Spicy Glass Noodles with Pork (Ants Climbing a Tree)

Spicy glass noodles with pork is more traditionally known as “ants climbing a tree” (ma yi shang shu – 蚂蚁上树); this spicy Sichuan noodle dish is so aptly named because the minced pork cling to the mung bean vermicelli, resembling ants climbing on a tree. It’s typically eaten with rice because the spiciness makes it “xia fan” (a rice killer) — so yes, CARBS ON CARBS.


  • Pork marinade:
    • 1/4 lb ground pork
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 rolls of mung bean vermicelli (also called bean thread noodles)
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced, separated by whites and greens
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 inch piece grated or minced ginger
  • 1 birds eye chili, minced (optional, leave out for less spicy)
  • 1 tbsp doubanjiang
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • Marinate ground pork in Shaoxing wine and cornstarch for ~15 minutes
  • Soak mung bean noodles in warm water for 10 minutes
  • Heat up oil over medium heat and sauté garlic, ginger, scallion whites, and bird’s eye chili for 30 seconds
  • Add pork, once ~50% brown, add doubanjiang, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and sauté for another minute
  • Add 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer
  • Add noodles and cover with lid and cook until sauces are absorbed by noodles ~3-4 minutes. Remove lid and mix.
  • Top with scallions

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