Ants Climbing a Tree

螞蟻上樹 Ants Climbing a Tree

Bits of ground beef clinging to the glass noodles looks just like ants climbing on twigs, hence the name of the dish. It is a classic, homey Sichuan cuisine very easy to make. Ground meat (pork or beef is all fine) stir fry with minced ginger, then add Doubanjiang (fermented bean paste) to fry until aromatic, add water to simmer for a few minutes, then add glass noodles (pre-soaked in warm water until color becomes transparent) to absorb the essence of ground beef and Doubanjiang mixture. Season with minced garlic, scallion chops, sliced chili pepper, soy sauce and a bit of sugar, stir fry until liquid is almost gone then serve. For people who like extra pungent flavor, sprinkle some grounded Sichuan peppercorn powder over the plate. I like also to drizzle some black vinegar to increase the depth of the flavor.

Glass noodles are best if produced from mung beans. It is very low glycemic, low calories food with chewy texture that needs to be cook a bit longer. But most of the glass noodles I’ve seen in Asian supermarkets here are produced from pea and corn starch, which is easy to overdo and lost the delightful texture. So take a look at the packaging of the one you bought and adjust cooking time accordingly.        


Traveling around the world, I’ve seen how those Chinese take out mislead people’s perception about Chinese food. Wok fried, heavy seasoned with soy sauce and MSG, cornstarch thickened at all time is not authentic Chinese cooking. Real Chinese cuisine is mastering selections of fresh ingredients, seasonings, various cooking methods to deliver genuine taste of food that wow your taste buds. I’m no Michelin chef but someone who knows how authentic Chinese cuisine should taste like. Welcome to my dinning table and enjoy the real Chinese food. Bon appétit!