Ants Climbing A Tree is a Chinese dish that consists of glass noodles with pork mince and spring onions. I love using minced tofu as a vegan substitute for minced meat, and it works perfectly in this dish, which I’ve decided to call Vegan Ants Climbing A Tree! This version is equally delicious but quicker, easier AND much healthier than the original.
All you have to do is break up the tofu into tiny pieces and marinade it in this 5-ingredient sauce that’s bursting with flavour – it’s actually the same marinade I used for my Twice-Cooked Tofu. You will have to use firm tofu for this.
Although Ants Climbing A Tree usually involves coating the minced pork in a spicy yellow bean paste, I didn’t have this at home when I made this dish, so I just used miso (which is also fermented soybean paste) instead.
It actually tasted very similar to the original and made it healthier too – win win!
Although usually served with glass noodles, I found that rice noodles also work well with the minced tofu, but you can use whichever you prefer. I recommend you use Thai-style rice noodles that keep their shape well when boiled.
This dish is ideal for a quick weeknight dinner but it’s also easy to double or triple the quantities and make a large batch of it to feed a crowd!
Looking for more exciting tofu recipes? You might like my:
- Tofu Satay Skewers
- Tofu Pad Thai
- Tofu Satay Curry
- Tofu Karaage
- Japanese-Style Mapo Tofu
- Twice-Cooked Tofu
- Peanut Tofu Stir Fry
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Vegan Ants Climbing A Tree - meat-free but equally delicious and much healthier than the original dish.
- 1 tablespoon of miso (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari if gluten-free)
- Chilli oil or flakes, to taste
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 2 tablespoons sherry or Chinese wine (ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or rapeseed)
- For the noodles:
- 4 portions rice noodles or glass noodles (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 400 g (14oz) hard firm tofu
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce
Cook or soak the noodles according to the instructions on the packet
- Pat tofu dry with a paper towel
Place tofu in the same bowl and crush it into very small pieces using a fork or your hands
- Make sure that every piece of tofu is covered in equal amounts of sauce – leave in fridge for a few hours
- Heat up some oil in a large frying pan and add garlic and leeks once hot
- Once the leeks have softened, add tofu and fry for about 10 minutes until piping hot
Add the cooked noodles to the tofu, mix well and heat through
Scatter over sliced spring onions
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