Ants Climbing a Tree

Total Time
35mins
Prep
30 mins
Cook
5 mins

This recipe is from the January/February 1991 issue of Chile Pepper magazine. The intro to the recipe says, “In this dish, the bits of pork are supposed to resemble ants. It is made with transparent bean threads. Make sure you don’t use rice noodles, which have a similar appearance.” Serves 2 by itself or more with other dishes. Heat scale: medium. My ex-husband made this dish regularly, as it was one of his favorites; at the time, my tastes hadn’t quite developed enough to appreciate it fully. Now I have come to really treasure this dish.

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • SAUCE

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry vermouth, sherry or 1 tablespoon white wine
  • STIR-FRY

  • 1 12 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 3 jalapenos or 3 serrano chilies, stems removed, minced
  • 14 lb pork, ground (do not use sausage) or 14 lb pork, diced (do not use sausage)
  • 14 cup finely diced carrot
  • 14 cup shiitake mushroom, soaked and minced (or other dried mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons szechuan hot bean sauce
  • 2 (2 ounce) packages bean threads, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained and cut into pieces about 2 inches length

Directions

  1. Mix together all the sauce ingredients.
  2. In a pre-heated wok over high heat, add the peanut oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the ginger, green onion, chiles, pork, carrot, and the mushroom, and stir-fry until the pork is well-browned.
  3. Add the bean sauce and stir-fry for about 15 seconds or until combined thoroughly with the other ingredients.
  4. Add the bean threads and sauce. Cook over medium high heat until the sauce is thickened and the bean threads just begin to stick to the wok.