Ants On Trees Recipe

ants on trees

If you are fond of adventurous food, ants on trees might be your dish. Don’t worry! these are not real ants from the tree but the dish gets its name from its looks. The plate and overall presentation do look like ants on the tree. The real adventure here is experiencing the food that looks unique and maybe cringe to some people. It is what it is! Today we bring you an ants on trees recipe and all about the dish.

What Dish Is Ants on Trees?

Ants on Trees is a Chinese dish originating from Sichuan cuisine in China. The common ingredient of a dish is glass noodles which are also known as cellophane noodles or bean thread noodles. The dish gets ants’ texture and looks from stir-fried ground pork and savoury sauces.
Despite its unusual name, the dish is simple yet flavourful with a unique texture. Mostly, the dish is presented as a main course in Asian meals.

Ants On Trees Recipe

For Ants on trees, you will need 

  • 100g glass noodles
  • 150g ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced red chilli for heat, chopped cilantro for garnish

Detailed Instructions

ants on trees noodles

  • Soak the glass noodles in hot water in a large bowl. After 10 minutes the noodles will get softened. Drain the water and place the noodles aside.
  • Meanwhile, over a medium flame, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet.
    Add pork to the oil and break it apart with a spatula. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until it turns brown. Remove the pork from the heat and set it aside.
  • Now add some fragrance to the dish. Heat the tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic and ginger. Fry for about 1 minute and make sure they don’t get burnt as ginger and garlic if not worked well, quickly turn brown and burnt.
  • Lastly, add the softened glass noodles and mix them with cooked ground pork. Combine all the ingredients evenly.
  • Pour in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil for seasoning. Make sure the seasoning gets mixed evenly with the pork and noodles.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  • For a fully cooked taste, cook this mixture for another 2-3 minutes. Of course, you won’t want the soy and oyster sauce to taste raw.
    If you are a spice lover, you can also add sliced red chilli for some extra heat.
    Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and chopped cilantro for freshness and colour.
    Transfer the Ants on Trees to a serving dish and serve hot and enjoy as a main course.

Can You Make Ants on Tree Without Meat?

Of course, you can make a vegetarian substitute for a dish too. You can simply switch pork with mushrooms or tofu. Both mushrooms and tofu will provide the same flavour and texture as the dish should have.
You can also add some additional vegetables like sliced bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, or baby corn. These will level up the nutrition game of the dish. However, keep in mind that adding step is frying them along with the garlic and ginger.
You can always play with the amount of chilli flakes and sauces as people can have their taste preferences for chilli and salt in the dish.

Can You Use Other Than Glass Noodels For Ants On Trees Recipe?

We won’t sugarcoat coat but the best option is always glass noodles. They give this unique look and texture to the dish. However, you can use rice noodles or even spaghetti. Depends on what is handy and what is available in your area.

man eating ants on trees noodles

How Long Can You Store Ants On Trees Dish?

The dish reheats well and keeps the texture and flavour. You can store it for up to 3 days but you must use an air-tight container. Store it in a cool and dry place, preferably in the refrigerator. To reuse, simply heat it in the microwave.

If you are a creative cook, you can transform leftover Ants on a Tree into a new dish by repurposing it. You may use it as a filling for lettuce wraps or spring rolls for a fresh and light appetizer. Alternatively, toss the leftovers with beaten eggs and pan-fry them to make a delicious noodle frittata or omelette for a hearty breakfast or brunch option. Leftover Ants on a Tree can also be used in fried rice or noodle soup for a quick and satisfying meal.

What Allergen Ants On Trees Can Have?

The potential allergens in the Ants on Trees recipe depend on the specific ingredients used as the dish can have many variations. Common allergens that may be present include:

  • Soy sauce is a primary seasoning in the ants on trees dish. Soybeans are a common allergen. So individuals with soy allergies should be careful when consuming the dish.
  • Oyster sauce is another common ingredient of the dish. Oysters are shellfish, and individuals with shellfish allergies may avoid ants on trees.
  • Usually, glass noodles are gluten-free. However, if you are using spaghetti or another substitute noodle in the ants on trees recipe, they may contain wheat-based ingredients. We recommend individuals with wheat allergies or gluten sensitivities may not consume ants on trees.
  • As the dish has Chinese origin. Sesame oil is a common seasoning in Chinese cuisine and may be used in ants-on-tree recipes. Individuals with sesame allergies should be careful about it when dining out.
  • Depending on the specific recipe, other allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, or dairy products may be present. It’s essential to check the ingredients carefully to ensure safety. 
  • Home-made ants on trees are always best as you can have control over ingredients. However, if you are visiting Fresh Elements Restaurant, they do listen carefully and you can ask them for an allergen-free version.

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