Ants climbing a tree: spicy vermicelli stir-fry (蚂蚁上树)
Don’t be put off by its weird name! “Ants climbing a tree” is a super tasty Sichuan dish containing vermicelli noodles, minced meat and various pungent seasonings.
- 100 g dry mung bean vermicelli noodles 3.5oz
- 1.5 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp Sichuan chilli bean paste see note 1
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 150 g minced pork/beef 5.3oz
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
- 250 ml hot water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 stalk scallions chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- fresh chilli chopped, optional
Soak noodles in warm water for 5 minutes (or in cold water for 10 minutes) until they are soft and pliable. Rinse under cold water and drain. Set aside.
Heat up oil in a wok over a medium-high heat. Briefly fry chilli bean paste and chilli powder, then stir in minced pork, ginger, rice wine and soy sauce. Fry until well combined.
Pour in hot water. Then add sugar, white pepper and the noodles.
When most of the water is absorbed by the noodles, add scallions, garlic and fresh chilli (if using). Mix and cook for 30 seconds then serve warm.
1. Different brands of Sichuan chilli bean paste (aka spicy Doubanjiang/辣豆瓣酱) may vary in saltiness, hotness and texture. Adjust the volume accordingly. Best to use Pixian Douban, a well-known variety, which needs to be coarsely chopped prior to cooking.
2. This dish is usually served with other savoury dishes and plain rice. However, it also makes a meal on its own.
Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 320kcal