper towels by a box fan to dry it off (so it wouldn’t splatter the oil all over my beautiful face when I dropped it in hot oil). I used tempura batter and fried it in vegetable oil. Later on I realized the batter was too think. I should have been shaking off more of that batter before frying. =-(
I served the salad with the sauce at the bottom… and I put it on a plate that was too small to be able to mix the salad with the sauce (just like at SriPraPhai!) Oh… just realized I forgot the bed of iceberg lettuce. *sigh*