Mao Er Duo literally means cats’ ears in Chinese, but it’s actually a type of traditional Chinese pasta dish. It’s similar to Italian Orecchiette pasta. The shape of the pasta resembles cats’ ears, that’s how people come up with the name, mao er duo. So don’t be scared by the name, it has nothing to do with real cats.
Mao er duo is one of the signature dishes at Zhi Wei Guan知味观, a famous restaurant in Hangzhou, China with more than 100 years of history. My family used to visit Zhi Wei Guan a lot when I was little.
My version of mao er duo tastes even better than Zhi Wei Guan. This pasta is high in protein, filling and flavorful. Don’t hesitate to try it out!
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 50g all purpose flour
- 25g (approx.) warm water
- 10 shrimps
- 3-4 pieces dried scallops
- 1tsb cooking wine
- several pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 60g mixed corn, peas and carrots
- salt to taste
*You can find dried scallops in most of the Chinese grocery stores.
- Soak dried scallops with cooking wine and warm water. Reconstitute dried mushrooms with warm water as well. Thaw mixed corn, peas and carrots if they’re previously frozen.
- To make mao er duo pasta, slowly add warm water to flour, stir with chopsticks in the meantime, until it becomes flaky as shown in picture.
- Knead into a smooth dough, cover with plastic wrap or cloth and let stand 30-60 min. The dough shouldn’t be very soft.
- Roll the dough out, cut into small pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into small balls, press down in the middle with your thumb roll in the direction as the pink arrow indicates in the picture.
- Cook pasta by boiling for 7-10 min. Transfer pasta (drained) into a bowl of cold water, this way the pasta will be chewier.
- Drain the deconstructed mushrooms, get rid of the roots and cut into small pieces. Save the soaking water.
- Heat a little bit of oil in a pan, add shrimps and saute.
- When shrimps change color, add reconstituted scallops (drained and sliced), mushrooms, mixed vegetables and salt, saute for several minutes.
- Add mushroom soaking water and normal water (200-250ml all together).
- Bring to boil and continue cooking for several minutes. Add more salt to the broth if desire.
Add the soup base to drained pasta. Dig in! The pasta is high in protein, flavorful, healthy and filling. It really reminds me of my childhood! Enjoy!