Ma Yi Shang Shu


After reading the Capital of Heat article by Matt Gross, I pinned all of his Szechuan recipes to inspire testing. I suppose nothing is more inspirational than actually testing out some of his recipes to get the hang of the fiery ingredients.

Umani is a word Matt used to describe Szechuan flavor. I was hoping to be able to get some umami in my own kitchen. It happened. This recipe here, Ma Yi Shang Shu, or "Ants Climbing on a Tree", knocked my taste bud socks off. I've made a few modifications to the original recipe, but used most of the same flavors and ingredients.

Ma Yi Shang Shu

1/4 lb bean thread noodles
2 + 1 tbsp chili sesame oil
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 lb ground pork
2 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
3 tbsp chili bean sauce
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 scallions (thinly chopped)
2 cups Chinese broccoli (rough chop)

Put noodles and 4 cups boiling water in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let sit for about 4 minutes. Drain and mix noodles with 2 tbsp chili infused sesame oil. Set aside until ready to toss with sauce.

Heat canola oil and 1 tbsp sesame oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add pork, breaking up with a cooking spoon into small pieces until browned, 5–7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes. 

Add chili bean sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and stock. Bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 8–10 minutes. Add Chinese broccoli with about 5 minutes left. Stir in dark soy sauce and scallions, and serve!

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