Garlic Noodles


These garlic noodles are deceivingly simple, yet devastatingly delicious. Garlic noodles were invented back in the '70s at a restaurant in San Francisco called Thanh Long. Usually served with roasted Dungeness crab, the recipe is a very closely guarded family secret, but after lots of investigation, and even more experimentation, I think this is very close.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


For the Secret Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

For the Noodles:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 6 ounces spaghetti

  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, or to taste

  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes


  1. Stir soy sauce, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl for the secret sauce.

  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Quickly stir in the secret sauce and turn off the heat.

  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in boiling water, stirring occasionally, until tender yet slightly firm to the bite, about 12 minutes.

  4. Transfer spaghetti into the sauce using tongs, bringing some of the cooking water with it. Toss until well coated; stir in Parmesan cheese. Splash in more pasta water if noodles are too dry.

  5. Plate noodles; garnish with green onions and red pepper flakes.

    close up on a large bowl of garlic noodles
    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Chef's Notes:

Virtually any noodle will shine in this, but I quite like good old spaghetti. Good options include Chinese egg noodles and ramen.

Apparently, one of the secret ingredients is 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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

600 Calories
28g Fat
70g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 600
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 1541mg 67%
Total Carbohydrate 70g 26%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 172mg 13%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 370mg 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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