Two years ago, I tasted the famous Vietnamese-style garlic noodles featured at Crustacean in San Francisco (also served at Thanh Long and other An family restaurants). I still think about them often. Garlicky, buttery, they are some of the best noodles I’ve ever eaten.
Recently, I attempted to recreate the recipe. It’s fairly simple, with just a few basic ingredients. The end result is very similar to the dish I remember.
One new thing I learned about myself while taking pictures of this dish: I cannot for the life of me, pick noodles up with chopsticks using my left hand.
I grew up using chopsticks (I’m right-handed), and I can clumsily hold a fork and spoon with my left hand, and even scribble a little writing with my left hand. But trying to use chopsticks with my left hand was impossible. Since I use my right hand to hold my camera, I had to attempt to use my left hand to hold the noodles. But it just wasn’t happening. I even tried picking up the noodles first with my right hand and then switching to my left, but the noodles would sadly slide off before I could even take a picture. I finally somehow managed one decent shot.
I know this dish doesn’t look like much (and it’s not even supposed to have scallion, buts I wanted a little color), but the sauce really hits all the taste elements, especially umami. The aroma is also intoxicating. The house smelled amazing after I made this and again after we reheated the leftovers.
The two main components, of course, are butter and garlic, which is why I think of this as garlic butter noodles rather than just garlic noodles.
While this is definitely not a recipe to be eaten often, it does make for an indulgent meal. I’m so excited to be able to recreate this dish!
Garlic Butter Noodles
- 1 lb egg noodles
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese optional
- 4 oz unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- Boil egg noodles in a pot until they are just cooked and still al dente. Drain out water and set noodles aside.
- In a small saucepan, add butter and heat on low heat until completely melted and it begins to bubble. Add garlic and gently stir, cooking a few minutes in the butter mixture until the aroma of the garlic is brought out (I stirred on low boiling heat for about 2-3 minutes). Careful to not let the garlic burn or brown. Add in remaining ingredients, except cheese, and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Turn off heat.
- Transfer noodles to a large bowl. Pour in garlic sauce and toss noodles in sauce. If using, add in cheese and toss again. (As Reader Lorri in the comments pointed out, I don't actually recall Parmesan in the one I tried at the restaurant but several recipes I came across use it. It certainly doesn't hurt the recipe, but you can go either way and it still tastes good.) If desired, top with fresh chopped scallions. Serve immediately.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.