Vermicelli stir-fry with minced pork was originally from Sichuan province. It has gained its fame all over China, these days even internationally, due to its easy preparation and flavorful taste. In China it has impressed the eaters with its picturesque but somehow unrelated name: 蚂蚁上树 (ants climbing a tree).
THE ANTS AND THE TREE
In its Chinese name the "ants" refers to the cooked minced pork, while the "tree" is the vermicelli of soy. I think this name "unrelated" because the ingredients of this dish have nothing to do with neither the ants nor the tree. But obviously the first group of eater named it this way in order to describe the figure of the dish (see Baidu). So don't be scared away if you see this name on the menu of a Chinese restaurant. The dish is actually way more appetizing than the name sounds!
It is commonly agreed to use minced pork in traditional recipe. But for a home meal, you can replace pork with other minced meat, such as beef.
I've read that the original version of this dish used sweet potato vermicelli. But these days it is quite common to substitute it with vermicelli of soy, since it is easier to find and does the same job.
Another key ingredient is the bean paste, aka the dish's main source of flavor. Most Sichuan cuisine uses Doubanjiang (豆瓣酱), a fermented broad-bean and chili pepper sauce. However, considering lots of my readers prefers non-spicy (or mild spicy) dishes, I am using the soybean paste in this recipe.
VERMICELLI STIR FRY WITH MINCED PORK 蚂蚁上树Course: SECOND COURSECuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Low
Vermicelli stir-fry with minced pork was originally from Sichuan province. It has gained its fame due to its easy preparation and flavorful taste. In China it has impressed the eaters with its picturesque but somehow unrelated name: 蚂蚁上树 (ants climbing a tree).
Vermicelli of soy: 100g
Garlic: 2 cloves
Soy bean paste: 2 tbsp
- Carne & Condimenti
Minced pork: 80g
Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 0.5 tbsp
Oyster sauce: 1 tbsp
Sichuan pepper powder: 1 tsp
Sesame oil: 2 tbsp
- Soak the vermicelli in cold water for 30 minutes until they become soft.
- Marinate the minced pork with the seasonings listed above for 20 minutes.
- Heat up a wok with some sunflower oil. Chop the garlic into small pieces and stir-fry it for 20 seconds.
- Add the minced pork into the wok. Stir-fry it until the color of the meat turns white.
- Add in the soy bean paste. Keep stir-frying and meanwhile mix the sauce evenly with the meat.
- Add water into the wok to cover up the meat. To reduce waste, you can take the water used for soaking the vermicelli in step 1.
- When the water starts to boil, add in the vermicelli.
- Keep simmering all the ingredients. Meanwhile stir the vermicelli in order to mix it with the meat, as well as prevent it from sticking onto the wok.
- Gradually the vermicelli shall absorb all the liquid and become soft and transparent.
- Taste to see if it is salty enough. Add in some soy sauce or salt to adjust if needed.
- Sprinkle some chopped chives and chili flakes (optional). And enjoy it!
Would you prefer to eat this dish with some rice? Or as a course itself? I like the latter way. And every time I found it so hard to put my chopsticks down as long as there is still vermicelli inside the plate. 😝🍝