Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mac & Cheese With Oriental-Style Chicken Tofu Meatballs - 5 Star Makeover Participation

I happened to catch an episode of The Rachel Ray Show on TV recently where it showed her making the most delicious looking American-style beef meatball mac & cheese EVER!
From that episode on, the plain view I had of mac & cheese was redefined to a new paradigm shift and thought to myself that I should try to make some soon!
And then last week, while visiting Natasha of 5 Star Foodie's fantastic blog, I was elated to read that she had chosen mac & cheese as the subject of this month's 5 Star Makeover. I immediately knew I wanted to participate. To participate in Natasha's 5 Star Makeover, one needs to create the chosen food (this month's choice is mac & cheese) with a modern, healthy, fusion, molecular gastronomy, seasonal, or adapting to a particular cuisine style.

After some thinking, I decided to go with 'adapting to a particular cuisine style' by combining American mac & cheese with Oriental-style chicken tofu meatballs. Inspired by a recipe I once stumbled upon which uses tofu with prawn meat, I created my own version of tofu with chicken and added a variety of Oriental-style seasonings - basically, whatever I have in my kitchen. So, here it is - my Oriental chicken tofu meatball recipe and the complete mac & cheese meal which I hope you will enjoy.
This recipe serves 3.


Oriental-Style Chicken Tofu Meatballs

- 250 g minced chicken meat
- 150 g white tofu, mashed
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5-6 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp pepper powder
- 1/2 cup oil for frying

Mix everything together really, really thoroughly to ensure that all the seasonings & beaten egg are mixed in well with the minced chicken and mashed tofu. Shape each tablespoon of the mixture into round balls. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs till golden brown. Note: I prefer to flatten the meatballs a little so that lesser oil is required for frying.

Mac & Cheese
- 1.5 cups mini shell pasta/macaroni
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 pips garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (add more if you like)
- 8-10 mini/cherry tomatoes, halves
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- Some crushed black peppercorn & grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling

Boil the pasta till al dente. Strain and leave aside. Heat the butter in a pan, then saute the onion and garlic till slightly golden brown. Add the oregano, and then pour in the cooked pasta, milk, the grated cheese and tomatoes. Add in the fried meatballs and continue to stir for another minute or so till the cheese has melted. Serve with sprinkles of crushed black peppercorns, a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and a few sprigs of cilantro as garnish.

The aromatic and flavorful chicken tofu meatballs with hints of Oriental seasonings were wonderful addition to the rich and creamy mac & cheese, making it a complete & delicious meal.


Natasha will be doing a round-up of all submissions on Nov 2, so be sure to visit her 5 Star Foodie blog to see all the various mac & cheese creations by participating food bloggers.

Bon Appetit!



  1. This dish combine East and West, you are just very creative, and it look really tempting and delicious. Thanks for sharing, i will try this in one day.

  2. hmm...I like this type of dish, yummy!

  3. Hmm, this sounds very 'cheesy' in a very positive way! I love cheese with pasta :)!

  4. That looks delicious! I love combining different flavors and ingredients together. To answer your question, yes I am half Chinese, half East Indian... so you can see why I have no hesitation to combine flavors!

  5. Asian meatballs with western mac and cheese. What a fusion! I once made curry chicken pasta bake and it was absolutely yummy too!

  6. What a gorgeous brown color you got on your meatballs! They look delicious!

  7. Your food are getting more and more delicious! Thumbs Up!

  8. I love this! What a terrific idea to make a Mac & Cheese with Asian flare! This is a perfect entry, thank you so much!

  9. This is a super fusion meal! Fantastic!

  10. Looking good! I love your combination of Asian and oldie but goodie American mac and cheese.

  11. looks so yummy! I love serving or reading foodblog to have ideas for my meals either. :D

  12. Hello Nyonya, they look absolutely delicious. Outstanding!
    This the kinds of foods dangerous to bachelors.
    They'll end up marrying the cook!

    Nyonya, should you cook fish head curry, or that tenggiri fish with stuffed sambal, send me a telegram, ha ha.
    By the way, your hubby slim? *Wink* Ha ha.
    Have a nice day,Lee.

  13. Both Mac cheese and chicken tofu meatballs looks absolutely delicious. I became fan of Chicken tofu meatballs, ur making me drool.....

  14. How absolutely delicious! This is one of the best mac 'n' cheese's I've seen! You did an excellent job making it over!

  15. Great idea! I love all the combinations you put together and beautiful too!

  16. I love the asian complement to the western mac n cheese. Both look yummy yummy ^_^

  17. Nice, can make the meatballs flatter and use as hamburger too! Healthy food!

  18. Hi All, thank you for your comments. Glad you all liked the combination of east meets west :D

    p/s Palidor, thanks for answering, you're the product of an exotic mix :D

    p/s 5 Star Foodie, I look forward to your Nov 2 round-up :D

    p/s Pete, you're right..just make the meatballs into bigger patties & you'll get hamburgers instead :D

  19. Chicken tofu meatballs.. is a great combo!! Looks really delicious! :)

  20. Hi Nyonya, bila lu senang, suda makan your cornflakes, bacon and eggs breakfast, drive over in your BMW to my place, have something for you, *wink*.
    Have a nice day, Lee.

  21. Very creative!
    I am really enjoying these make-overs.

  22. wow i love this great idea and so creative

  23. Hmmmm, that mac look so silky and delicious. Couldn't stop my mouth from drooling.

  24. Can you cook this for Cait's bday next Sat?

  25. Can you cook this for Cait's bday on Sat?

  26. This looks great, so comforting and delicious for a cold and rainy day like today!

  27. This looks amazing. What a creative combo! Tempting me..:))O btw ur brinjal curry down there looks fantastic ..i love nyonya food...m so glad .....i found ur blog...tq for sharing..

  28. Wow! The asian style meatballs really bring your mac n'cheese dish to a new level. This is so beautiful.

  29. Tofu balls with pasta and cheese! Talking about the creativity! I love it!

  30. wow this shouts comfort food! Love the flavours and the combO!

  31. Looks good! I've never had a combo of tofu and chicken - yum!

  32. look so delicious and creamy!! I saw some blogger make chicken pattie with tofu too,keep saying want to make but until today forget about it...thanks for sharing:)

  33. Hello Nyonya, bila masak your Nyonya style fish head lemak? And your famous sambal belachan, ha ha.
    Happy cooking, Lee.

  34. A good story

    GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

    Voila: This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

    From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

    “Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

    I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

    I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.


  35. What a cheesy, oniony and garlicy mac & cheese treat accompanied by oriental meatballs, creating a great East-meets-West sensation! Yes, I must say, cooking is akin to creating a piece of modern arts. This piece of art creation of yours is heaven! Keep it up!

  36. Looks really good! I am planning on making macaroni and cheese tonight! Perhaps you will check out my site as well?