Two mighty Chinese dishes were up on the list, repeats actually since I’ve been craving Chinese food: Lion’s head meatballs and Ants Climbing up a Tree.
I can feel the strange stares coming a mile away; lion’s meat and ants are not used in this recipe! Chinese people like to draw parallels to nature and with a little imagination, I can see how the names came about.
While I set my sights on these two dishes, something called laziness took ahold. Why not combine the two dishes and be done with it? I didn’t even have bean thread noodles and had to substitute it with rice noodles. Looks like this is a combination of 3 dishes now! Hello mifun,it’s so nice to see you again. I haven’t had you since my mom last made the dish for Chinese New Years!
- 5-6 oz package of rice sticks
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 green onion stems, diced
- 1/2 block firm tofu, sliced thinly
- A large pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger (if using fresh ginger, increase amount to 1 tbs)
- 2 cups chicken broth
For the meat mixture:
- 1 lb of ground pork (fatty kind, not lean)
- 1/4 package of firm tofu, diced into tiny cubes
- 1 tbs rice cooking wine
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp of white pepper
- 1 tsp corn starch
Soak rice sticks and dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place all ingredients listed under the meat mixture section into a heavy duty ziplock bag. Mix together with your hands and seal the bag. Here’s where it gets violent: with one hand around the top of the bag, throw/slam the bag against the counter. Continue for about a minute as this will help tenderize the meat.
Use the remaining time to prepare the remaining ingredients. Dice the onion, cilantro, green onions. Slice the tofu into thin sliced. When mushrooms are soft and pliable, remove the hard stem and chop finely.
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat and add 3 tbs oil. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Add in garlic, red peppers, and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add meat mixture, toss until combined and meat is cooked, and transfer meat mixture to a separate bowl.
In the same wok, add 1 tbs of oil. Gently distribute the thinly sliced tofu in the pan and pan fry until the bottom has turned a golden color. Add in the green onions and gently flip the tofu. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until both sides are a golden color. Season with a light sprinkle of salt and transfer to a separate bowl.
In the same wok, add 1 tbs of oil. Drain the mifun and add to the wok. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes and add in chicken broth. Cover the wok and and cook until most liquid has evaporated (about 7-10 minutes). Taste a noodle to ensure it is still not crunchy.
Add in the meat mixture into the wok and combine thoroughly with the mifun. Taste the noodles to see if it has enough flavor to your liking. I found that I like to add a dash more of soy sauce, white pepper, and a tbs of oyster sauce (sometimes even bit of siracha!) When the noodles are to your liking, gently toss in the tofu.
Garnish with green onions and cilantro.