October 27, 2009

Making my own Cat's Ears (Mao Er Duo)

Shanxi's stir fried cat's ears.                                              Neil Perry's Cat's Ears (Sydney)

The week end saw my cousin visiting me. My cousin received her tertiary education in Taiwan and I thought I would like to impress her with my own home made Cat's Ears - a popular homemade pasta usually made by Taiwanese housewives.

Well I did have some flour and one egg. So I took one egg and about 6 tablespoons of good flour and mixed the dough well with a little salt and water.

I left the dough to prove for a while and then together my cousin and I rolled out the dough and made little rectangles and then pinched them into little cat's ear shaped pasta.

We made enough of the pasta and then prepared a soup with dried mushrooms and some minced pork and onions. To give the soup the best taste possible I added my mother's Singapore bought Foochow Fishballs!!

Well - you can guess right - the Cat's Ears tasted really good. My cousin decided that she would go back and impress her mother with the newly learnt recipe.

(Secret: always keep real pepper and chicken stock in the freezer for good soup dishes!!)

Looked up the Internet for a more sophisticated recipe and look what I have found for you!

Neil Perry: Cat’s ear noodles with peppers and chilli sauce

Serves 4

Cooking Time Prep time 15 mins, cook 35 mins

50 ml peanut oil
180 gm pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and sinew, thinly sliced across the grain
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce
¼ each red and green capsicum, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed in a mortar and pestle
10 ml Shaoxing wine/Foochow red wine
50 ml chicken stock
10 ml light soy sauce
5 ml each sesame oil and chilli oil
Cat’s ear noodles
140 gm (about 1 small) desiree ( or any type)  potato, scrubbed
80 gm plain flour

1 For cat’s ear noodles, steam potato until very tender (20-25 minutes), then when cool enough to handle, peel. Mash until smooth, add flour, mix to a soft dough, then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Using a pasta machine with rollers at widest setting, feed dough through rollers, folding and reducing settings notch by notch until dough is 2mm thick, then cut into 1cm x 4cm lengths. Blanch in boiling salted water until glossy (30 seconds-1 minute), drain and refresh. Drain again, drizzle with a little peanut oil, stir to coat and set aside.
2 Heat a wok over high heat until smoking, add peanut oil, then pork, and stir-fry until pork starts to brown (3-5 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add chilli bean sauce to wok, stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds-1 minute), add capsicum and garlic and toss for 30 seconds. Deglaze with Shaoxing wine, add chicken stock, soy sauce and oils and bring quickly to the boil. Add noodles and warm through, add reserved pork and simmer until sauce is reduced to a glaze (1-2 minutes). Serve immediately.

RECIPE Neil Perry and Andy Evans PHOTOGRAPHY Chris Chen STYLING Emma Knowles


William said...

Wah... you are so capable! Hear the way you described it, it has to be good.

wenn said...

wow..so nice..

Bengbeng said...

psst..secret ...i use chicken stock too. i hate the manufactured stock cubes :)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

He he he he...William - this is "kampong cooking" - not like your daughter's sushi and whatever refined ways....It would be like a cook willing to handle everything naturally in Tuscany...I would love to have fresh eggs from our own chickens in the barn and goat milk directly from a nanny goat!!
This is the kind of bonding you would enjoy with your relatives and dear ones....also the dough can be made one day ahead.

Sarawakiana@2 said...


Our grandmothers used to make everything from scratch so it was actually a very very nice feeling too for me this time with my cousin.......and waiting for the soup to boil we get all the nice aroma in the whole kitchen/house!!
Foochow Fishballs just evoke memories of grandmother!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yeah...Bengbeng...make your own fish/chicken/meat stock and put in the freezer. Save money too.

Anonymous said...


This is excellent. I am going to try doing this with my relatives...it seems so easy...Nothing ventured nothing gain!



Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Justin
How are you and your family?

I am sure you would be able to do this very well...check out the pan mien noodles in Miri....this mao er duo would be also very nice with some changkok manis and lots of garlic and mince meat....Use sesame oil and onion oil too.
Glad you are going to try it...

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