Mar 8, 2009

Ants Climbing a Tree!? 螞蟻上樹

Ants? What?
Don't ask me where I got all the "ants" for this famous Chinese dish,
Maybe I just put a lava cake in the middle of the kitchen and waited overnight,
Or I tossed some rice in the garden and followed some ants to their nest...

Ok ok, before I seriously gross you out,
The real "ants" behind this dish is in fact - ground pork!
The vermicelli used in the dish resembles a tree,
And the ground pork resembles ants,
Don't think vermicelli and ground pork look like tree and ants?
I'm on your side too,
I think whoever named this dish a long long time ago might be drunk,
You never know!


1 lb of ground pork
2 small bundles of vermicelli (soaked in warm water first to soften it)
4 garlic cloves (peeled, minced)
2 teaspoons of grated ginger
2 stalks of scallion (diced into small pieces)
2 tablespoons of spicy broad bean paste
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of Chinese wine (sake works too)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of black vinegar
2 teaspoons of corn starch
Extra virgin olive oil


First we need to prepare the vermicelli.

Simply soak them in warm water till they turned soft.
Drain out the water and set aside.

After that,
Drizzle some olive oil in the pan and toss in minced garlic, grated ginger, and 2/3 of the scallion,
Cook till the aroma comes out (watch out don't let the garlic get burned),
Add the spicy broad bean paste.
Give it a quick stir, add the ground pork into the pan.

Remember to mix the sauce and the pork well,
Wait until the meat is fully cooked,
Add the oyster sauce, vinegar, cooking wine, sugar, and about 2 tablespoons of water,
Give it a quick stir again,
Toss in the vermicelli.

Some people cut the noodles first before cooking it,
I just use my spatula and cut them into shorter pieces during the cooking process,
Make sure the vermicelli are cooked through and turned soft,

One last step,
Combine about 1 tablespoon of corn starch with about 2 tablespoons of water,
Toss into the pan,

Another quick stir and this dish is ready to go,
Matches perfectly with steamy white rice-

End Note:
So does that picture looks like ants climbing a tree with ant eggs?
Maybe I'm drunk here too...

Cindy's Rating: 7


  1. This dish certainly looks like a perfect match with rice with all of its flavors!

    The picture looks like ants on a mound of grass to me :).

  2. To EatTravelEat~
    Ha thanks,
    It was my first time trying out the dish, good thing it turned out pretty good!

  3. 螞蟻上樹! hahahha, i like this dish. So what makes the rice? Ants Climing a Tree on Soil? Hehee

  4. I think the rice grains are the ant larvae!

    Chinese names for dishes are so fascinating. :)

    In America, there is a "dish" served to children called "ants on a log" and it is made by putting peanut butter into halved celery sticks and then sprinkling raisins on top. Ta-da! Ants on a log.


  5. To Tigerfish~
    Haha I should find more dishes with "interesting" names and put it on my blog!

    To Ivan~
    Never heard of that, sounds so fun!
    Learned something today haha!

  6. i was looking up authentic chinese recipes just the other day and learned about this. if i wasn't trying to find a recipe for pork chops, i would have completely made this. thank you for the beautiful pictures - now I"m definitely making this.

  7. To We Are Never Full~
    Thank you so much,
    By the way,
    I love your name "we are never full!!!"