Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ants in A Tree

No, I haven't joined the entomophagy movement - though insects are a good source of protein - but I did make the Sichuan noodle dish Ma Yi Shang Shu which translates to "ants climbing a tree". This adaptation of spicy stir-fried ground pork (the "ants") and cellophane noodles (the "tree") came from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, the book I'm cooking from this month.
I have to say that this was fantastic! Spicy and garlicky, but not overwhelmingly so, and quite effortless to make. As with all stir-fries, most of the time was spent measuring and prepping ingredients and once the cooking started, it came together in no time at all. This version called for napa cabbage - I doubled the amount - and listed "Asian chile paste" as an ingredient. I used sambal oelek since that's what I had but the heat level was quite tame so I'd like to try it with the Sichaun chile bean paste that's traditionally used next time.
Stir-fried spinach with garlic chips rounded out this meal.

Both recipes are from Sara Moulten's book: Ants in a Tree, page 171 and Sautéed Spinach with Garlic Chips, page 232. I recommend the book but if you'd like to try these dishes, clicking on the recipe name will take you to the recipe online.
I'm participating again this month in Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.


  1. Zosia, it was only just this week that I come across this noodle dish 'ants climbing up tree', twice, apparently a popular dish in China! Both your dish look delish.

  2. Delicious bowl of noodles! This is one of the popular noodle in China, and you have cooked it really well! Looks delicious and so is that bowl of spinach, looks so green and fresh, and garlicky good! I will have to check out this book!


Thank you for visiting. I'd love to hear from you.