Ants Climbing on Branches

Is anyone as holidayed (I just made up a word!) out as me?  I made this a couple of weeks ago, but have been behind on posting – something that the holidays can do.  I am hoping that two weeks off from work can get me back on track…in any event – I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!

When I was growing up, my most favorite home cooked meal was Chinese Dumplings and Ants Climbing on Trees (ground pork with thin noodles).  I would often ask for this meal for my birthday dinner.  When I grew up, I made this for my friends, and it was always a huge hit.  So, the other night when I made this dish – which in my mind was very similar to my childhood favorite except that the noodles were substituted with the green beans – it was just as good as I remember.  We had to come up with a different name – and we felt like the green beans looked like branches – therefore the name.  I found this recipe in Cooking Light – but heavily adapted it below to be more like the one I remember.


  • 1 1/4  pounds  green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4  teaspoons  peanut oil
  • 1  tablespoon  minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1  tablespoon  minced fresh garlic
  • 1  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1/2  pound  lean ground pork
  • 1/3  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2  tablespoons  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  cornstarch
  • 1/3  cup  thinly sliced green onions


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add beans; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar and cornstarch; stir with a whisk. Stir broth mixture into pork mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened. Add green ovens and cook for one more minute.  Serve over steamed rice.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here: Ants Climbing on Branches

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4 thoughts on “Ants Climbing on Branches

  1. Hi Dawn! It’s Mer’s friend Alicia in Santa Barbara. She told me about your blog-I am always looking for new, healthy, family-friendly ideas- what a great idea!

    I made this tonight & my husband & 11/2 year-old loved it.
    i didn’t see where the rice vinegar or green onions fit in on the preparation but I think I figure it out.

    Thanks again & beautiful photos!


    1. Thanks Alicia – glad you like the blog and the pictures!! Thanks for letting me know about this recipe – I just corrected it and added the last couple of ingredients :).


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