STIR-FRIED WATERCRESS WITH BAMBOO SHOOTS AND CHINESE BLACK MUSHROOMS (for four)
2 bunches fresh emerald green watercress
6 dried black mushrooms
1/3 cup shredded bamboo shoots
3 tablespoons peanut, vegetable or corn oil
salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
1. Trim off and discard the tougher parts of the watercress stems, leaving those that are tender. Rinse the watercress well and shake or pat dry. There should be 7 to 8 cups of loosely packed leaves with tender stems.
2. Place the mushrooms in a mixing bowl, add boiling water to cover, and let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Drain then squeeze to remove excess moisture. Cut off and discard the tough stems. Shred the caps. There should be about 1/3 cup.
3. In a wok or skillet heat the oil and add the bamboo shoots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, over high heat about 1 minute. Add the watercress, stirring.
4. Add the salt and sugar and cook 1 minute, stirring.
5. Spoon the vegetables onto a serving dish, leaving any liquid in the pan. Reduce it over high heat and pour any liquid that has accumulated in the serving dish back into the pan (it accumulates rather quickly). Reduce briefly once more and pour the remaining liquid over the watercress.
from Craig Claiborne and Virginia Lee, The Chinese Cookbook