We made this dish about a couple of weeks ago. Stephen and I tend to cook a lot of Asian dishes — you’ll soon discover, haha. This dish is one of our favorites, and coincidentally, another one using chicken broth. This week, it’s time for us to use our noodle! Anyone remember that show, PB&J Otter? If so, you’ll know what I’m talking about as I reference this silly kids show that I loved watching.
Ants in a Tree
Don’t be fooled. This one has a way different taste than the orecchiette dish we make. I like this one better since it’s a noodle based dish. I’m not sure how tricky the noodles might be to find in your area, but they exist somewhere!
Here’s the recipe:
- 4 1/2 ounces mung bean noodles
- 2 ounces soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 tablespoon sambal chili paste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 10 ounces ground pork
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 green onions, chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
We’ve found out that the recipe above is waaaay too salty for our taste, so we tweak it by using reduced sodium and regular chicken broth– or, vice versa. Whichever we have, we’ll use, but we always use an item that has less sodium!
I’m giving this dish a two for a price rating in case people don’t particularly buy the mung bean noodles or the chili paste. They aren’t expensive, but it does make a difference if you choose to buy the noodles in bulk and are difficult to find in your area.
Since Kroger doesn’t have them, we then sought out Publix for them. They’re about $3 or so for one box that we either use half or completely, I can’t remember for sure. There’s an Asian Market near us that has a pack of 10 for $9 or so.
In that case, the bundle of noodles for the win!
We also double this recipe since it calls for 10 ounces of ground pork and we just cook the whole pound of meat. Plus, these are even better cold! In our opinion, that is.
Let’s Get to Prepping!
When making this recipe, we actually do follow the directions – only whenever Stephen is in charge of the stirring process. This is what I referenced to in the very first FWMD post about him keeping track of every second.
What you’ll want to do first is combine the pork marinade mixture together: soy sauce, rice wine, chili paste, and cornstarch because it’s supposed to soak for 30 minutes.
Then, mix it together with the ground pork! I tend to use gloves because it’s not as messy, and it’s much more effective than using a spoon or another kitchen utensil.
The noodles also have to soak for 20 minutes, so after you’ve prepped up the pork mix, let the noodles soak in steaming hot water.
After they have soaked for their allotted times:
I know, hardly a difference in the pictures, but that’s how they turn out!
Once the noodles are strained, we’ll leave them to the side for now. We’ll cut up the onions and also separate them into 1/3 and 2/3. The 2/3 will go into the pan with the ground pork to cook later and the remaining onions are used as garnish.
After the meat cooks and drains, we’ll put the 2/3 of the onions in.
After a few minutes, we throw the broth in. I think the directions said to keep stirring the stove mixture until 7 minutes. I couldn’t throw in the noodles like I wanted to, sigh.
Also, these noodles are so long that we just had to cut them into feasible sizes to make the mixing process easier.
He was sticking to his timer, so he wouldn’t allow me a second or few to capture it all cooking, so here’s the lovely action shot once I was able to put the noodles in!
Here’s the final product! I added sesame seeds, and I will continuously use them at any opportunity, haha.
Taste: Hands down, one of our favorite recipes. It has the perfect ratio of meat with noodles. Although, I wouldn’t ever be opposed with a higher noodle to meat ratio! Ants in a Tree has less of a chicken broth flavor due to the other sauces that overshadow them from the pork mixture.
*9/27/19: I made this meal one night and for the first time, I let the mix cook too long in the chicken broth, which may have contributed to the lack of sauce because this time around, there was less sauce!
The combination of soy sauce and the chili paste even it out to create more of a spice to it.
The leftovers are even better, and they tend to have more of a chick broth-y flavor. Every now and then, you will get a kick of spice, but that’s mainly because of the chili paste.
Hope you enjoyed our rendition of Ants in a Tree! It’s so simple and easy to make. Once you get past the waiting game, you really get to work with stirring in all the remaining ingredients!