1 1/2 lbs asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch pieces
6-8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 1 hour, drained and cut into 1/4-inch thick strips
For flavoring sauce:
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 generous tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp canola or other neutral oil
Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and parboil for about 1 minute, or until just tender but still firm. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
To make the flavoring sauce, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, oil, and water and stir to dissolve sugar. Set aside. Season to taste with additional sugar, fish sauce and/or water (Alex added an additional 1/2 tsp sugar to balance out the saltiness).
In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, or until heated through. Raise the heat to medium-high. Give the flavoring sauce a stir to recombine, then add to the pan and stir to distribute evenly. When only a little sauce is visible, after about 1 minute, transfer the vegetables to a plate and serve.