Macaroni Chilli Oil Cheese with Anchovy Breadcrumbs

Macaroni Chilli Oil Cheese with Anchovy Breadcrumbs By Amy Poon

There is nothing more comforting than the prospect of a homemade Macaroni and Cheese; the familiar taste of creamy Gruyere over perfectly al-dente pasta is one of life’s great culinary pleasures (or at least it is for any ardent macaroni cheese-lover!).

If you are looking for a new twist on this dish, we have Chef Amy Poon’s much-loved take on the classic. This recipe has the addition of umami-rich chilli oil (Poon’s own brand) and a topping of crunchy, anchovy breadcrumbs. Amy suggests using leftover cheese: “anything a little rich and tangy works”.

Amy is best known for her exquisite line of condiments and signature sauces at Poon’s London, including the ‘Extraordinary Chili Oil’ which will change the way you cook. This versatile oil is one of the key ingredients in the recipe, so we’ve included a link below. We practically use it on everything.

In addition to these incredible products, Amy founded Wonteria Poon’s which has become the place to find the most succulent wontons in the city: the pork and prawn selection is a must.

Recipe for Macaroni Chilli Oil Cheese with Anchovy Breadcrumbs


Serves 4


  • 350g Macaroni
  • 25g butter
  • 4 tbsp Poon’s Extraordinary Chilli Oil
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 175g Gruyere, Comte, Mature cheddar or Lancashire, or a mixture
  • 100g grated Parmesan


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 Anchovies (optional for vegetarians)
  • 50g dry breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil, to drizzle


  • Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6. Bring a big pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni for 2 minutes less than stated on the pack minutes, then drain and run under cold water to cool off.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the chilli oil, then the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly until it comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Take off the heat, add the gruyere and half the Parmesan and stir until you have a smooth, luscious sauce. Season to taste.
  • Combine the warm sauce with the pasta, adding a splash of boiling water if it needs loosening. Transfer to a baking dish.
  • To make the breadcrumbs, warm the olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of chilli oil in a frying pan and add the anchovies. Cook, crushing them into the oil until they break down, then stir in the breadcrumbs so they are evenly coated. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni, followed by the remaining 50g of Parmesan.
  • Place in the oven for 25 minutes until golden, bubbling and delicious.

Find out more about Poon’s of London.

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