Sichuan noodles (Ants climbing trees)
Minced pork supposedly looks like ants climbing the "branches" of the tree, which are the noodles. Use transparent glass noodles, also called mung bean or bean thread noodles, which are brittle and white when dry.
Jill Dupleix's "Ants climbing trees" - or, bean-thread vermicelli with minced pork. Photo: Marina Oliphant
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- 200g minced pork or beef
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp chilli bean sauce (douban jiang), or chilli sauce
- 100g transparent glass noodles
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small red chilli
- 2 celery stalks, finely sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 125ml chicken stock or water
- 1 tsp sesame oil for serving
- 1 extra spring onion, finely chopped
Mix minced pork with two tablespoons of the soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, cornflour and chilli bean sauce and leave for at least 15 minutes.
Cover the noodles with boiling water for about seven minutes or until soft, then drain and cut into shorter lengths with scissors. Heat the wok and add the oil. When hot, add the fresh chilli, celery and spring onions, tossing well, then the pork and its marinade, stirring well.
When the meat has browned, add the noodles and toss well over medium heat.
Add the remaining soy and chicken stock (or water) and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Turn out onto a warm serving platter, drizzle with sesame oil and scatter with chopped spring onions.