1 lb asparagus, stiff ends peeled
 1/4 lb brown button mushrooms (or mixed mushrooms)
 2 garlic cloves
 1 T fermented black soybeans
 1.5 T rice vinegar
 1 T tamari (or soy sauce)
 1 t potato starch (or cornstarch)
 1 t brown sugar
 1 T sake or other rice wine
 Cut asparagus on the diagonal into 1-2 inch pieces.  Blanch for 5
 minutes in boiling water.  Drain and set aside.
 Wash and slice mushrooms. Set aside.
 Mince the garlic. Rinse the black beans well.  Mix garlic and beans
 together. Set aside.
 Mix together the rice vinegar, tamari, starch, sugar, and sake.  Set
 Fill a glass with water and set handy next to the stove.  Put a
 skillet over high heat.  When the pan is hot, dump the garlic mixture
 into the pan.  Stir fry for one minute, adding water as the mixture
 begins to stick -- add just a little at time.  Add the asparagus and
 stir fry for 10 minutes (or until asparagus is just shy of being
 crisp-done), again adding water just as needed.  Add mushrooms and
 stir fry for 2-5 more minutes. Add the vinegar mixture (giving it a
 last stir to make sure starch is well mixed), stir until evenly coated
 and sauce thickens.  Serve immediately.
 Fermented black soybeans are available in Asian markets.  Usually
 labled “salted black beans”.  I find them in the preserved food
 section in plastic bags.