Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Ants Climbing Up a Bonsai

"Ants Climbing Up a Bonsai" isn't the original name of this dish, but I was facing quite a dilemma after I had finished cooking it. Not that there's anything wrong with its looks. Cus it looks good (to me). But I thought to myself.. either they are ginormous ants (of whose existence Dr. Sheldon Cooper is doubting as they would be crushed by their own exoskeleton. I completely agree with what my guru says. Shelly for president!), either the tree is really tiny. Owait! Tiny trees we do have! I am growing one myself. It's in the germinating stage now, but in ninety something years it will grow into a brave and sturdy Oak Jr. Personal orchards aside, I know the new name is, hands down, cuter than the initial english translation. I really trust the fact that "Ants Climbing Up a Tree" sounds way better in chinese. Equally important, "Six Prettiful Horses" sounds smashing in romanian.

-Interlude: thank ye mum, for on thy plate you have bringeth me this chicken burger. Yeah, not gonna hide it, I'm a junkie. No.. not that kind of junkie. You and your sleazy little mind, tsk, tsk -

Alright, moving on to details about the upcoming recipe.. The original thing is, of course, cooked in a wok. (cuaiman, google it) It is then doused with the finest soy infusions and dusted with..idk.. seahorse powder (oh lord, I hope not). In any event, all sorts of crazy condiments are added. Sitting here, all shamed and naked (wait, what?), I am thus admitting that my fanciest ingredient was dark soy sauce. That's cause of my lacking asian descent, damn it. Also, the resource lack made the preparation of this recipe seem more like a prelude for italian food. You'll feel it when you cook it. Oh boy I bet I got you all excited with my lamenting attitude. Haha. So grab you spoons and your woks and whatever and start your incursion into dem chinese food worldz. :D For this one,

You will need:

minced pork meat (about 300 grams)
one medium red onion
rice noodles (about a third of a 400 gram package - use around 100 grams and you'll be fine)
soy sauce
tomato sauce
seasonings (salt, pepper, go a little crazy and add some rosemary too)
water! (just one or two cups for the sauce)

Before anything else, you need to marinate the pork. A really good way of doing so is by putting your meat in a re-sealable plastic bag and pouring your liquid over(in this case some soy sauce) and tossing in some condiments. I learned this with great difficulty by watching Rob Rainford's cooking tv show. Learning the tools of trade from this guy is only as hard because.. the episodes focus on whatever sinful and delicious barbecue he's whipping up. Yup, he hosts an all-barbecue series. The idea is to transfer the flavour of the marinade into the meat. You can also achieve that by simply placing the minced pork in a bowl and covering it with soy sauce like I did. Wiggle it around a little bit and let it rest for half an hour. Placing that in the fridge until you're ready to use it is also a gud idea.

Alrighty. Now for the stingy part. Finely dice the onion. We all heard it won't cause any disconfort to your eyes if you peel them underwater and something something with some lemon. Ok so.. assuming you do peel it underwater.. then what? What I do so I won't get whiny about meddling with onion is pretty unconventional. I must have read it in an old lady magazine. You have to hold a match stick in your mouth, like you would a cigarette. (Whatever wtf-like expression you're thinking) I know, I know. But I swear by it!

Next, scoop your tiny onion cubes up and throw them in your mini-wok (aka skillet) over some oil. You can use either sunflower or olive oil, they both work fine. Let brown for a while but make sure you won't burn the onion. That would suck. You'd either have to replace the onion or eat gross noodles. So rly, don't. After it reaches the desired golden-brown colour, take out your meat and let it fry on top. Use a spatula to break the larger "ants" and stir occasionally until it cooks completely. When you've reached that stage, place a few dollops of tomato sauce into a small bowl and thin it up with a little water. Give it a light whisk and pour it over the cooking meat. Depending on how thick you want your sauce to be, you can add anything from one to two cups of water. It's now time to add the seasonings and the final few tablespoons of soy sauce. This will help darken your dish and add a little extra chinese kick.. Bruce Lee style. (kidding) Simmer this some more over very low heat. Meanwhile, soak your noodles into warm water for a few minutes. This process won't take as long as it would your regular flour pasta, but only 3 to 7 minutes. In any case, prepare them using the instructions on the package. When they're done, drain well and combine with the prepared sauce in the mock-wok. Makes four huge servings for y'all imaginary readers.


P.S.: ..Hi!

P.P.S.: I've just figured out.. these posts only look so long because of the condensed-like template. Stewpid..


  1. Love the commentary, fun writing. Recipe sounds wonderful and well worth a try, thanks for sharing.