Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles

a close-up photo of Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles in a red bowl

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.
a close-up photo of chopsticks holding some noodles

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.

a bowl of Vietnamese garlic butter noodles garnished with chives

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.
a process photo collage showing raw garlic bulbs and cooked noodlesa close of noodles in a red bowl with chopstick alongside

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!Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles

 

Garlic Butter Noodles

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4

I once had the famous Vietnamese-style garlic noodles featured at Crustacean in San Francisco and they were some of the best noodles I've ever eaten. I've since started making them at home and my version is very similar to the one I had at the restaurant. They are delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb egg noodles
  • tbsp grated Parmesan cheese optional
  • 4 oz  unsalted butter
  • tbsp  minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • tbsp fish sauce

Directions:

  1. Boil egg noodles in a pot until they are just cooked and still al dente. Drain out water and set noodles aside.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Notes:

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia

 

Nutrition Facts
Garlic Butter Noodles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 339 Calories from Fat 130
% Daily Value*
Fat 14.4g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.1g
Cholesterol 79mg26%
Sodium 513.9mg22%
Carbohydrates 43.6g15%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2.8g3%
Protein 9.2g18%
Vitamin A 350IU7%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 1.3mg7%
Net Carbs 42g84%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

 

32 comments on “Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles”

  1. I am going to make this. Looks good.   I’ve eaten the garlic noodles and.. I don’t recall parmesan on them.  Is this a different noodle dish on the menu?  Or is it *the* garlic noodle dish?

    • it takes very much like “the” garlic noodle dish. I don’t have the exact recipe. I looked at several recipes that tried to replicate it, chose one I thought sounded best and added a few adjustments when I was tasting the sauce. I’m not sure if the real one has parmesan, but I saw it in several recipes and it certainly makes it taste good! though I tasted it without the parmesan and it was good too, so you can leave it out if you want

  2. Looks yummy. I’ll certainly try to make it for dinner tonight.

  3. I could eat this every day and be perfectly happy. WOW!!!

  4. I can’t wait to make this. I just need to buy a new oyster sauce. Seafood City here I come!  

    Any particular brand of egg noodles that you recommend for this dish?

    • Hmm, not really. I just buy the fresh ones, but no particular brand–just whatever is cheapest. And you can choose if you want thicker or thinner ones.

  5. Craving a massive bowlful of these garlic butter noodles right now. Delicious dishes like this are my weakness!

  6. The garlic noodles with crab from Thanh Long is my boyfriend’s FAVORITE dish. I am definitely trying out this recipe. I remember attempting to do this in my early cooking days and it was subpar at best. Thanks!

  7. I tried this recipe this evening (without the parmesan cheese) and it was so delicious my whole family of picky eaters loved it. Thank you!

  8. Is it okay if I substitute it for Shanghai noodles? 

  9. Where can I find the noodles?

  10. Can you use spaghetti instead of egg noodles?

  11. What brand of noodles did you use? I’ve tried replicating this dish twice and I can’t find the right noodles. Spaghetti came pretty close. I’ve read people using dry egg noodles as well. Recommendation on brands please…

    • I don’t have a particular brand I use, but I recommend you use fresh egg noodles rather than the dry ones. I get mine at Ranch 99, in the refrigerated section near fresh tofu they have bags of fresh noodles from various local vendors.

  12. i dont have unsalted butter just salted and margarine, would it be too salty of i use one of those two?

  13. I imagine the parmesean would just add the umami kick since it is high in natural MSG.

  14. This sounds delicious! Does the dish hold well over to the next day? I’d like to make a large batch the night before and reheat for a potluck the next day.

    • I would recommend eating it the day of. While it can be reheated, I find it doesn’t taste as good the next day and it’s hard to get the butter sauce to evenly heat without overcooking the noodles

  15. I remember a Worcestershire-y taste with the Thanh Long Garlic Noodles. Could it possibly have some?

  16. having this garlic noodle dish for me while holidaying in San Francisco was LIFE-CHANGING.

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