Friday, February 15, 2019

Garlic Noodles – Roasted Garlic Crab Sold Separately

These deceptively simple, yet devastatingly delicious garlic noodles were invented in San Francisco, at a restaurant called, Thanh Long, back in the 70’s. Usually served with roasted Dungeness crab, the actual recipe is a very closely guarded family secret, but after lots of investigation, and even more experimentation, I think this is very close, at least for a non-MSG laced version.

Apparently, one of their “secret” ingredients is something called, Maggi Seasoning Sauce, which I decided not to use, since I’m not sure how easy it is for the average person to find. Besides, I think my assortment of savory, umami-rich substitutes did the job quite nicely, and everything in the ingredient list can be found at any large grocery store.

The most exotic thing here would be the oyster sauce, which is sort of a very savory, slightly sweet, thick, soy sauce-like condiment. And yes, it does have oyster extracts in it, in case that matters. If you can’t find it, just add a touch more fish sauce, soy, and Worcestershire, as well as little brown sugar.

Most garlic noodles actually call for sugar in the recipe, but I think that makes it too sweet for my taste, since the oyster sauce is fairly sweet, as is all that sautéed garlic. Regardless, whether you enjoy this with some roasted garlic crab, or as is, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 small portions Garlic Noodles:
PLEASE NOTE: The saltiness of the following ingredients can vary, as can how sensitive people are to the taste of salt, so you may need to increase or decrease the amounts below. 
For the secret sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
For the rest:
6 ounces dry egg noodles
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 cloves finely minced garlic
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
thinly sliced green onion to garnish
red chili flakes to taste
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81 comments:

theldun said...

looks great going give it a go soon for sure

gk said...

What would be the preferred method of cooking shrimp to go with this pasta? In the same sauce, or some other way?

Unknown said...

If I were to use Maggi Seasoning Sauce (I picked some up in the Asian food section of my local Kroger store), is there a particular amount that would be used, and would this be in place of the Oyster, Soy, Fish and Worcestershire sauces, or in addition to?

gk said...

What would the preferred way to cook shrimp to go with this pasta? In the same sauce, or some other preparation?

rwh824 said...

Maggi Sauce is available at most grocery stores. You just have to look in the Asian section.

Unknown said...

Does this go well with thinly sliced chicken? If yes how would you suggest making it and when to add it to the noodles?

Keep up the good wotk!

KoenigOetti said...

Hello Chef John,

what is the Maggi Seasoning substituted by? Since in Europe, that is pretty easy to get and I really like its taste, so I'd opt to use that instead of whatever it was subsituted by. Looks absolutely delicious, as always. Thanks for the video!

CurtainsDown said...

Hey, Chef John. I've been following your work for a lot of time and just want to say keep up the great work - your recipes never fail and are always delicious. You are one of the few greatest food-related Youtubers out there :)

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John, I was wondering, how would you incorporate chicken into this dish? Would you cook it, reserve it and add it at the end?

Jason Derrer said...

What would be the recipe using Maggi Seasoning Sauce? Omit the fish, oyster and Worcestershire?

Samuel said...

Oh my goodness!

Daniel Temple said...

Would you say 2 small portions equals out to one main portion, or somewhere inbetween?

Rhonna said...

yum, my husbands favorite. thank you chef john ant wait to try it.

Vinny Ferrara said...

Was that really 8 cloves? I don't have a problem with that, but what you put in the pan looked a lot more like 4

Unknown said...

We have Maggi seasoning Sauce here, how much should I use and what should I take out? I'd like the authentic taste of this noodle dish.

P.S. big fan here, been following you since forever

aurasmash said...

That was delicious although i did forget to buy the worcester sauce. Im adding it next time.

KDSmith said...

Seriously tasty and wonderfully simple.
Maggi is easily found on Amazon and in larger food marts.

Unknown said...

I have seen Maggi sauce in my mega mart here in Texas and also available in Asian markets.

Unknown said...

Also, how about the roasted Dungeness crab video?
Thanks, appreciate and enjoy your videos.

James Payne said...

Can I use a different oil wife is allergic to sesame oil

Alex Weber said...

Made exactly as written (no parmesan though) and used some Chinese "knife-shaved noodles", these wide ribbon-y lovely things. This was fantastic! Thank you, chef.

Ruby said...

Mine came out devastatingly salty. Where could I have gone wrong? I’m reading and rereading the ingredients and I still can’t seem to figure it out. Please help ;-;

Lisa said...

Many wonderful recipes and techniques, ty fir all your encouragement,

Tom said...

Maggi Seasoning can be found in almost all Chinese or Vietnamese markets. However, one of the ingredient in Maggi is MSG so there's the secret. It's going to cost more for the Maggi from Europe. Don't even bother getting the imitation stuff from China.

Emily and Adam said...

If we *can* get Maggi, would we sub it 1:1 for soy sauce and Worcestershire?

AP said...

1. I have Maggie seasoning sauce. What should I remove from the ingredient list?
2. If I wanted to add crabs, what would you recommend that I do?
Thanks in advance.

Marina Flores said...

Really looks DELICIOUS!!! Will certainly try it! Thanks Chef John.

me me said...

Please forgive my schadenfreude but it's kinda nice to find something that we in the UK can easily buy (Maggi seasoning) that's difficult for you in the US. Believe me, it is more often than not the other way round, I could cite a long list, starting with Clam Juice, Andouille sausages, Graham Crackers, etc etc.

Unknown said...

Looks amazing!

irksome1 said...

Hey! Chef John! Don’t hold out on us! Where’s the roasted crab recipe??

Jonathan said...

If I have Maggi sauce which ingredient do I take out in place of it?

Aaron Sciandra said...

Would hoisin be a suitable substitute for oyster sauce?

Unknown said...

I wanted to know how to make these garlic noodles after watching an episode about it on “Worth It.” Thank you for doing this. I will definitely try it out. I’ve been using your recipes for my grandmother-in-law’s Shabbos dinner on Fridays and they have been a hit with her and my other in-laws (especially the Coucous and Cheese & Fisherman’s Pie). Do you have any other kosher recipes to share? Thanks!

Chris K. said...

Dude. A half stick of butter for one head of garlic? Tell me how that's not irresponsible. This recipe is going to kill people.

Unknown said...

Tried this recipe today. I really enjoyed the sauce and taste of the noodle, but my sauce was very creamy and slimy. The noodle, spaghetti is what I used, didn't get that beautiful orange/brown hue. Maybe the noodles weren't cooked long enough? Could another noodle be suitable?

DianeSchuller.com said...

Chef John, my son is making oodles of your dishes. His two girls are eating some pretty amazing food. He sends me photos of his dishes -- wow.

Request. How about a video on how you make gremolata? I bet my son would love that too.

Steve Malsam said...

I tried adding some canned crab to this while cooking the secret sauce. I don't think I'd recommend that.

Philip Ferrato said...

As an Italian-American, I'm thrilled to see you eat spaghetti with a fork and spoon. It's much frowned upon, so I've learned to consume long pasta that way in the privacy of my own home.

James Payne said...

Can I use a different oil than sesame oil wife is allergic to sesame

James Payne said...

Can I use a different oil besides sesame seed oil my wife is allergic to sesame seeds

Blank said...

John,

Just made this. It was inedibly salty. Before this, I wasn't aware that such a thing was possible.

Followed recipe exactly, used no low-sodium anything per your instructions.

I've been thinking about it, and I'm not sure how to fix it. It was so salty that even using low-sodium everything wouldn't save it, I think (if even low sodium fish sauce or oyster sauce is even a thing). There's no 'non-salty' liquid in the not-so-secret sauce to add more of to dilute the rest of it.

Could it have been the brand of soy/fish/oyster sauce, maybe? Maybe I shouldn't let the sauce simmer before adding the noodles (i.e., I boiled off some liquid and concentrated the sauce)? I had the noodles ready almost instantly, but it's the only thing I can think of.

Recipe looks great, and I want to love it.

erpel said...

So, which ingredients do you swap out for the special sauce when you can get Maggi at every street corner like in Germany?

Christian said...

Oyster sauce seems like an easily acquireable ingredient. That being said, most oyster sauces only contains 20% oyster extract at best. Worth paying a few extra dollars to get the premium version which contains 40%.

Christian Schwarze said...

If I got the Maggi, how much would I add?

Unknown said...

Wow, this is insanely good! I just cooked up some lunch for a lazy sunday with not much in the house ... and this recipe is perfect for that, because all you need is noodles and garlic (as a friend of asian cuisine, I got all the condiments and sauces at hand).

In cooking you will always be remembered that there is something truly special and pure about this super simple recipes with just a handful of ingredients.

I actually had to lick the plate clean, because I ate all the noodles.

Ellen Bottas said...

I'm glad your blog's up! With the expired cert I mostly couldn't get to it.
PS thanks for the noodles. I didn't have a freakishly small wooden spoon, so I made do with a normal-size one :)

Ian said...

I made it. Not bad. Very one note (very savory and salty). Needs a little sweet/acidic. Adding some lemon shrimp or something would make it amazing.

Rainey Turner said...

Oh I cant wait to try this ! Thank you !

johnpecan said...

What does the parmesan cheese add? Adding a cheese to an asian style dish seems really strange to me. Hard for me to imagine what it would taste like.

Daniel J said...

I had some leftover hoisin beef that I used in this, and also some glazed carrots from the night before. I like a bit of sweetness with funky flavors.

It was delicious! I tasted the sauce before and after the worshestershire, and I really liked the addition of that. Never tried a fusion like this before.

Thanks, Chef John!

Daniel J said...

I had some leftover hoisin beef (your recipe) that I used in this, and also some glazed carrots from the night before. I like a bit of sweetness with funky flavors.

It was delicious! I tasted the sauce before and after the worshestershire, and I really liked the addition of that. Never tried a fusion like this before.

Thanks, Chef John!

ice_cold said...

Hi Chef John,

Any chance you were able to come up with the sauce recipe using Maggi seasoning sauce? If we have that, would we substitute out an ingredient or simply add it to the sauce?

Vishal Chawhan said...

can you please please please do the garlic crabs as well!! :)

Unknown said...

I made these and they were Great! Excellent recipe Chef John! Next time I will double it and also add some chicken thighs to the butter before adding the garlic at the end as well as the sauce.

darlene said...

Thanks Chef John for sharing this Garlic Noodle Dish~ will indeed make this soon!~ Appreciate all the Recipes You Share w/ Us All!!
Best Wishes,
Darlene

Unknown said...

Now we need the recipe for the Roasted Garlic Crab.

Unknown said...

How much spaghetti did you use for this recipe

karen said...

Would you please send the recipe that included the Maggi seasoning? i live in a country where that is the main seasoning sauce, and it's actually not hard to find in many places in the US now either. Thank you!

RobA said...

Maggi sauce seems common here... but there are different varieties. A red cap (Chinese) and green cap (German), but oddly enough, my Chinese cooking friends swear by the German variation. Any idea which to user if I wanted to add in a few drops for extra flavour?

Unknown said...

A volume measurement of grated cheese? Who are you!

Kat Price said...

Maggi seasoning is easy to find in any supermarket. Great stuff!!!! Mushroom flavoring liquid.

Neal Catapano said...

Chef I love your recipes but this one was really salty! With everything it comes out to an incredible amount of sodium. Are you sure the measurements are right?

Jim, Berkeley, CA said...

I made this tonight and it was quite good. I do have one question: what type of soy sauce did you use? I used a light Chinese soy, which may have been too salty and I was thinking you might have used a Japanese soy in the video. I’m any case, I will be making this again.

Beki said...

I have watched the video a couple of times and read the blog .. I am a little confused when to use the Parmesan ?

Unknown said...

We made this tonight, it's delicious!

Dennis Steffen said...

Thx for the post chef,


In germany we have a lot of Maggi :)
Which ingridient should we replace with it?


Alicia Jackson said...

Hi Chef John,
I have access to Maggi’s sauce actually there are two different ones
do you know which one to use and if so how does it mix into the recipe?
I’m not much of a cook but since I’ve started watching your videos
I’ve made the baked chicken Parmesan, the pork diablo and the crispy
pork cutlets! My family thanks you very much!
Alicia Jackson

Amy said...

I made this with 2 packs of ramen for the noodles. It is pretty sour. Is that how its supposed to Be? Very flavorful.

Claire Thomas said...

Other recipes replace the soy sauce with Maggi sauce.

Spit the Magniff said...

I made this with my home made fresh pasta. Fantastic !! My tweaks were bell pepper(red,green),1/2 jalapeno pepper,1/4 sliced onion, and one large clove of garlic pan roasted. Poured in the liquids once the garlic cooked down, killed the heat and in went the pasta !! Toss and VIOLA ! Best quickie meal for 2019, a serious "go to". Thanks Chef John !!

Michael Persico said...

This is great noodles are a bit toothsome but that's cause i was pressed for tame and use bucatelli forget the cayenne still amazing without it and yes it supposed to be that ever so slightly sour remember you got 3 ferment seafood sauces and the soy sauce

Unknown said...

Agree that while the flavors were good, this came out insanely salty. Borderline inedible.

BundahZone said...

Dear Chef John; Made this recipe tonight and OMG. Served with chicken and a small salad. I couldn't stop eating the noodles. The left over portion never made it to the fridge. I ate the whole thing Amazing, Thank You.
I have to write a brief story, my wife started following you and told me about the recipes you do, I started watching the videos with her and we got to have some incredible dishes her and I. The last couple of years have been tough for me, she passed in 2017 and I remembered the fun we had watching your videos. I started again this year and now have a freezer full of great dishes. You have re awakened the cook in me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am inspired to cook once again and cherish the meals I make. I can always rely on a great recipe, with much love and thanks. Ironically my wife's name is Michelle also. Keep doing what you do, I love it. Keep enjoying what you do,
Cheers, Simon

Huso said...

TO EVERYONE WHO TRIED IT AND FOUND IT TOO SALTY

I have tried this recipe then made it 5 more times, experimenting with portions each time. I will share the recipe know with people who found the original Chef John's recipe (love you chef) too salty and almost inedible:

First version (THIS ONE INCLUDES MAGGI SEASONING THAT MANY OF YOU ASKED FOR)

It's super simple actually. You literally just divide everything by 3, and add 1/2 teaspoon of Maggi seasoning. So it goes:
2 tsp soy sauce
1 + 1/3 tsp oyster sauce (you can eyeball the 1/3 portion if you don't have the spoon for it)
1/2tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/3 tsp Asian Fish Sauce
Literally a few drops of sesame oil(be careful)
a pinch of cayenne (don't change this, it is forbidden)
And 1/2 tsp Maggi Seasoning (European version, not from China)

IF YOU DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO MAGGI SEASONING
Still use the above measurements but add 1/2 tsp more each soy sauce and oyster sauce.

It is now pretty perfect and really really delicious.

Extra tip: Put the garlic in with the butter while still melting. When the butter is fully melted, add an extra pinch of cayenne with the garlic. And then add the sauce to stop cooking as usual.

Enjoy!

jriems said...

We've made this twice now. The first followed the recipe exactly, and we agree with those who found it way too salty. For the second attempt we cut all ingredients in the sauce in half, as well as the garlic. We kept the butter amount the same. It was still quite salty, but definitely a huge improvement.

I would suggest anyone finding the original recipe insanely salty to try this idea. In fact, for our next attempt we're going with low sodium soy sauce to try to kick it down another notch.

theMelodysMeow said...

I used some old Maggi soy sauce I had in the back of my cupboard and like other commenters who followed this recipe exactly (but no Parmesan), my garlic noodles were very salty too. But I FIXED it by doubling or nearly tripling the amount of spaghetti noodles added to the sauce. Another factor to over-salt is I over-salted the spaghetti cooking water so when adding that pasta AND it's accompanying pasta water it increased salt levels. So next time, I'll NOT salt the pasta water or very little such as 1 teaspoon of salt vs (let's be honest I just dumped) like 1 tablespoon into a gallon of boiling water because my broken salt jar spigot.

For those comments that ask what to do if they have Maggi...just swap it out instead of regular soy sauce. Maggi is a type of soy sauce, but it does have a slightly deeper salt flavor, more savory quality than regular soy sauce. Leave the Worchester sauce in. I grew up on Maggi as a kid, and then as an frugal adult mainly use Kinkoman regular and low sodium soy sauce. Take the spirit of Chef John's cooking and be the master of your own dish and think and try things out. I kinda feel sorry that Chef John has to read the same whiny comments over and over but it prob makes him laugh as it does myself. Another example of something illogical is if a sauce is already too salty for your taste, NO, don't cook the sauce longer and reduce it...salt doesn't evaporate with water...that's not how science works. Add more noodles and next time start with less Maggi soy sauce amount -let's say maybe even as little as 1 teaspoon. The recipe warns salt levels should be tailored to each person's taste. You have the power to adjust your culinary adventure! Think carefully, don't be afraid, because it's only food, and you can make it again. Sorry for the rant, I'm letting go and adding an egg to this dish now.

Mike said...

So delicious. It shows the beauty of balance and simplicity. A million ways to doctor it up, but is great just on its own!

Unknown said...

I make this dish 2-3 times a month. It’s quick and dope. Adding seared chicken thighs, salmon, or shrimp is my go to. But I will warn to actually measure your cheese input. And—in my experience—not to salt your pasta water. This isn’t a super salty dish, but it can easily become so if you’re doing both of these things in conjunction.
Tonight I halved the pasta and added par boiled broccoli and one chicken thigh for a monster dinner for one. Any leftover sauce is great on eggs.

SouthsideJohnny said...

It would also be interesting to know how you would adjust the recipe for those of us who don’t shy away from MSG, which would accentuate the flavors and also add/increase the umami component. Looks pretty awesome though.

Cruachan said...

I regularly cook this when I have people over and want to do something that tastes impressive but easy and quick. It stands up to be expanded in many ways - sliced chicken or pork tenderloin work great (especially if you apply a standard Chinese marinade of to them first). Shrimp is great also. Thinly sliced bell pepper or any other highly coloured vegetable works too. Sliced shiitake mushrooms - especially if reconstituted so you can use the soaking water - add another umanni hit as well. When adding these additional ingredients I generally find it best to cook those a little by themselves, set aside and reintroduce after the garlic has softened a little, but it's very forgiving a perfect for making with a glass of wine in one hand. Finally thrown into a big bowl in the centre of a table full of people it's superb.

Millsy said...

Why anyone would want to use Maggi Seasoning Sauce I don't know, nothing in it is good for you unlike the natural sauces Chef John actually suggests.

Maggi Seasoning Sauce Ingredients : Water, Salt, Wheat ( Wheat Gluten, Wheat , Wheat Bran), Sugar, Colour (150c), Food Acid (260), Flavour, Flavour Enhancer (635), Dextrose. Contains Wheat.

Great recipe John, thanks for it, I think I will make it this morning and possibly add some fresh salmon which may or may not be a positive addition given the strong flavours.

For those who found it salty then I suggest reducing Soy sauce, Fish sauce and the Parmesan cheese as they are all salty ingredients.