Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ants in Trees

Good Eats was one of the first shows I was really into on Food Network when I was younger. I am a nerd at heart and I love knowing random bits of trivia. I recently discovered that they still air the show at 8 am, so I began taping it because I still can’t seem to drag myself out of bed before 8:30 or 9.

The episode that I just watched was all about Chinese noodles. He made three different noodle dishes using three different types of noodles: rice, wheat, and mung bean. Now I had no idea that they made noodles out of ground mung bean. Yes, I have seen bean threads at the market before, but I guess I never really thought about it.

I decided to make “Ma Yi Shang Shu,” which strangely translates to Ants in Trees...I guess the noodles mixed with the ground pork looks like little ants climbing up idea.

I went to my local Asian market to get the noodles...the entire side of the aisle was top to bottom full of noodles...wheat...then rice...and finally found the bean section. I got the ones that closest resembled the ones he used in the show, which were the skinny, thread like ones.

ANTS IN TREES - Serves 4
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Ants in Trees

I couldn’t find a package of noodles that was 4.5 oz, so I just bought the 7 oz package and used more meat. If you don't want to buy rice wine, you can use a dry, white wine.

7 ounces mung bean noodles
2 ounces soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¾ pound ground pork
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 green onions, chopped, divided
½ cup chicken broth

Soak the noodles in a large bowl with enough hot water to cover by 1 inch for 20 minutes. Use kitchen shears to cut the noodles into 3 to 4-inch pieces and drain thoroughly in a colander for 10 minutes (place colander back in bowl because a puddle on the counter is never fun).

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, and chili paste in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the cornstarch and whisk until combined. Add the pork and mix until thoroughly integrated. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Place a 12-inch saute pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the oil shimmers, add the meat mixture. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, breaking the meat up into very small pieces. Add ⅔ of the green onions, especially the white parts, and continue cooking and stirring until the meat is well browned and in very small pieces, approximately 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the broth. Cook until reduced, approximately 3 minutes.

Slowly add handfuls of the noodles to the pan, tossing with the meat mixture until combined and the pieces of meat cling to the noodles and no liquid remains. Serve immediately with the remaining green parts of the green onions.

Maybe you want to serve this with some Chinese Dumplings too.

1 comment:

  1. That is a really weird name for something that looks really good. Anything with ants in the tittle makes we a little conserved lol.