Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ants Climbing a Tree

This is a simple dish that's perfect for a weeknight meal. While it wasn't quite as impressive as some of the dishes I've cooked lately, it was a surprisingly satisfying dish that seems cozy for a winter night. The name comes from the look of ants (the ground pork) clinging to the noodles (the tree). I substituted rice noodles (because that's what I had) for the bean thread noodles, so I didn't have quite the visual effect for that. I also doubled the pork and spice ingredients just because 115g of meat didn't seem like enough to make dinner for 2 with leftovers. Maybe with the right noodles it would've been a better proportion. The original is included below.

One year ago: Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup

Ants Climbing a Tree (from Land of Plenty)

115g bean thread noodles
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
115g ground pork
peanut oil
3 tsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp chili bean paste
1 2/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
3 scallions green parts only, finely sliced

1. Soak the noodles in hot water for at least 15 minutes.
2. Add Shaoxing rice wine and a couple of generous pinches of salt to the pork and mix well.
3. Season wok, add 2 tbsp of oil and heat over a high flame. Add pork and stir-fry until lightly browned and crisp with a tsp or so of light soy sauce.
4. Add chili bean paste and stir-fry until oil is red and fragrant.
5. Add stock and drained noodles and stir well.
6. Tip in dark soy sauce for colour and season with light soy sauce and salt to taste.
7. When stock has come to a boil, simmer over a medium flame for about 10 minutes until liquid has mostly evaporated and been absorbed.
8. Add scallions, mix well, and transfer to a serving dish.

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