4 medium zucchini (preferably 2 green and 2 golden)
1/2 cup distilled, white vinegar, divided
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into very slender rounds (diagonally)
1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chili-garlic paste
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped, fresh cilantro

Trim the zucchini, cut each in half lengthwise, then cut diagonally into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Combine zucchini in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Toss well and let stand for at least 1 hour.

Drain zucchini well. Combine drained zucchini with the carrots, onion, remaining vinegar, sugar and teaspoon salt, the chili-garlic paste and cilantro; mix well. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

— Recipe adapted from "The San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook," edited by Michael Bauer and Fran Irwin.