When you make this Vietnamese inspired Garlic Noodles recipe, you will make a delicious side dish for a quick weeknight meal or when you have guests coming and you need a no-fuss side dish that feeds a crowd. These garlic noodles are pure comfort food and you can make it as written and or easily adapt to your needs. This post was updated in October, 2023.
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Beloved Garlic Noodles From A Famous San Francisco Restaurant
My friend Helen made the most delicious Garlic Noodles for our family when we went over to their family’s house for dinner. She showed me how to make tender but chewy garlic noodles that were chewy and garlicky.
I’ve since discovered that the recipe is probably inspired by garlic noodles from a well known Vietnamese seafood restaurant in San Francisco, Thanh Long. The copycat garlic noodles recipes seem too rich with 4 tablespoons of olive oil plus 4 tablespoons of butter, so I lightened it up by cooking it the way I cook linguine con le vongole, with a little pasta water to lighten the sauce and to soften the noodles a bit.
You can serve this side dish with any combination of vegetables and protein you desire, you don’t need to limit yourself to only a Vietnamese meal. I like to make this dish on the stove top, make teriyaki chicken in my Instant Pot, and roast cheesy cauliflower in my oven all at the same time. Dinner is ready in about 45 minutes total.
Allergy Aware Asian Fare Garlic Noodles
Fresh Chinese noodles are the best for this dish and my friend found some fresh Chinese chow mein noodles at our local Asian supermarket that do not have egg listed in the ingredients. The noodles are soft but chewy and taste like Asian comfort food. Most of the fresh Chinese noodles would not contain peanuts or tree nuts intentionally thus the chance of cross contact is also unlikely (that’s a broad generalization so be sure to read the label and contact the manufacturer if in doubt).
However, if one is allergic to eggs, I suggest avoiding any kind of fresh Chinese noodles without verifying that they’re egg-free. Many fresh Asian noodles are made with egg and I think that unless the manufacturer is proactive about preventing egg cross-contact, there is a small chance of accidental exposure. My son is allergic to eggs but can tolerate cross-contact with eggs and baked eggs, so he could tolerate the fresh noodles my friend made.
For those who cannot risk cross-contact with eggs, I recommend using dry pasta such as your favorite allergy safe spaghetti. It’s not quite the same as Chinese fresh noodles but it’s better to be safe if one has a severe egg allergy.
Gluten free friends, I recommend using your favorite gluten free noodles and cook according to the package. I had received a sample of Viviana Food’s Garlic Toasted Onion Fettuccine at a food show and recommended it, but I don’t know if it’s still in production.
I usually use fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese, be sure to use finely grated cheese that looks like crumbs, not like little sticks or flakes. You could even use grated parmesan cheese in a can if you like. I believe that there are many different brands of vegan parmesan-like that may suit those who are vegan or dairy free.
I also season the noodles with a drizzle of soy sauce. If you are wheat-free, use a tamari sauce. If you are soy-free, use a soy sauce alternative or soy free soy sauce but I think that using some chicken bouillon would be a flavorful alternative.
If you need suggestions on allergy aware ingredients, be sure to check out what is in my cupboards.
This recipe as written is free of peanut, tree nut, egg, fish, and shellfish.
Garlic Noodle Recipe, Vietnamese Inspired
When you make this Vietnamese inspired Garlic Noodles recipe, you will make a delicious side dish for a quick weeknight meal or when you have guests coming and you need a no-fuss side dish that feeds a crowd. These garlic noodles are pure comfort food and you can make it as written and or easily adapt to your needs.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic smash and mince
- 3 stalks of scallions chop
- 1 pound of dry spaghetti
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt as desired
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano divided plus more as desired
Prepare garlic and scallions, set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt, and cook cook spaghetti al dente according to the package instructions.
Save 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water before draining the pasta in a colander, do not rinse pasta.
Return pot to stove at medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, and scallions (reserve some for garnishing), and sautee until fragrant (1 minute).
Add drained pasta to the pot and stir, add 1/2 cup of pasta water and soy sauce and stir.
Add 1/4 cup of parmigiano reggiano and toss, serve in a large platter, and sprinkle the remaining cheese and scallions.
USING EGG NOODLES: If you’re not avoiding eggs and can use a Chinese egg noodle, the noodles only need to boil for 1 minute before you stir fry it.
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