Ants Climbing A Tree (螞蟻上樹)

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I remember growing up, my Mama would cook this dish from time to time. The name has always been so intriguing to me, since who would want to associate ants with something delicious? Well apparently the bean thread noodles is the “Tree”, while the ground pork are the “Ants”, I guess maybe I should have piled the noodles in a taller shape, it would be even more realistic…

  • 4 ounces transparent bean thread noodles (also known also vermicelli or glass noodles)
  • 1/2 pound ground pork

Marinade;

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce or Kikkoman
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Pinch of cornstarch

Other:

  • 1 small red chili pepper and 1 teaspoon chili sauce, or 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

Preparation:

Without removing the string wrapping around the transparent noodles, soak in hot water until they are pliable (about 10 minutes). Drain well. Cut the noodles into shorter lengths and then remove the string wrapping.

Add the marinade ingredients to the ground pork, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the pork for 15 minutes.

If using the chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and chop coarsely. Finely chop the ginger. Cut the green onion on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil to the heated wok. Add the marinated pork. Stir-fry until the pork has changed color and is nearly cooked through. Remove from the wok. Clean out the wok.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the wok. Add the chili pepper and ginger. Stir-fry briefly until aromatic, stir in the noodles. Add the chick broth in the middle of the wok. Return the ground pork to the pan. Stir in the green onion. Mix everything together and cook briefly. Make sure the pork is cooked through before serving.

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