螞蟻上樹 Ants Climbing Up A Tree is a popular and delicious Chinese dish. Traditionally it is made with minced meat (ground pork) and vermicelli noodles, and it gets its peculiar name from how the noodles look when the ground pork cling onto the bean thread noodles – they resemble ants climbing up a tree. Whip up this quick and easy Sichuan dish in just 5 minutes! It is vegan dietary inclusive with plantbased meat alternative crumbles.
> In This Post: Everything You'll Need For Ants Climbing Up A Tree
Origins of Ants Climbing Up Tree
The origins of the Ants Climbing Up A Tree recipe are still being determined. Ma Yi Shang Shu is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine, but it has yet to be discovered who created it or when it was first made.
One theory is that the dish originated in the Sichuan province of China, where it is known for its spicy flavors and use of chilli peppers. The Sichuan region is famous for its cuisine, which is known for its bold and spicy flavors. Ants Climbing Up A Tree is a homey dish and does not use Sichuan peppercorns, just fermented soybeans paste. Here is the folktale goes:
There was poor family, and they barely had enough money to buy food, let alone anything else. They were all hungry, and there was no food in the house, only a small piece of pork. The child thought of an idea and I could make us a ground pork noodle dish
Just then, the child, a boy of about ten, spoke up. "I have an idea, I saw some pork, and I have some noodles at home. I could make us a ground pork noodle dish!" The boy took out a small piece of pork and began to chop it into tiny pieces. Once the pork was chopped, he added it to the pot and let it cook until it was tender and flavorful. The boy carefully stirred the noodles and pork, making sure that they were evenly coated in the savory sauce. Finally, the dish was ready, and the family sat down to eat.
If you love super tasty Sichuan dishes, then you will love this Mala Mouth Water Chicken 四川麻辣口水雞!
Check out this quick story summary of our recipe!
Another theory is that the dish originated in the Hunan province of China, known for its use of fresh ingredients and bold flavors. The Hunan region is known for its hearty and spicy dishes, and the ants climbing up a tree recipe likely originated there. One of my favorite is their Hunan Tofu Recipes!
Regardless of where it originated, the Ants Climbing Up A Tree has become a popular and well-known dish in Chinese cuisine. It is enjoyed by people worldwide for its delicious chili bean paste flavors and satisfying texture.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Ground Pork Mince Meat - Zhū jiǎo ròu, 豬絞肉, ground meat is a key ingredient in the traditional way to make this stir-fried glass noodles Sichuan dish. To make this recipe vegan dietary inclusive, substitute for plant-based meat alternatives or firm tofu crumbles.
Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles - Fěnsī, 粉絲 is another main ingredient for this mung bean cellophane noodles stir fry with minced pork. The rice vermicelli noodles at like tree branches for the tiny pieces of meat to crawl up in Mayi Shangshu.
Fresh Garlic Cloves - Suàn mò, 蒜末 Freshly minced garlic cloves are used alongside shallots to saute and bring the cooking oil to an aromatic smoky flavor.
Shallots or onion - minced shallots or finely chopped yellow onions are used to saute and make fragrant the wok 爆香锅.
Fresh Ginger - jiāng mò, 薑末 Freshly minced ginger are used to as a wet aromatic to saute and bring the cooking oil to an aromatic smoky flavor.
Spicy Douban Paste - là dòubàn jiàng, 辣豆瓣酱 This chunky chilli bean sauce mixture includes fermented soybeans, broad beans, and chillies. Adjust the amount of chili bean paste used to your personal spice level preference!
Ground White Pepper - Bái hújiāo fěn, 白胡椒粉 A secret ingredient that is much needed to liven the dish.
Dark Soy Sauce - lǎo chōu, 老抽 compared to light soy sauce, is well balanced with a thicker, darker and less salty consistency. Dark soy sauce finishes with lingering sweet notes. Add a little dark soy sauce to darken the colour of the curry to a dark amber colour.
Light Soy Sauce - shēng chōu, 生抽 is a naturally brewed soy made from first-batch fermented soybeans livens the flavour profile. Don't be confused, however, that it is not low sodium but quite salty. This fresh soy sauce thin compared to dark soy sauce.
Brown Sugar - add sugar to balance the saltiness of the marinade sauce.
Green Onions - finely chopped green scallions are perfect for garnishing and adding flavour.
Cilantro - finely chopped cilantro is used both in the stir fry and as a garnish to add color and flavour.
Vegetable Oil - Use a neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point for this stir fry dish.
Most dry goods ingredients, tools and supplies can be purchased at your local Asian grocery store or online at my Amazon Store. I have linked the products for your convenience!
Vermicelli Noodles Cooking Tips
How To Cook Vermicelli Noodles Without it sticking together
There are a few tips you can follow to prevent vermicelli noodles from sticking together when you are cooking them:
- Soak the noodles in room temperature or cold water in a large bowl for 15 minutes before cooking them. This will help to soften the mung bean noodles and make them less likely to stick together.
- Cook the noodles in boiling water for 30 seconds until they are al dente. Overcooking the noodles can cause them to release too much mung bean starch, become mushy, and stick together.
- Use a large pot of boiling water for cooking the noodles. This will help to prevent the noodles from sticking together, as they will have plenty of room to move around.
- Once the noodles are cooked, drain them well and rinse them under cold water. This will stop the cooking, maintain the perfect texture and prevent the strands of noodles from sticking together.
- If you use the thin noodles in a stir-fry or other dish, add them to the pan just before serving. This will prevent the noodles from sitting in the sauce and becoming soggy.
By following these tips, you should be able to cook vermicelli noodles without them sticking together.
Soak the mung bean noodles in room temperature or cold water in a large bowl for 15 minutes before cooking them.
Cook the resuscitated noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds.
Drain and rinse cooked noodles under cold water. Drain excess water and set aside.
Add vegetable oil to a wok or non-stick pan and heat to medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add minced ginger, garlic cloves, and chopped onions or shallots. Sautee until fragrant.
Add ground pork minced meat and let brown.
Push the browning meat to one side of the wok and add spicy fermented bean sauce. Allow the sauce to cook before folding in partially cooked ground pork.
Add parboiled vermicelli and a little bit of drinking water.
Continue to stir-fry the spicy noodles until the liquid reduces.
You may add a bit of cornstarch slurry to tighten the sauce.
Serve and enjoy hot steamed white jasmine rice is recommended!
Popular Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuan cuisine, also known as Szechuan cuisine, is a popular style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan province of China. It is known for its bold and spicy flavors, and it often uses chili peppers, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns to add heat and depth to dishes.
Some popular dishes in Sichuan cuisine include:
- Mapo Tofu: This dish is made with soft tofu that is cooked in a spicy sauce made with chili peppers, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns.
- Mala Chicken: This dish is made with chicken poached and dressed in a spicy sauce with peanuts, chilli peppers, and Sichuan peppercorns.
- Dan-Dan noodles: This dish is made with wheat noodles served in a spicy sauce with chilli peppers, garlic, and Sichuan peppercorns.
Sichuan cuisine is known for its bold flavors and spicy dishes, and it is enjoyed by people worldwide. If you like spicy food, it's worth trying some of the dishes from this region of China.
What To Serve With Super Tasty Sichuan Dishes
This classic Sichuan spicy noodles with spicy bean paste are the easiest way to indulge in a saucy noodle dish packed with a spicy and savory flavor.
After eating lots of spicy and deep-fried foods, a great way to reduce heat is with a bowl of this liver-detoxing Chinese Sweet Mung Bean Soup 綠豆沙!
I'd love to see how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram @INSTANOMSS #INSTANOMSS.
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Ants Climbing Up A Tree (Vegan) 螞蟻上樹
螞蟻上樹 Ants Climbing Up A Tree is a popular and delicious Chinese dish. Traditionally it is made with minced meat (ground pork) and vermicelli noodles, and it gets its peculiar name from how the noodles look when the ground pork cling onto the bean thread noodles – they resemble ants climbing up a tree. This quick and easy Sichuan dish can be made in just 20 minutes! It is vegan dietary inclusive with plantbased meat alternative crumbles.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 2 people 1x
- Category: Main Dishes
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
- ½ lbs Ground Pork Minced Meat or Plant-Based Meat Alternative
- 2 bundles (250g) Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles
- 5 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp Spicy Douban Paste
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Ground White Pepper Powder
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ C Finely Chopped Green Onions, reserve some for garnish
- ¼ C Finely Chopped Cilantro, reserve some for garnish
- 2 Bird's Eye Chili, fine chopped and deseed
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch Slurry (dissolved cornstarch in water), optional
- Soak the mung bean noodles in room temperature or cold water in a large bowl for 15 minutes before cooking them.
- Cook the resuscitated noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Drain and rinse cooked noodles under cold water. Drain excess water and set aside.
- Add vegetable oil to a wok or non-stick pan and heat to medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add minced ginger, garlic cloves, and chopped onions or shallots. Sautee until fragrant.
- Add ground pork minced meat and let brown.
- Push the browning meat to one side of the wok and add spicy fermented bean sauce. Allow the sauce to cook before folding in partially cooked ground pork.
- Add finely chopped green onion, cilantro, bird's eye chilli, ground white pepper, and Shaoxing wine, and let it evaporate. Continue to stir-fry.
- Add parboiled vermicelli and a little bit of drinking water.
- Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and brown sugar and bring to a boil.
- Continue to stir-fry the spicy noodles until the liquid reduces.
- You may add a bit of cornstarch slurry to tighten the sauce.
- Serve and enjoy hot steamed white jasmine rice is recommended!
- To make this recipe vegan and plant based dietary inclusive, use plant based meat crumbles.
- Most dry goods ingredients, tools and supplies can be purchased at your local Asian grocery store or online at my Amazon Store. I have linked the products for your convenience!
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 452
- Sugar: 2.9 g
- Sodium: 1193 mg
- Fat: 17.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 57.7 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 14.8 g
- Cholesterol: 40.9 mg
Keywords: Sichuan, Vermicelli Noodles, ground pork, minced meat, meat alternative, plantbased, vegan, dairy free, stir fry, easy, recipes, chinese
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