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Garlic Noodles

Garlic noodles – garlicky and buttery noodles with Parmesan cheese. SO easy and delicious you won't stop eating!! |


Garlic Noodles Recipe

Serves 3-4 | Prep Time: 15 Mins | Cook Time: 5 Mins


20 oz yellow noodles or spaghetti
1 heaping tablespoon bottled grated Parmesan cheese
Water, for boiling the noodles

Garlic Sauce:

1 stick unsalted butter (same as 4 oz/110 g/1/2 cup/8 tablespoons)
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic, or more to taste
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar


Rinse the yellow noodles with running water to discard the oil from the noodles. Drain and set aside.

Heat up a pot of water until boiling. Add the noodles into the boiling water and cook the noodles until al dente (you want it to still have a good chewy bite), or for a few minutes. You can taste the texture of the noodles while cooking. Do not overcook as the noodles will turn soggy. Transfer the noodles out and drain dry.

Prepare the garlic sauce using a saute pan on medium to low heat. Add the butter into the pan and when it melts, add the garlic and saute until aromatic but not browned. Add all the seasonings into the pan, stir to combine well. Transfer the garlic sauce into a small bowl.

To serve, just toss all the noodles with the garlic sauce. Add the cheese, toss to combine well. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

For individual serving of the garlic noodles, take some noodles to a bowl and add some garlic sauce to taste. Drizzle some grated Parmesan cheese, stir to combine well before serving. If you can’t find any yellow noodles, you can use spaghetti or linguine.

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67 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

      • john

        Chinese, not vietnamese! There is absolutely nothing uniquely vietnamese about any of the ingredients used to make Garlic Noodles.

        The egg noodles and oyster sauce originated in China.

        Stir-fried noodles also originated in China.

        Garlic and cheese originated in Asia, but this version of cheese was modified by Italy.

        Fish sauce is a staple Southeast Asian ingredient used all over Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines, so it didn’t originate in Vietnam. Fish sauce is also used in southern Chinese cooking.

        We all know how much Chinese cuisine has influenced many Southeast Asian cuisines, so it’s okay to refer to Garlic Noodles as an Asian dish instead of a solely Chinese stir-fried noodle dish. So don’t claim it as “Vietnamese” when it’s obviously Chinese. We’re okay with saying “Asian”, but not vietnamese.

        • Hi John, the reason why I called this Garlic Noodles is because this is served only in Vietnamese restaurants where I live, to me, it’s Vietnamese, even though it might not be Vietnamese at all, or found in Vietnam. If you read my post you would know the back story and that it’s Vietnamese-style because the website of the restaurant mentioned about making and eating this noodles back in Vietnam, which I am not surprise as French used to rule Vietnam. But this blog is not about who owns what and who invented what, it’s merely a personal blog sharing recipes that I love.

          • john

            Hi, Rasa Malaysia. I was actually replying to Ren, but I’m glad to hear from you.

            The only reason why I responded to Ren was because I didn’t appreciate how Kelly’s appropriate comment, “It’s like the Chinese version of Spaghetti Aglio Olio! Fantastic!”, was rudely discredited by Ren who said “*Vietnamese version”.

            This dish is in fact the Chinese version of Spaghetti Aglio E Olio. There is a culinary history between China and Italy, since Chinese egg noodles were introduced to Italy and evolved into spaghetti and other pasta products.

            French cuisine has also influenced Cambodian cuisine and Lao cuisine, but Garlic Noodles has nothing to do with French cuisine, so the French legacy in Vietnamese cuisine doesn’t apply here.

            In China, when foreign tourists want spaghetti, they would use Chinese egg noodles as a common substitute. So “Spaghetti Aglio E Olio” in China is made by adding butter and cheese to a traditional Chinese stir-fry of egg noodles, garlic, and a combination of oyster sauce with soy sauce (or sometimes substituted with fish sauce). In China, it is a known fact that Europeans love butter and cheese, so many Chinese chefs have incorporated cheese and butter to traditional Chinese dishes to cater to foreign tourists in places like Hong Kong/Macau.

            That’s why I don’t understand why Ren tried to discredit the Chinese. China is quite aware of European preferences. There’s all kinds of European restaurants including Italian restaurants in China, and many use local Chinese noodles instead of Italian pasta.

            Garlic Noodles is a modern Chinese noodle dish due to the addition of butter and cheese. I’ve also been to many Southeast Asian countries and have eaten this exact dish at European-inspired restaurants in Southeast Asia such as in Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia. Not surprisingly, Chinese egg noodles are used instead of Italian pasta in those countries too. Should we start calling Garlic Noodles as the Cambodian version? Or maybe the Lao version? Or how about the Indonesian version? Or perhaps the Vietnamese version? :) But they’re all the same buttered Chinese egg noodle dish.

            That’s why if Ren doesn’t like knowing that Garlic Noodles is the Chinese version of Spaghetti Aglio E Olio, then it’s fine to say Asian Garlic Noodles or simply Garlic Noodles, but Ren shouldn’t steal the credit from China just because someone in Vietnam is unfortunately trying to take credit for it.

            So far, I haven’t seen an Indonesian attempt to take credit for a Chinese dish now called Garlic Noodles, so why is someone in Vietnam trying to claim another Chinese dish?

            Do you realize that most of the foods eaten in Vietnam originated in China?

            If Ren wants to take a Chinese dish and refer to it as Vietnamese in a private discussion, then fine. But, when someone like Kelly acknowledges it’s true Chinese origins, then no one should rudely reply to it by claiming that it’s Vietnamese, because it’s not. It’s actually Chinese.

            Egg noodles, garlic, and oyster sauce are very common ingredients used in Chinese cooking. Egg noodles and oyster sauce are in fact native Chinese ingredients.

            If anyone is against China’s culinary history, then we might as well reply to Kelly’s comment with all of the following:

            *Cambodian version
            *Lao version
            *Indonesian version
            *Vietnamese version

            What’s next? Should we take the famous Chinese scallion and ginger sauce and call it vietnamese pesto? Or how about the famous Chinese hoisin sauce…has anyone called it vietnamese hoisin?

            I think you should have responded to Ren and said that Kelly wasn’t wrong. Anyway, I do enjoy reading your blogs.

            p.s. any ethnic restaurant (i.e. Veitnamese) is allowed to sell a dish from another country (i.e. China), but this doesn’t mean that the restaurant owner is now the inventor of the dish.

            • Hi John thanks for your comment. I didn’t know that you are replying to a previous comment posted. Of course, Chinese food influences the entire Asia region – Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysia, Singapore and the list goes on. Let’s be honest, many iconic Asian dishes won’t even exist if not for Chinese invention – ramen, Pad Thai, Bun, gyoza, mandu, etc. I find it very hard to categorize many of my recipes due to this very reason. I tried to label them according to how I experienced them and I try to tell the back story in my post but I get angry comments a lot, too. But I do respect that while the fundamentals and origins are Chinese, each regional variations add something to the original versions, and that’s why food culture is so interesting–and delicious.

  1. Angela Tellone Hatch via Facebook

    Check the Asian section of your supermarket. It’s right there with the fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s Maggi seasoning. It’s dark brown and comes in a bottle.

  2. Michelle Hoon-Kooeemui via Facebook

    Thanks for your recipe, it seems simple to prepare. Will try this out. ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

  3. I lived in Malaysia for 14 years and these are my favorite kind of noodles. If you add in small pieces of fried lard and fried pork balls, eat with some hot sambal chili, it is truly heaven.

    • I’ve only just seen this recipe. ‘Al dente’ is Italian for “to the tooth” which means cooked until the noodles are still a little firm when you bite into a piece. The recipe sounds delicious. I keep a variety of noodles and Asian/Malaysian sauces in my pantry and use my imagination. Be adventurous and experiment!

  4. saluki

    A question about the noodles themselves. Do we look for these in the refrigerated case? Also, are you using the French Frentel butter and would it make a significant difference?

  5. John

    I never cook with MSG. Maggi sauce has MSG in it. I always try to find a substitute for MSG. MSG is a major cause of weight gain in Filipinos. I know it makes the food taste good, but the health concerns of MSG far outweigh the boost in taste. I use combinations of salt, in moderation, ginger, garlic, cumin, pepper, and turmeric in place of MSG. Soy sauce has natural MSG in it, but most soy sauce manufactures add additional MSG. I always read the label. Just a suggestion, but it would great if you could suggest healthier alternatives to Maggi sauce.

    • imelda

      John, I wasn’t aware that MSG is a cause of weight gain, but other unpleasant side effects (dizziness, dry mouth, difficulty breathing) are well-documented. Unfortunately, MSG is frequently used as a cheap shortcut to flavour (it’s a substitute for using great ingredients or putting in cooking time to extract the most from those ingredients), and as such, is common in most Asian restaurant/takeout dishes and processed foods. I was disappointed to not find a single chili sauce in the local Asian market that did not contain MSG in the ingredients list. I think your substitutions are a great alternative, thanks for the advice!

  6. You had me at garlic! And this sounds and looks really delicious. Must be bursting with garlicky goodness :) You reckon I can substitute the noodles with spaghetti instead?

  7. My husband made these noodles for dinner tonight as an accompaniment to ginger scallion beef. The noodles were wonderful! My local supermarket doesn’t sell the noodles featured in the recipe, so we improvised with a similar type.

  8. Just made this tonight! Awesome! I didn’t have maggi sauce so I substituted with soy sauce and used hondashi (Japanese dashi powder) and water to substitute for the fish sauce. I garnished with chopped cilantro. I totally forgot the parmesan cheese so I’ll have to add that next time. My fiance loved it so much he made me write down the recipe for him. This is a keeper!

  9. Nestor1208

    two questions.
    First how many people is this recipe for? and second how long approximately are the noodles supposed to cook?
    Thank you

  10. shivani

    a recipe after my own heart lots of garlic but my problem is that i am vegetarian. most asian recipes call fr fish or oyster sauce and so i have to skip them n then the dish does not taste all that good. can you suggest some alternate things that can be substituted fr these sauces or some other sauces or ingredients to spice up the noodles.

  11. Britt

    I made this recipe and it came out just like the kind I’ve had in restaurants. Not sure why the noodle cooking time isn’t posted in the recipe, it looks like there were several inquiries from the comments and there was no response. I cooked the noodles for approximately 2-3 minutes, I guess you just have to watch them because the cooking time was not on the package either.

    • phnomlwm

      I apologize if I am being rude, or generalizing, but noodles vary in cooking (not by much) and the cooking directions are on the back of each individual package. I use different kinds of noodles and the dish is always great. However, if there are no directions on the package of noodles that you have bought, cook them until they are “al dente.” If you are not sure what “al dente” feels, looks or tastes like…google it. Googling is great for all questions. Oh by the way…my noodles were GREAT!!! I used organic garlic and pesto noodles and added tons of fresh pressed garlic.

  12. mark filip

    Hi, this recipe sounds VERY delicious but I’m really having trouble finding the noodles. I live in Austin and we have a really large Asian supermarket but I cannot find these noodles anywhere.
    Can you give me some more specific information on where I might find them in the store?
    Also, what other noodle could I substitute for this? I found some Canton (thin) dry noodles that require cooking first, will that work???

  13. sfvisalaw

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. What type of parmesan cheese would you recommend using? I found a similar recipe and they recommended using the cheap Kraft one in a container. Did you ever posted your recipe for the grilled prawns? Btw, love your site and books.

  14. Roleesun

    For those living in areas with few Asian stores, you might find Maggi sauce in the Mexican food section as “Maggi Jugo Sazonador”. I made these noodles tonight and ate them with shrimp. They were delicious.

  15. tuongthuy

    Would you think I can use angel hair spaghetti instead? The type that I sold in all supermarkets, like Kroger, Giant, Safeway,… 20oz of dry angel hair spaghetti would come out a whole lot after cooking. How much of angel hair cooking would you think be equivalent to the 20oz yellow noodles. Thank you so very much

  16. Tommy

    Hi – do you have a particular brand or picture of the noodle brand that you use. Sorry I’m not very good with grocery shopping.

    thank you

  17. Hi – I am new with cooking and I wanted to try this recipe sounds really yummy. Can you recommend a brand or if you have a picture brand for the noodles that you use.

    Thank you,

  18. Kim

    I was CRAVING noodles, but I didn’t have yellow noodles, so I used soba noodles & it was DELICIOUS!!! I paired this with Bee’s Hawaiian Shrimp Scampi recipe… It was the easiest, most DELICIOUS dinner in 25mins I have ever whipped up!!! THANK YOU so very much for perfecting both these recipes, Bee!!! xoxo

  19. Kink

    What to you mean by yellow noodles? Egg noodles? Chow mien noodles? Or are they just advertised as ‘yellow noodles’?
    Ranch99 has so many noodles that are yellow in color.
    I’m assuming fresh noodles, not dried.
    Can you take a picture of the package/brand of the kind you buy?

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