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Ants Climbing a Tree

Monday, 26 May 2008


This recipe and others can be found in the following article:

 Oodles and Oodles of Asian Noodles

by Nancy Gerlach, Fiery-Foods.com Food Editor Emeritus 


At a glance
Cooking Method
Heat Level
For the Noodles:
  • 1 4-ounce package cellophane noodles

  • 1/4 cup shitake or other dried mushrooms

  • 6 ounces ground pork

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, peanut preferred

  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

  • 2 green onions, sliced including the green

  • 4 teaspoons hot bean paste

  • 2 teaspoons crushed red chile or substitute Asian chile paste

For the Marinade:

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


Place the noodles in a bowl, cover them with hot water and allow them to soak for 15 to 20 minutes to soften. Drain and cut them into pieces about 4-inches in length.

In another bowl, soak the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain and mince the mushrooms.

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade, add the pork and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Mix all the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat and when hot, add the oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the pork and stir-fry until the pork begins to brown. Add the ginger, green onion, and the mushrooms, and stir-fry until the pork is well browned. Add the bean paste and stir-fry for about 15 seconds or until it is well-combined with other ingredients.

Add the noodles, the sauce ingredients, and chile. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the bean threads just begin to stick to the wok.

Mound the noodles on a large platter and serve.


Additional Tips

This classic Sichuan dish gets its unusual name from the bits of pork clinging to the noodles, not the insect. The pork resembles ants and the noodles, trees. Transparent bean threads, or cellophane noodles are the ones used in this recipe.


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