Mayi Shang Shu (Ants Climb a Tree)

"An authenic Szechwan recipe. Clearly not Chinese haute cuisine, this recipe is reminiscent of earthier peasant food. Will serve four as a main dish or many more on a buffet as a side dish. One of the best things about this dish is the ease to eat with chopsticks. A real learners food! There is a lot of set up and preparation work, but the dish itself cooks up very quickly. You will save a lot of time if you use pre-minced garlic and ginger."
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Ready In:




  • Preparation:

  • Put the cellophane noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir and set aside to soak for at least 20 minutes.
  • Put the ground pork in a bowl and add the 2 tablespoons soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Clean the scallions, then slice them, both the green and white, diagonally as fine as you can. Add half of the scallions to the ground pork mixture and mix well. Set aside the remainder of the scallions.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and chop them into tiny pieces, about the size of a match head.
  • Peel the ginger, then mince it very fine, until it reaches the consistency of coarse bread crumbs.
  • When the cellophane noodles have become nice and soft, rinse them several times under cold water; drain well and set aside.
  • Time to Cook!
  • Heat your wok or pan over a high flame for 15 seconds, then pour in the oil. It will be hot enough to cook with when the first tiny bubbles forms and a few small wisps of smoke appear.
  • When the oil is ready, toss in the chopped ginger and garlic, and the hot pepper paste. Stir-fry these ingredients together for 30 seconds, using your cooking shovel to keep things moving around in the hot oil.
  • Add the meat and continue to stir-fry for about 1 minute, taking particular care to break up any large chunks of meat. Note: pork will not be completed cooked at this point.
  • Pour in the soy sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add the cellophane noodles and cook for about 1 minutes, turning them over occasionally and making several cuts with the cooking shovel or wooden spoon.
  • Add the water and the rest of the scallions. Taste for salt and season as needed to give a rich, clear taste to the noodles. Cover pan and let simmer over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper just before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Larry V.
    This is fantastic! What a great taste.
  2. Dorie's Lori
    I know this recipe from Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook, by Ellen Schrecker. I have made it many times, and it is delicious. (In fact, I recommend the entire cookbook, because there are other great recipies in there, too.)


<p>Live and work in the heart of the US - Ohio! I work as a Risk Management Consultant, and I do have to work to pay the bills (at least for now), but my passion is cooking.....and eating with as much variety as I can find. I am incredibly lucky in that my BF will eat anything I cook and will give me his honest opinion. What more can you ask from a guy? Well.....let's not go least not online LOL. <br />We share our home with four rescued cats and two Beagle Dachshund mixes (beaners!). We'd rescue more if I could afford the vet bills. <br />Other passions include my vegetable and herb garden, and BF provides the needed grunt work (laughs).</p>
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