ArabianBowlsChineseCuisineFrenchIndianItalianKoreanMainsPakistaniQuick & Easy

Garlic Noodles

20 mins Cook
Scroll to recipe
Copy of NomNom Recipes 1 14

These incredibly tasty yet uncomplicated Garlic Noodles represent an Asian-inspired creation that gained fame thanks to Thanh Long restaurant in San Francisco, as popularized by Kenji Lopez-Alt. Add a fried egg and some vegetables to turn them into a speedy meal, or serve them as a superb Asian side dish that complements virtually anything!

Garlic Noodles Garlic Noodles

Garlic noodles

Here’s another outstanding illustration of a fusion Asian dish that skillfully combines both Asian and Western elements to craft a truly delectable creation. Bursting with robust garlic notes, it harbors a concealed gem: parmesan cheese. That’s right, parmesan. When melded with Asian condiments like oyster sauce, fish sauce, and Maggi seasoning (or soy sauce), along with a generous serving of garlic, it imparts a delightful burst of savory flavor as it melts into the sauce. Surprisingly, it harmonizes beautifully with the Asian flavors!

Ingredients in Garlic Noodles

Here’s the essential lineup for crafting Garlic Noodles. While there are numerous noodle choices available, my personal preference leans towards ramen or noodle cakes, as depicted below.

Noodles – As mentioned earlier, this recipe offers flexibility with noodle choices, whether they’re dried or fresh (straight from the fridge). You can even opt for spaghetti, as there are plenty of recipes that feature pasta! However, my personal favorite remains ramen or noodle cakes, like the ones shown above. Their textured surface allows the sauce to adhere more effectively.

Speaking of spaghetti – it certainly works and tastes decent, but it doesn’t provide the same chewy texture as traditional noodles. Nonetheless, I would still proceed with spaghetti if it were my only option!

Garlic – A generous amount is required; we’re talking about 2 full tablespoons of finely minced garlic. The garlic’s unmistakable flavor is a must in this dish!

Fish sauce – This savory sauce boasts more complex layers of flavor compared to soy sauce. However, if you don’t have fish sauce on hand, soy sauce can be substituted. Opt for light or all-purpose soy sauce, avoiding the use of dark soy sauce as it can be overpowering. For further insight into different soy sauce varieties, you can read more here.

Maggi Seasoning – This is a savory Asian sauce that can be likened to a blend of soy sauce and Asian Worcestershire sauce. You can typically find it in the Asian section of larger grocery stores such as Coles or Woolworths, or at Asian specialty stores. It’s a versatile sauce used in Southeast Asian cuisine, enhancing the flavors of noodles, stir-fries, and it also happens to be the secret ingredient in Banh Mi Sauce.

If you need to substitute it, opt for soy sauce (again, light or all-purpose, not dark soy sauce). However, keep in mind that if you replace both the fish sauce and Maggi Seasoning, you may compromise some of the dish’s distinctive flavors.

How to make Garlic Noodles

In the video, you’ll observe me following a simple process: boiling the noodles and preparing the sauce using the same saucepan. This method works perfectly because the sauce comes together in a matter of minutes. However, at times, I prefer to get the sauce started while the noodles are cooking and then combine them in a separate pan. Feel free to choose the approach that suits your preference.

Don’t forget to save some of the noodle water—Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Just before draining them, scoop out a mugful of the cooking water (this will be used to create the sauce later). Aim for at least 1/2 cup or more, with 1/4 cup designated for the recipe and some extra, just in case.

After draining the noodles, leave them in the colander while you quickly whip up the sauce (it takes hardly a minute).

Sautéing the garlic – In the same saucepan, melt the butter and then sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds or until its aroma becomes irresistibly enticing.

Sauce – Now, introduce the fish sauce, Maggi seasoning, oyster sauce, and the reserved 1/4 cup of noodle cooking water. Stir to blend the sauce ingredients; there’s no need to simmer or cook it further. The noodle cooking water plays a crucial role in thickening the sauce, thanks to the starch it contains, ensuring it adheres nicely to the noodles.

Noodles & parmesan – Add the noodles and parmesan cheese to the sauce, then toss everything for about 30 seconds or until the sauce coats the noodles evenly instead of pooling at the bottom of the saucepan. The parmesan will seamlessly meld into the sauce, rendering the noodles glossy and loose. If the mixture becomes sticky or overly thick (perhaps due to excessive heat or over-tossing), simply introduce a splash of noodle cooking water to restore the desired consistency.

Finally, toss in the green onions and serve your delectable creation immediately!

To serve

Transform these garlic noodles into a speedy meal by complementing them with a fried egg or boiled egg slices, along with a side of fresh greens. In the image at the top, you’ll spot broccolini, which I boiled alongside the noodles and then tossed in Asian Sesame Dressing (a pantry staple, right?).

Alternatively, consider this as the quintessential side dish that pairs seamlessly with virtually any Asian main course requiring a starchy accompaniment. Imagine it alongside Sticky Chinese Wings, Chinese BBQ Pork, Chinese BBQ Chicken, Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Steaks, Golden Turmeric Fish, or Asian Glazed Barramundi! I’m sure you can envision numerous other delectable combinations. What culinary visions come to mind?

Garlic Noodles

Garlic Noodles

These incredibly tasty yet uncomplicated Garlic Noodles represent an Asian-inspired creation that gained fame thanks to Thanh Long restaurant in San Francisco, as popularized by Kenji Lopez-Alt. Add a fried egg and some vegetables to turn them into a speedy meal, or serve them as a superb Asian side dish that complements virtually anything!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins




  • 140g/ 5oz dried ramen or noodle cakes (2 cakes) – Note 1 for other options

  • SAUCE:

  • 30g / 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 tbsp (6 cloves) garlic, finely minced (yep, a lot!)

  • 2 tsp oyster sauce (sub vegetarian oyster sauce)

  • 2 tsp fish sauce (sub soy sauce – Note 2)

  • 1 1/2 tsp Maggi seasoning (sub soy sauce – Note 3)

  • 1/4 cup noodle cooking water , more if needed (Note 4)

  • 1/4 cup (tightly packed) finely grated parmesan (freshly grated, Note 5)

  • 1/4 cup green onion , thinly sliced (~1 stem)


Noodles - Begin by cooking the noodles in a large saucepan following the instructions on the packet. Remember to reserve approximately 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Once the noodles are done, strain them and set them aside.
Sauce - In the same saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until it becomes soft. Introduce the oyster sauce, fish sauce, Maggi seasoning, and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water. Stir to blend the ingredients.
Toss - Add the cooked noodles, parmesan cheese, and green onion to the saucepan. Toss everything together until the noodles are thoroughly coated, and the sauce isn't collecting at the bottom of the pan. If necessary, add more cooking water, one tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired noodle consistency.
For a delightful serving idea, consider pairing these noodles with a fried egg and broccolini, which can be cooked alongside the noodles. Toss the broccolini with Asian Sesame Dressing, a staple you typically have in your fridge. Note that broccolini cooks in approximately 3 minutes, so you can add it to the water before, after, or at the same time as the noodles, depending on the noodle's cooking time.


This recipe is adapted from Kenji Lopez-Alt's cookbook, "The Wok." Noodles - My preference is for ramen noodles or noodle cakes because their wrinkled texture allows the garlic bits and sauce to adhere better. Fresh egg noodles, whether thick or thin like hokkien or lo mein, from the refrigerated section are a close second choice (use 220g/8oz). Dried egg noodles are also suitable (use the specified amount per recipe). Angel hair pasta or spaghetti can be used (use the specified amount per recipe), but I lean towards noodles because pasta lacks the same satisfying chewiness. However, if pasta is all you have, it's still worth making! Rice noodles can also be used, but the texture will differ. Fish sauce imparts the best savory flavor (without a fishy taste), but it can be replaced with soy sauce (opt for light or all-purpose, not dark soy sauce). Maggi Seasoning is a savory Asian sauce that can be thought of as a fusion of soy sauce and Asian Worcestershire sauce. You can typically find it in the Asian section of larger grocery stores like Coles or Woolworths, as well as at Asian specialty stores. It's a staple sauce in Southeast Asia! If needed, substitute with soy sauce (again, light or all-purpose, not dark soy sauce). Cooking water - This is essential for creating the sauce that coats the noodles. The starch in the water plays a key role in thickening the sauce. Use freshly grated parmesan for a smooth melt that seamlessly incorporates into the noodles. Store-bought sandy or finely shredded grated parmesan won't melt as perfectly, but if that's all you have, it will still work. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; simply add a touch of water to loosen the noodles before reheating. Nutritional information is provided per serving, assuming there are 2 servings.
You may also like
ArabianBakedCuisineIndianItalianMainsPakistaniQuick & Easy

Lemon Tart

20 mins Cook
What gives this Lemon Tart its exceptional quality? It’s the lemon curd filling. It strikes a harmonious balance between sweetness and tartness, and its custard-like texture effortlessly dissolves in your mouth. This timeless French tart is both elegant and visually appealing, yet its filling is incredibly uncomplicated, consisting solely of eggs, sugar, butter, and fresh lemon!
ArabianCuisineFrenchIndianItalianQuick & Easy

Healthy Creamy Zucchini Soup

20 mins Cook
You don’t require a substantial amount of cream to create a Creamy Zucchini Soup because the natural consistency of cooked zucchini seamlessly transforms it into a rich and velvety soup. This delightful bowl of warmth not only pleases your taste buds but also boasts a modest calorie count of just 220 per generous serving, or a mere 98 calories if you opt to omit the cream!
ChineseCuisineDips and SaucesFrenchIndianItalianKoreanMainsQuick & Easy

Chinese Zucchini Pancakes

20 mins Cook
Chinese food for breakfast? Absolutely! I can assure you that breakfast in Asian countries is far more intriguing than a simple combination of toast and cereal, not to mention much more delightful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Lamb Koftas with Yoghurt Dressing

30 mins Cook