Macaroni Gratin マカロニグラタン

gratinThere’s a lot more other than Sushi and Sashimi that Japanese food can offer.  We enjoy as much Yoshoku (洋食) as authentic Japanese dishes on daily basis.  What is 洋食?They are the dishes “invented” based on European/American dishes introduced in the late 19th century. They have been changed and adjusted accordingly, and マカロニグラタン  I would like to share with you today is one of them.

My mom used to make this frequently when I was a just love this dish, and as you see below, the sauce of this recipe is very unique, which helps this rather light with satisfactory rich flavor. My husband really loves this dish, and hope you also enjoy this!

Ingredients (for 2-3 people):

2 slices of bacon

1 can of mushroom (sliced/whole..your call!)

Shrimps and scallops (as many as you want..I usually use about 10 shrimps and 3-4 scallops..depending on the size)

3-4 handful of pasta (fusilli or penne)

Shredded cheese (as much as you want!)

Little bit of panko breadcrumb.

For sauce: 1 table spoon of butter, 3 table spoons of flour, 1 cup of whole milk (room temperature), 100 ml of white wine (if you don’t have good wine handy, try beer..believe or not, it works!-just don’t use red wine/Sake–sake makes the sauce too sweet..). Also, save the juice of the canned mushroom. And little bit of white wine/wine to cook shrimp in a skillet.. which we use for the sauce, too. And little bit salt and pepper.

  1.  Slice the bacon and cook in a skillet (no oil necessary) until it becomes brown (don’t have to cook it until it gets too crispy.. and we would like to save some bacon fat to add a hint of bacon flavor).IMG_0241 (2)
  2. In the meantime, clean your shrimps and cut the scallops in half if they are too big. Cook shrimps in a skillet with wine/beer.  No need to cook them completely–we will cook these later with the rest of the ingredients. When the alcohol starts boiling, turn the heat to very low, cover them with aluminium foil, letting it simmer a couple of minutes..until the shrimps turn slightly pink. SAVE THE JUICE.

3. Let’s make the sauce!  So easy.. what you need to keep in mind is to cook it at low heat. You don’t want to burn it..otherwise what you get is brown sauce, not white sauce!

Put your butter in a skillet, and add the flour when the butter melts.  Use your wood spoon to stir it until it becomes like ‘cookie dough.’ Add your room temp milk slowly. And whisk it gently with your whisk.


And when the flour/butter cookie dough completely melts, add your shrimp juice and mushroom juice as well as beer/wine.  THIS IS THE KEY!  With this, you can make a satisfactorily rich but not too heavy sauce with 1 table spoon of butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook down the sauce a little bit while gently keep whisking the sauce until the sauce slightly sticks to a wood spoon. While cooking the sauce, let’s cook pasta.  I usually use fusilli or penne. Don’t overcook here, as we cook this later in the oven. A bit before al dente is my favorite.  Also preheat the oven at 420-430.

Now we are going to build a plate. First, bacon and seafood. Then add pasta, mushroom and sauce.  And sprinkle your favorite cheese such as mozzarella.  Sprinkle panko breadcrumb.

And let’s cook this until you see the sauce bubbling…about 15 minutes (depends on the temperature).  Remember, everything except for the scallops is cooked, so don’t need to cook too long.  Once it starts bubbling, and if you don’t have a golden brown crunchy crust on top, cook under the broiler quickly.


You can substitute scallops with chicken, but I personally think that scallops are a must for this dish for its slightly sweet but savory flavor. If you use chicken, you will want to cook it in advance in melted butter with salt and pepper.

You may want to serve this with a quick simple salad.

Meshi agare (Bon appetit)!

Thank you for checking my blog, and looking forward to seeing you again very soon!

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