2 tbsp cornstarch (dissolved in 4 tbsp cold water)
In a medium-sized bowl, cover the mushrooms with warm water and soak for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Drain, reserving the liquid, and set aside.
In a large flat dish, soak the dried bean curd in 1 cup of warm water for 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain and set aside.
In a small bowl, soak the black beans in 1/4 cup water for 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Drain and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté the carrots, peppers, onions, celery, garlic, and ginger in 1/4 cup vegetable stock for 5 minutes, or until almost tender. Add the remaining vegetable
stock, black beans, shiitake mushrooms, and reserved liquid. Add the bean curd, bamboo shoots, 1/2 cup warm water, soy sauce, sake, ketchup, and honey. Stir well to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tofu and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the
bean sprouts and simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Add the dissolved cornstarch, stir well, and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened. Serve in bowls over rice.
This makes a hearty meal for a cold night. Serve it with plain steamed rice.