ANTS ON A TREE (spicy pork with bean thread noodles, for four)


For marinating the pork:

1 pound ground pork

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian toasted sesame oil

For the noodles:

6 ounces very thin sai fun (Chinese bean thread noodles, also known as cellophane, glass or mung bean noodles)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup thinly sliced scallion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot

2 teaspoons Asian chile paste or ½ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1-½ cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons Scotch (or Shaoxing rice wine)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon Asian toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander, or to taste, if desired

1. Marinate the pork. In a small bowl combine the pork gently with the vinegar, the soy sauce, and the sesame oil and let it marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.

2. In a bowl soak the noodles in hot tap water to cover for 20 minutes, drain them, and cut them into 3 to 4 inch lengths.

3. In a wok or large heavy skillet heat the vegetable oil over moderately high heat until it just begins to smoke and in it stir-fry ¼ cup of the scallion, the garlic, and the gingerroot for 30 seconds. Add the pork and the chile paste and stir-fry the mixture, breaking up the lumps, until the meat is no longer pink. Add the noodles, the broth, the Scotch or rice wine, the soy sauce, the vinegar and the sugar and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the noodles have absorbed the liquid. Transfer the mixture to a platter, drizzle it with the sesame oil, and sprinkle it with the coriander and the remaining ¼ cup scallion.

adapted from Gourmet Magazine, September, 1993

Leave a Reply