Hot and Sour Hunan Vegetables
 (adapted from _China Moon Cookbook_, Workman, 1992)
 
 1 T minced ginger
 1 T minced garlic
 2 T fermented black beans, coarsely chopped (Chinese)
 1/4 t hot red pepper flakes
 1/2 c unsalted vegetable stock
 2 1/2 T soy sauce
 2 T white vinegar
 1/4 t sugar
 3/4 pound cauliflower florets, cut into walnut sized pieces
 1/2 pound peeled carrots, cut diagonally into 1/8 inch coins
 1 pound slender green and golden zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
 1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 1/2 T water
 4 scallions, cut diagonally into rings
 
 Combine ginger, garlic, black beans and red pepper flakes in a small
 bowl; cover and set aside.  Blend stock, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar
 together in a second bowl.
 
 Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil.  Fill a large bowl with
 ice water.  Blanch cauliflower 1 minute, then plunge into the ice
 water.  Repeat with remaining vegetables, letting water in the pot
 return to a boil before adding a fresh batch.  Blanch the carrots for
 15 seconds, and the zucchini for 5 seconds.  Drain the vegetables
 well and place in separate bowls.
 
 Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until hot enough to
 a drop of water on contact.  Add water (about 2 T) and swirl to glaze
 pan.  Reduce heat to moderately high, than add ginger mixture and
 stir gently until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds.  Add cauliflower and
 toss 2 minutes.  Add carrots and toss 1 1/2 minutes, than add zucchini
 and toss 30 seconds.  Stir stock minxture and add to pan, stirring to
 combine.  Bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and cook until veggies
 are crisp-tender, about 30 to 60 seconds.  Stir cornstarch mixture to
 blend, than add to pan and stir until sauce turns glossy and slightly
 thick, 10 to 20 seconds.  Serve immediately ona heated platter,
 garnished with a sprinkling of scallion rings and teamed up with
 noodles or rice.  Serves 4 to 6.