Ants in a Tree


Kosher salt
1/2 pound cellophane noodles (bean threads) or angel hair pasta
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Asian chile paste
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2/3 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and bring back to a boil. Boil for 1 minute for cellophane noodles and 2 to 3 minutes for angel hair pasta. Drain in a colander and rinse under running water. Set aside.

Stir the pork with 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the sesame oil, the cornstarch, and 1/2 of the scallions in a small bowl.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Add the ginger, garlic, and chile paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork mixture and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the cabbage and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Cook, stirring, until the cabbage is almost wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooked noodles and cook, cutting them slightly with the side of the spatula, until the pork is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock and add the remaining scallions. Season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover loosely with foil and simmer until the noodles have absorbed some of the stock, about 3 minutes.

Source: Sara Moulton

4 servings

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