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Ants Climbing Up A Tree

1 lb Pork shoulder steak, boned and finely chopped, not ground
2 tb Soy sauce, light
2 tb Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 ts Ginger; grated
6 Scallions; thinly sliced
1 c Finely chopped cabbage or Napa (celery cabbage)
1 oz Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in water for 2 hours, drained and finely chopped (reserve the water)
4 c Oil, peanut; for deep frying
1 Package (4 ounce) glass noodles (sai fun)
2 Garlic cloves, chopped
1 tb Hot bean sauce
pn Sugar, granulated
Pepper, black; to taste
2 tb Cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1 tb Oil, sesame, toasted


Iceberg lettuce leaves, 2 or 3 for each person Bone and finely chop the pork. Do not grind this as you want very small pieces to "climb" on the branches of the noodles. Marinate the pork in the soy, wine and ginger for about 15 minutes. Slice the green onions. Finely chop the cabbage and mushrooms, reserving the soaking water from the mushrooms. Heat the oil in a wok until it is just beginning to smoke. Use good ventilation in your kitchen for this one! Open the noodle package and undo them a bit. Drop into the hot fat in small batches. They will immediately puff up into wonderful white crunchy noodles. Turn quickly to be sure that all of them are cooked. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Be very careful with this. You could burn yourself. Set the noodles aside. Heat another wok or frying pan and add 1 Tablespoon of the peanut oil. Add the chopped garlic and toss for a moment. Add the meat and marinade and stir fry, mixing it about, until the meat is tender but not dry, about 3 minutes on high heat. Remove the meat mixture and add the vegetables to the wok. Stir fry over high heat for 3 more minutes. Return the meat to the pan and add the hot bean sauce, sugar and black pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute and then add the cornstarch dissolved in the water. Stir until the sauce thickens. If you have too little sauce, add a bit of the water in which you have soaked the mushrooms. Add the sesame oil and stir. Place the fried noodles on a large platter and pour the meat and vegetable mixture over the noodles. Do this carefully so that the little pieces of pork and mushrooms will cling to the "branches". Toss at the table in front of your guests. Each person then takes a bit of noodle and meat sauce and places it in the center of a lettuce leaf. Roll it up like a burrito and enjoy. Serves 6-8 as part of a Chinese meal


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