Ants Climbing A Tree or (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树), is a very classical and famous dish originating from the Sichuan area of China. It is extremely simple to make and brings out a burst of flavor with each and every bite. It’s a dish you’ll want to make day after day as it is literally just that good!
Ants Climbing A Tree
One of the most popular Sichuan dishes you can ever find is one known as “Ants Climbing A Tree”. It is a weird sounding dish, but is one that is so amazingly delicious to eat.
It is dish that basically consists of vermicelli noodles that is then mixed around with ground pork or chicken, and then combined in a rich sauce that brings out all of the flavors. It’s also one of the simplest dish you can ever make as all you’ll need is 20 minutes or less to make it.
And in my family, this is the dish that is usually always being served whenever we can’t think of anything else to make. After all, it uses very minimal ingredients and is extremely tasty to eat.
My mother actually loves eating this with a ton of spicy peppers, but as for me, I can’t handle that much heat. Which is why, whenever I make this dish, I only use minimal amount of peppers, but it still tastes extremely good!
Either way, this is a beloved dish that I guarantee anyone will fall in love with.
Why Is It Called Ants Climbing A Tree?
You know, this dish has one of the weirdest names you can ever imagine. I mean, no where else will you find a dish that is literally called an ant climbing a tree. But hey, it works!
Whoever created this dish definitely has a lot of imagination.
And if you think about it, it actually is a good name for this dish. Mainly because when you look at the ingredients for this dish, the vermicelli noodles are basically acting like a tree branch, the ground meat are the ants, while the green onions and peppers are the leaves. It all combines so perfectly well together.
Now I don’t know if that is actually true for how this dish received its name, but it is one that many people seem to agree upon.
Why This Recipe Works?
- This recipe is extremely simple and easy to make. All you need is around 20 minutes or less and you’ll be able to make this dish for your next meal.
- Amazing texture! It has the soft and chewy texture of the noodles that is then combined with the juicy and tender ground pork to bring out a dish that is unlike any other.
- Everything combines really well in this dish. Nothing is too overpowering where you won’t be able to handle it. In fact, this dish is not overly salty and is also not that spicy as well, which makes it perfect for anybody to enjoy.
Ingredients To Make Ants Climbing A Tree
The ingredients you’ll need to make the Ants Climbing A Tree / (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树) dish can all be easily found at any of your local supermarkets.
Basically, you’ll need the following:
- Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles – 200 grams of Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles
- Ground Pork – 1 Cup of Ground Pork
- Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
- Chili Bean Paste – 1 Tablespoon of Chili Bean Paste
- Ginger – 1/2 Tablespoon of Ginger (Minced)
- Dark Soy Sauce – 1/2 Teaspoon of Dark Soy Sauce
- Light Soy Sauce – 1 Teaspoon of Light Soy Sauce
- Chicken Broth – 1 1/2 Cup of Chicken Broth (Low Sodium)
- Sugar – 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
- Ground White Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground White Pepper
- Garlic – 3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
- Green Onions – 2 to 3 Stalks of Green Onions (Chopped Into Small Pieces)
- Thai Red Chili Peppers – 2 Thai Red Chili Peppers (Chopped Into Small Pieces) (Optional)
How To Make Ants Climbing A Tree
Making the Ants Climbing A Tree / (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树) is a very simple process to do.
Basically, all you’ll have to do is as followed:
Prepping The Noodles
Depending on what package of mung bean noodles that you buy, the instructions may be a bit different for each one.
Simply follow the instructions on the back to see exactly what you need to do to prepare them.
Although the most common method is to simply fill a pot with some cold water, and then place your dry noodles inside it. Let it sit there for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the noodles have become soft.
Then drain the water, rinse the noodles real fast, and then drain the water again. Set it aside, and it should be ready to use.
Making The Ants Climbing A Tree Dish
Grab a wok and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, add in your minced garlic, ginger and chopped Thai chili peppers. Then stir things around until things gets fragrant, which should take around 1 minute.
Now add in your Spicy Bean Paste and continue to stir things around for another minute.
Now you’ll want to add in your ground pork. Using your spatula, break the ground pork up into tiny pieces and cook it around until it is fully cooked.
Then you want to pour in your chicken broth, sugar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and ground white pepper. Stir things around and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Once the contents start to boil, add in your vermicelli noodles and chopped green onions. Stir things around and let it cook for an additional minute or so.
Then turn off the heat.
It is now ready to serve!
How To Store/Keep For Future Eating
Storing this Ants Climbing A Tree / (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树) dish is a really simple thing to do.
Basically if you have any leftovers remaining and want to store it for another day to eat, then all you’ll have to do is to simply wrap it up with some plastic wrap or just put it inside of an air-tight container. Then you can place it in the fridge where it should be good for up to 3 days.
As for freezing, you can also freeze this dish as well. Although I wouldn’t really recommend it as it’ll be a lot harder to prepare once you are ready to eat it. However if you do need to freeze this dish, simply place it in an air-tight container and place it in the freezer. It should be good for around 2 months.
As for re-heating this dish, simply heat up a wok or skillet on medium-high heat, and start stirring the noodles around for a bit. Once it’s nice and hot again then it will be ready to eat.
FAQS About This Recipe
No, there are no ants in this “Ants Climbing A Tree” dish.
Of course! You can use ground beef, chicken, shrimp or any other meat that you want.
You can typically find these noodles being sold in dry packages in many of the local Asian supermarkets that are near you.
How To Make The Best Ants Climbing A Tree
- Make sure you soak the mung bean vermicelli noodles long enough so that they can become soft and tender once cooked. If you don’t soak them for a long enough time, they’ll be a bit hard to eat.
- Depending on where you get this dish, typically water is used to help cook the ingredients together. However I choose to use Chicken Broth for a stronger and more flavorful bite. Although if you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can use water instead.
- This dish is going to be pretty spicy already, but if you want some more heat, then you can simply add in a few Thai chili peppers which will definitely bring the heat level up a bit.
Ants Climbing A Tree Recipe (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树)
- 200 Grams Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles
- 1 Cup Ground Pork
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Bean Paste
- 1/2 Tablespoon Ginger Minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
- 1 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth Low Sodium
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
- 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 3 Stalks Green Onion Chopped Into Small Pieces
- 2 Thai Chili Pepper Chopped Into Small Pieces
Prepping Your Noodles
- Follow the packages instructions on how to prep your noodles for use.Although the most common method is to fill a pot with some cold water. Then place your noodles inside and wait around 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes soft.Then drain the water, rinse the noodles, and then set it aside for use.
Making The Ants Climbing A Tree Dish
- Grab a wok and pour some oil into it over medium-high heat.Once the oil is hot enough, add in your minced garlic and ginger. Then stir things around for about 1 minute or until it starts to get fragrant.(Optional) You can add in chopped Thai chili peppers now too if you want a more spicier dish.
- Now add in your chili bean paste and stir things around for a few seconds.After that, add in your ground pork. Using a spatula, break up the ground pork and stir things around until everything combines together really nicely.Cook the ground pork until it is fully cooked, which should take a few minutes.
- Now pour in your chicken broth, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and ground white pepper. Then stir things around.Bring the contents to a boil.
- Once the contents start to boil, add in your noodles and chopped green onions.Stir things around for around 2 to 3 minutes.Then turn off the heat.
- Serve immediately.
Did you try making my Ants Climbing A Tree / (Ma Yi Shang Shu 蚂蚁上树)? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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