I first had this dish when my grandma came one year from Taiwan to visit … The literal translation for 貓耳朵 (pinyin: mao1 er3 duo1) is “cat ear”.. but don’t worry no cats are harmed in the making of this dish. The rolled flour dumplings look like cat ears, which is what the name of this dish references! or.. just think of them as the Chinese “gnocchi.”
1 lb chicken, diced (see marinade below) OR 1 lb beef for stew, cubed
2 leeks, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 inch size ginger
1/2 cup cooking wine
1 cup soy sauce
stewed beef pouch (滷味包）, optional
Chicken marinade Ingredients- (See earlier post here)
2 tbs light soy sauce
3 tbs chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sugar
2-3 tsp cornstarch and mix well.
Cat ears Ingredients–
1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup room temperature water
1 tsp salt
1. Chop onion, carrots, leeks, celery. Feel free to add turnips, or anything else you please. Chop off some of the ginger skin, and smash with the side of your knife (this allows the flavor to get into the stew).
2. In the meantime, marinate the meat, if chicken. Using the same pot you will be cooking the stew in, add some oil and cook the chicken until lightly browned ~5-7 min.
If you are using beef, make sure the pieces are cubed and roughly the same size. If using beef, boil water, add the beef to the boiling water for ~5 min to clean the meat. Dump water out and rinse. Add clean meat back to pot.
3. Add water to the pot with the meat. Add until meat is just covered. Add ginger. Add soy sauce, cooking wine, and beef stew flavor pouch (if using). Heat until boiling and then simmer on low heat for ~1 hour.
4. Add vegetables into the stew (carrots, celery, leek, onion, turnip…) and cook on low heat for another 20 minutes.
5. In the meantime, prepare the dough for the noodles. In a separate mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, water, egg. Mix until a dough-like consistency. If it is too gooey, add some more flour to get it drier. If you want, you can make this earlier and let sit in the bowl (cover with plastic wrap or wet paper towel to prevent dough from drying).
6. Knead the dough and roll out into one piece. Using a knife, cut the rolled dough into strips and then cut small squares (~.5 inch). We were lazy and just rolled the dough into long logs and ripped little pieces off.
7. Now to make the “cat ears”. Take a piece of the cut dough, and using the side of your thumb, in a rolling motion (down to up), roll the dough square into a piece that looks like a “cat ear”
8. In another pot, boil some water with some salt. Once boiling, add in the pasta in small batches and continue to gently stir the water to prevent the pasta from sticking to one another or to the pot. Boil pasta for about 5-7 min until al dente. Once this is done, the vegetables should have cooked for ~20 minutes by now. So you can use a slotted spoon to move the pasta directly into the stew mixture.
9. Cook the pasta in the stew for another 20 minutes so that the stew flavor has been infused into the pasta.
10. Scoop and serve. Enjoy deliciousness. You can always refrigerate leftovers and eat the rest of the week! If the stew gets a little dry, add more water before reheating.