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.
I used this Cauldron Original Tofu, which is a hard, firm tofu that you can buy in most supermarkets.
Although Vegan 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!
I like to use this Clearspring Sweet White Miso which you can buy in most supermarkets/health stores.
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. I like these ones from Thai Taste, which you can buy in most supermarkets in the UK.
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!
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- Few tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, to fry
- 400g hard, firm tofu
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 2 leeks, finely sliced
- 4 portions rice noodles or glass noodles (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 heaped tablespoon 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 sugar)
- 2 tablespoons sherry (or Chinese wine)
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the marinade
- Pat tofu dry with a paper towel
- Place tofu in the 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
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet
- Add the noodles to the tofu, mix well and heat through
- To serve, scatter over sliced spring onions
- Best eaten when fresh