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Ants climbing a tree

Ants climbing a tree
Ants climbing a tree
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Ants Climbing a Tree (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ) is a classic Sichuan dish in Chinese cuisine.[1] Additional names for the dish include "Ants climb tree", "ants climbing up a tree", "ants on the tree", "ants creeping up a tree", "ants climbing a hill" and "ants climbing a log".[2][3] The dish consists of ground meat, such as pork,[3] cooked in a sauce and poured over bean thread noodles. It is so called because the bits of ground meat clinging to the noodles evoke an image of ants walking on twigs.[2] Other ingredients in the dish may include rice vinegar, soy sauce,[2] vegetable oil, sesame oil,[2] scallions, garlic, ginger,[2] and chili paste.

To make the "ants", meat is marinated for a short time at room temperature while the noodles are soaked to soften. In a wok, oil is heated until almost smoking. The scallions, garlic, and ginger are cooked slightly in the wok before the marinated meat is added. The softened noodles are added to the wok to soak up the flavor and juices.

Dry noodles that have not yet been softened can also be fried in hot oil to add texture to the dish. The noodles will puff immediately and can be removed with a bamboo or stainless wire skimmer, then set on paper towels to drain before adding to the rest of the dish.

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