Best Garlic Noodles

Garlic Noodles - the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!


Made this tonight and was soooooo delicious!
by ,
February 18, 2012


Made this tonight and was soooooo delicious!

Garlic Noodles - the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

Garlic Noodles

Garlic Noodles – the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total Time:


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.

Garlic Noodles - the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

Garlic Noodles

Garlic Noodles – the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

Garlic Noodles - the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

Garlic noodles remain my favorite noodles all these years. There is nothing not to love about Asian noodles tossed with lots of garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese, with savory Asian sauces. It’s one of the most requested dishes on my dinner table!

Garlic Noodles - the easiest and best noodles with garlic, butter, Parmesan cheese and Asian sauces. So good and so easy to make!

For the best results, use Asian noodles such as yellow noodles from Asian stores. But pasta such as spaghetti, linguine or linguine works just fine. You can eat the garlic noodles plain or serve it with my roasted crab just like the famous Crustacean restaurant or Thanh Long in California. Or you can serve it with shrimp or meat.


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  1. It’s like the Chinese version of Spaghetti Aglio Olio! Fantastic!

    • *Vietnamese version

      • 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.

          • 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.

  2. what is “maggie sauce”?

  3. What is Maggie sauce?

  4. Angela Tellone Hatch via Facebook says:

    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.

  5. Michelle Hoon-Kooeemui via Facebook says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. My hubby ate an Italian version nearly everyday and was addicted for 5 years! This looks yummy, Bee.

  8. How long do you cook the noodles???

    • You cook the noodles until al dente. It all depends on the type of noodles, should be a few minutes.

    • 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!

  9. Yum-yum-yum! And please do post that grilled prawn
    recipe very soon. I can’t wait to try them both together!

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

    • I have no problem using MSG products and only use it in a few of my recipes. Feel free to opt out the Maggi sauce in this recipe and use more oyster sauce.

    • 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!

    • Try Brags Liquid Aminos. Its a msg free soy sauce and i think s delicious

  12. Thanks for the garlic noodles recipe. It seems like you really improved your technique over the years.

  13. Garlic and noodles are one of my fave combos. So delicious!!

  14. Thank you for sharing this Bee!! I now foresee my future as the most popular guest at potlucks ;)

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. Yum! Garlic noodles are one of my favorite noodle dishes! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  18. I love almost anything to do with garlic!!! Sounds amazing!

  19. 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!

  20. Nestor1208 says:

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

  21. shivani says:

    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.

  22. 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.

    • Cook until al dente or a few minutes. Just taste and test it while cooking.

    • 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.

  23. mark filip says:

    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???

    • You use any fresh noodles. Not the thin dry noodles but fat ones. Sorry not familiar with Austin.

      • Would you know any by brand name or would it be more likely that the store I go to has ‘home made’ ones?
        Other than ‘fresh’ noodles, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for and the people in the store don’t speak a whole lot of english unfortunately.

        • Sorry don’t know the brand.

        • Mark,
          Why don’t you print out the description of the dish from the first page(it has the Chinese characters for the type of noodle in the text) or a picture of the noodles into the store and show it to the sales people. That should clear up any confusion.
          Good luck!

    • just use spaghetti

  24. Thank you so much for this recipe! My family loves it! Every time I make this is like a great treat for them.

  25. 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.

  26. Roleesun says:

    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.

  27. Could these be cooked and reheated later?

  28. tuongthuy says:

    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

  29. Michelle says:

    Hi bee, can I use hokien noodles? Dont know what yellow noodles mean?

  30. 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

  31. 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,

  32. 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

  33. Made this tonight and was soooooo delicious!

  34. 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?

  35. Yes

  36. Greetings from Japan! I’ve never tried this before, but it was delicious :)

    A little too buttery / oily for my liking, but I’ll just cut the butter next time! Only added some chili flakes and pepper to up the spice factor.

    Thanks for the keeper recipe Bee! :)

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