Ants climbing trees

Ants climbing trees

By
From
The Real Food of China
Serves
4
Photographer
Leanne Kitchen

Food magazines are full of those recipes that promise a meal on the table in under an hour. Well, this classic Sichuan dish is one Chinese answer to the ‘feed me fast’ dilemma. Its rather poetic name comes from the way the pieces of meat look as they cling to the vermicelli noodles, just like a whole pile of ants on a twig or branch.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
200g bean thread vermicelli noodles
4 spring onions, trimmed
2 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sichuan chilli bean paste
375ml Chicken stock
300g minced beef, not too lean
or 300g minced pork, not too lean

Method

  1. Put the shiitake mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain well, squeeze dry, then finely chop.
  2. Combine the mince, soy sauces, sugar, garlic and cornflour in a bowl, then use your hands to combine well. Cover and set aside at cool room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Put the vermicelli noodles in a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half. Finely slice the white part of the spring onions and set aside. Finely slice the green part and set aside.
  4. Heat half of the oil in a large wok over a medium–high heat, then add the meat mixture and cook, stirring constantly with the back of a metal spoon to break up the meat, for 6–7 minutes, or until brown. Remove to a bowl and wipe the wok dry.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the wok over a medium–high heat, then add the white spring onion, the ginger and chilli bean paste and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the noodles and stock, then return the meat mixture to the wok and toss to combine well. Bring the liquid to the boil and cook, stirring, for another 3–4 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the noodles are tender. Divide the noodle mixture among four bowls, scatter the green spring onion over the top and serve immediately.
Tags:
China
Chinese
Asia
Asian
Real Food of China
Leanne
Kitchen
Antony
Suvalko
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