You love garlic? You’ll certainly LOVE these noodles. I was on Yelp one day looking for some ideas. The fiance had just finished a rough week of midterms and I wanted to take him out to dinner. Searching for anything scrumptious from OC to LA I came across a familiar name–Crustacean. Yes, I’ve heard of the famous Anh family. An establishment so secretive, they have trap doors or whatnot that guards the real kitchen, guards their precious recipes. No doubt, their most famous dish–garlic noodles.
I’m Vietnamese and I love Vietnamese food, but I simply can’t justify spending that kind of money on food that’s classified as Vietnamese fusion–yet shares little or no resemblance to the food I ate growing up. I don’t know if that makes sense…but it’s just principle. Again, I’ve never eaten here…but would be open to do so if anyone were to treat me to a meal 🙂
Either way, I was still quite curious about the noodles and searched the web for copycat recipes. Lo and behold–tons of similar recipes from foodies alike. All the recipes were rather plain–so I decided to forgo creating a copycat dish–and instead just create a dish inspired by the famous garlic noodles.
First time? I followed the oil/butter ratio called for in one recipe and found it to be WAY too oily. No bueno. Second time? AMAZING. So good Mike had a huge bowl of noodles after his Chipotle dinner.
As far as the recipe goes–bear with me. I didn’t really take exact measurements and did a lot of adding as I went along. My mom would be so proud of me.
1 pound fresh (not dried) Asian yellow noodles (you want to use something like pancit)
4 tablespoons butter
8 cloves garlic, minced (I put mine thru a garlic press)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup reserved pasta water (I always save 1 cup–just in case)
salt and pepper to taste
up to 2 teaspoons of sugar
***optional–you may want to add some vegetables that when sauteed, cook rather quickly (I used baby bok choy)
10-20 uncooked shrimp, shell removed and deveined
1-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (enough to thoroughly coat shrimp)
3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of dried basil
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, cayenne pepper, paprika, and dried basil. Mix to combine. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least an hour.
In the meantime, cook the noodles. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water (as you would with pasta). Add the noodles and a dash of oil to keep them from sticking. Pancit noodles cook much quicker than italian pastas–so keep you eye out for them. Noodles are generally cooked in about 5-7 minutes. Once cooked, drain the noodles and set aside. Do not run under cold water and make sure to reserve up to 1 cup of pasta water.
Now, in a large skillet–saute the shrimp until just barely cooked. Remove shrimp from heat, but reserve oil. (If adding vegetables–saute them now and remove from heat)
Add butter to reserved oil from shrimp. Once melted, add garlic and saute until cooked and fragrant (about 1 minute). Add 1/4 cup pasta water, oyster sauce, Maggie Seasoning Sauce, and sugar. Mix thoroughly.
Throw in noodles and toss to coat evenly. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and toss to coat evenly. Now–this is where the recipe becomes all you. Add more oyster sauce/maggi if you’d like it saltier. Add more pasta water to make the mixture creamier. Add a tad more sugar, if too salty. Once you taste test and flavor the noodles to your liking, I like to let the noodles cook a tad longer–tossing the noodles every 2-3 minutes–for about 5-6 minutes.
To finish, throw shrimp and vegetables back in and mix well.