Mung Bean Noodles with Pork (Ma Yi Shang Shu)
Ma Yi Shang Shu is a dead-simple Sichuan dish that's also known by the name "ants climbing up a tree". If you've got ground pork and mung bean threads on hand, you've essentially got all of the ingredients for this dish.
A word about ingredients: mung bean threads are usually available in the dried aisle of your Asian grocer, and often come in small bundles (see photo). Sichuan cuisine often makes use of a spicy bean paste -- look for "broad bean" in the ingredients (as opposed to soybeans), and a dark, rich color.
- 2 small packets of mung bean noodles (approximately 3-4 oz)
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp grated ginger & juice
- salt to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2 tbsp Sichuan chili bean paste -- doubanjiang (辣豆瓣酱)
- pinch of sugar
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- Add ginger and a pinch of salt to the ground pork. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Soak the mung bean noodles in a bowl of water for a few minutes. The noodles will take on water so don't leave them sitting around for too long. Make several cuts using scissors, so that the noodles will be in easy-to-eat lengths (and mix better with the rest of the ingredients). Drain the noodles.
- Heat a wok, add vegetable oil, and cook the pork for a few minutes, using a spatula to break the pork apart into small bits (these are your "ants"!)
- Add chili bean paste, scallions and sugar, stirring thoroughly.
- Now add the noodles, chicken stock and soy sauce. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce and simmer until the liquid mostly evaporates. Taste, and add more sugar/salt if you'd like. Garnish with additional green onion or cilantro.
Serving Size: 2-3
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Preparation Time: 15 minutes