No. There are NO ANTS involved in this recipe. This is, instead, a take on a classic Sichuan dish made with ground pork, dried bean thread noodles, and stuff. It’s simple, quick to toss together and make, and pretty darned tasty.
It’s also open to, ermmm, adjustment; such as when I couldn’t find ground pork at the market and subbed ground beef instead. Nice. Oh, and thanks to the very pleasant folk at Sur la Table for a fun cooking class and the recipe.
•1 lb ground pork or beef
•1/4 cup soy sauce
•4 cloves garlic
•1-1/2 tsp sesame oil
•1 tbsp sugar
•8 oz bean thread (cellophane) noodles
(in the Asian section of your market)
•1/4 cup Canola oil
•1 jalapeño, sliced
•2 tbsp minced fresh garlic
•2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
•White and light green scallion slices
•2 tbsp chile paste (Sambal Oelek)
•3/8 cup soy sauce
•1/4 cup rice vinegar
•1/2 cup water
•Hot chili sesame oil
•Dark green scallion bits
Combine the ground meat in a bowl with the soy sauce, 2 cloves of garlic, sesame oil, and sugar, then set aside to rest for ten minutes.
Remove the bean thread noodles from the package and place in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let soak while the ground meat is resting. Drain well.
Warm a stir fry pan over medium-high heat until quite hot, then swirl in the canola oil.
Add the jalapeño, garlic, and white and light-green scallion slices and sauté just until they begin to smell – no more than one minute.
Add your seasoned ground meat of choice – really, the ground pork version was better, but the beef is good, and I had a taste for Ants Climbing a Tree, and the mere lack of ground pork was not going to stop me.
OK, back to the pot.
Cook the meat until well and truly done – another five to ten minutes, then stir in the chile paste, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.
Add the drained noodles and 1/4 cup of water. Toss to combine, then cook for another few minutes until the noodles are warmed and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Serve with the dark bits of the scallion and hot chili sesame oil sprinkled over the top.
Good noodles! Next time, I will try to use ground pork, and, I think, use the hot chili sesame oil instead of plain when I season the meat.