Shrimp Mac 'n Cheese à la Japonais

An American classic with a good ninja-kick of Japanese-style horseradish. The more subtle Japanese edamame soy beans also work well with the ooey, gooey cheese. (Of course, what doesn’t work well with cheese?!)


1 package (8 ounces) quinoa macaroni shells
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1 quart milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter + more for pats on top
6 tablespoons rice flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups grated Fontina cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan
2 cups mini precooked shrimps
1 cup precooked edamame soy beans
1 package dry ramen noodles
Optional: 1 package wasabi (Japanese-style horse radish) flavored ochazuke
or 1/8 cup crushed bits of rice crackers mixed with wasabi powder


Into 4 quarts of boiling water, pour in 4 tablespoons sesame oil and quinoa macaroni shells. Cook for 8 minutes. Gently stir regularly. Drain. Set aside.

Heat milk in a small saucepan.

In a separate, medium-sized pan, melt the butter over a medium-low flame. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch for 3 to 5 minutes. Empty the hot milk into the pan and whisk some more. Allow the milk and flour to boil. Turn the heat, simmer for 3 minutes.

Vigorously mix in the grated cheeses. Gently add the shrimp and edamame soy beans.

Garnish with bits of dry ramen noodles.  If desired, also sprinkle wasabi ochazuke or rice crackers and wasabi atop the macaroni and cheese. Scatter slices of butter on top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.

Serve hot.