I heard the Japanese golfer Ryo Ishikawa is going to donate his entire year of earnings to help Japan. What a great guy! I was very impressed by his generosity. I donated what I could to the Red Cross for the Japan Tsunami Fund. I donated to my friend’s Girl Scout troops. I bought ticket for my vacation next month. I bought some software for my school work. With all these spending plus the crazy gas price, I have to cut back on other things. I made a frugal dish called Ants Climbing A Tree. It’s a traditional Chinese noodle dish. Usually it was pretty spicy, but I made it mild. It has a little bit of ground meat and the clear cellophane noodles and some seasonings. That’s pretty much it. It’s easy to make. The clear noodles absorb whatever seasoning that I added, and it was delicious. Cellophane noodles are pretty cheap, like 20 cents a pack. I probably used 1/3 pound of the meat. So I would say the whole dish is probably like $3!! Not bad at all for a cheap meal when I’m a budget.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
- Ground meat, 1/3 to ½ pound (I used ground beef. The traditional dish used ground pork. You can even use ground chicken or turkey).
- Cellophane noodles, 2 small packs
- Garlic, 2 cloves
- Scallion, 2 stalks
- Small onion, 1
- Chicken powder, 1 tsp
- Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp
- Water, 4 Tbsp
- Cornstarch, 1 tsp
- Soy sauce, 1 Tbsp
- Oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp
- White pepper, a dash
- Chili sauce, ½ tsp (you can add more)
- Boil about 5 or 6 cups of water in a saucepan. When water boils, add cellophane noodles. Let it cook for 7-10 mins until it is soft. Use a colander to hold the noodles and discard the water. Put it aside.
- Cut scallion into dices. Put it aside.
- Finely chopped garlic. Put it aside.
- Cut onion into strips, put it aside.
- Prepare the sauce: In a bowl, add chicken powder, water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper and cornstarch. Mix it well. Put it aside.
- Use a non-stick frying pan. Spray non-stick cooking oil to the pan. Use high heat. Add garlic, onion and meat to the pan. Add Chinese cooking wine. Stir fry the meat until it is cooked.
- Add cellophane to the meat. Let it cook for couple of minutes to make the noodles dry up a little bit.
- Add the sauce. Mix everything well. Turn down the heat to low. Let it simmer for 4 or 5 minutes or until the sauce is fully absorbed by the noodles. Stir the sauce well into the noodles. Add the chili sauce to the noodles. Taste it. Add a dash of salt or more chili sauce if needed.
- Add chopped scallion. Mix it well. Turn off the heat. Serve hot.