Bong Cai Xao

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 smallish head cauliflower, broken into florets (4 to 5 cups florets)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or mint
1. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. To test if the pan is ready, add a pinch of garlic; if it sizzles at once, the oil is ready.
2. Add the remaining garlic to the pan and toss to coat with the oil. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 1 minute, being certain to expose all sides of the bumpy florets to the hot skillet. Carefully and quickly add the fish sauce, water, sugar, pepper, and scallions and cook, tossing often, until the cauliflower is tender but still pleasantly crunchy, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cilantro or mint, toss one last time, and remove from the heat.
3. Transfer the cauliflower to a platter or shallow serving bowl and serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold.