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Paul Winalski


Wok Wielder




Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:16 pm


Merrimack, New Hampshire

RCP: Ma Yi Shang Shu (Ants Climbing a Tree)

by Paul Winalski » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:13 pm

This Sichuan dish is made from mung bean thread noodles stir-fried with ground meat and stock. When you dangle the noodles from chopsticks, bits of the meat cling to them "like ants climbing a tree". This recipe is from Fuchia Dunlop's book Sichuan Cookery.

4 oz (~100 g) bean thread noodles
1 tsp Shaoxing wine (or dry Fino Sherry)
1/4 lb (~100 g) ground pork or beef
2 TBS neutral oil (I prefer peanut oil)
3 tsp (in all) light soy sauce
1 1/2 TBS chilli bean paste (doubanjiang)
350 ml (12 oz) Chinese everyday stock (or chicken stock)
3 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced

[1] Soak the noodles in very hot water for at least 15 minutes, and drain them just before starting the cooking. In a bowl, add the Shaoxing wine and a couple of good pinches of salt to the ground meat, and mix well.

[2] Season your wok, then add the oil and heat over a high flame. Add the meat mixture and 1 tsp of light soy sauce. Stir-fry until lightly browned and crispy.

[3] Add the doubanjiang and stir-fry until the oil is red and fragrant. Be careful not to burn it; remove the wok from the heat if it gets too hot.

[4] Add the stock and the drained noodles and stir well. Add the dark soy sauce and remaining 2 tsp of light soy sauce.

[5] When the stock comes to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated and been absorbed by the noodles. Add the scallions, mix well, and serve.


Most Shaoxing cooking wine sold in groceries has salt added, so take that into account when seasoning. For my taste, between the wine, the soy sauces, and the doubanjiang, there's enough salt without adding any more.

Use Pixian doubanjiang if you can (it's available online from The Mala Project). Lee Kum Kee makes doubanjiang, but it has a different flavor from the authentic Sichuan chilli bean paste. It's an acceptable substitute if you can't get the real thing.

-Paul W.
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FLDG Dishwasher




Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm


The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: RCP: Ma Yi Shang Shu (Ants Climbing a Tree)

by Jenise » Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:16 am

Thank you, Paul. I am SO doing this.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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