I love the fusion of cultures in Toronto that spills onto the plate. Our Asian-Inspired Mac ‘N’ Cheese is a twist on the tried-and-true favorite, adding Udon noodles, edamame and seaweed garnish for a delicious Asian flare.
I recently stumbled on a video from Now Toronto for a “guu’d style mac ‘n’ cheese” by chef Masaru Ogasawara. Intrigued by how appetizing it looked. I instantly set off to my kitchen to create my own version of the dish – a vegetarian version (I don’t eat meat). After a few trials and errors, I was very happy with this Asian-Inspired Mac ‘N’ Cheese.
Over the years I have come to love Asian foods from India, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, etc. And I do love my Mac N Cheese. This dish is an “East meets West” fusion – sort of a North-American classic with an Asian statement.
Surprisingly, the chopped Udon noodles and the creamy cheese sauce resemble Kraft Dinner, a Canadian fave, with a bit of kick (if you add the Wasabe), but this recipe has a lot more nutrient-rich ingredients from the broccoli and edamame. A big plus for me. Another plus is that it takes only 30 minutes to make since it’s not baked.
I’m not going to lie. This dish is not low cal. That being said, it tastes great and it’s super easy to make so I tell myself its OK to indulge sometimes.
Shortcut for Asian-Inspired Mac ‘N’ Cheese
- Buy pre-shredded cheese
- Buy frozen pre-shelled edamame beans.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Try asparagus or fresh baby spinach instead of broccoli.
- Substitute Gruyere or American cheese.
- Use a lighter milk and/or cream than called for in the recipe to reduce the calories.
Asian-Inspired Mac 'N' Cheese Recipe
- 400 gram cooked packaged Instant Udon Noodles, cut into smaller pieces
- 3 tbsp Butter, divided
- 1 Small Onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup Broccoli Florets
- 1 cup Fresh Edamame Beans, removed from pods (or frozen pre-shelled)
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 cup 10% Cream (half and half)
- 1 cup 2% Milk
- 1 3/4 cup Aged/Old Cheddar, shredded
- 1 tsp Wasabi Powder (very mild heat). OPTIONAL
- Shredded Roasted Seaweed (garnish)
- COOK THE NOODLES: In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add shelled edamame beans and boil for 1 minute. Then add udon noodles and cook according to package instructions, about 3 more minutes. Drain and set aside.
- MAKE VEGETABLES AND SAUCE: Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet on medium heat and then add sliced onions. Cook onions until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add broccoli florets. Cover with lid to allow steam to cook broccoli for 3-4 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the final 1 ½ tablespoons of butter letting it melt. Stir in flour and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in cream and milk and cook until thickened slightly, about 3 mins. Turn off heat. Add cheese and stir until fully incorporated. If desired, add wasabi powder (adjust amount to your preference) for a bit of heat.
- FINISH DISH: Add cooked udon noodles and edamame to cheese-vegetable mixture and stir until all the noodles are covered. Place in bowl and top with lots of shredded seaweed.
Other Asian-style dishes you might like:
Chinese Stir-Fry Green Beans get the recipe
Vegetable Summer Rolls (with how-to tips) get the recipe