Crazy Good Quick Garlic Noodles
Learn how to make THE BEST quick garlic noodles. Loaded with tons of green onions, finely minced garlic, and sauteed in a knob of butter. There are a few unusual ingredients here, but trust me, these are the best garlic noodles you’ll ever have! Ready in around 15 minutes!
Here it is! Here it is!
The recipe that I’ve had on my mind for as long as I’ve been breathing — quick garlic noodles!
A noodle dish with chewy noodles sauteed in a knob of butter with fresh minced garlic, and tons of fresh green onions. We’ve got oyster sauce and a generous splash of fish sauce too.
Okay, I know; the internet is full of garlic noodles. But believe me, this one is different. It has a couple of unusual ingredients. Not usual like I’m sending you on a wild goose chase for a hard-to-find ingredient you’ve never heard of. Unusual in the sense that you don’t typically see it paired often with oyster sauce and fish sauce. But you know what; I’ll never make garlic noodles without them now. Not that I needed any more reassurances, but when I walk into the kitchen to find hubby licking the tongs clean as he goes slightly wide-eyed from being caught in the act, I’m pretty sure I’ve made the garlickiest garlic noodles around town.
And after having some of the best garlic noodles on Maui, in San Francisco, and pretty much anywhere else I can find them on the menu, I’m proud to say this is one crazy good batch of garlic noodles. And what makes these even better? They take in the ballpark of 15 minutes to make and use mostly pantry and refrigerator staple ingredients. You can use ramen noodles, spaghetti, or chuka soba noodles like I’m using. Top with sauteed shrimp, crab, lobster, and crispy tofu with a squeeze of sriracha if you please.
Quick Garlic Noodles Video:
Ingredients for homemade garlic noodles recipe:
The ingredient list on my quick garlic noodles is short. Ten simple ingredients.
- Butter and Oil: You’ll want a combination of the two. The oil helps raise the temperature of the butter so that it doesn’t burn.
- Fresh Garlic: we’ll saute the garlic in the butter so that the flavor infuses throughout this noodle recipe.
- Scallions: We’ll saute these with the garlic to infuse the butter and you can certainly add more on top as a garnish if you’d like.
- Fish Sauce: adds a ton of umami flavor to the noodles as well as salt. If you follow a vegan diet, I suggest making vegan fish sauce using the various recipes on the internet. If all else fails, you can add a splash of soy sauce instead.
- Oyster sauce: adds a salty element to the noodles. For my vegan friends, you can use oyster mushroom sauce instead.
- Granulated sugar: adds sweetness and helps balances the salty elements of the dish. Feel free to use brown sugar if you’d like.
- Parmesan Cheese: Your eyes don’t deceive you! I did indeed right parmesan! So this ingredient works beautifully with the oyster sauce and the fish sauce to give this dish an umami flavor bomb! If you’re vegan you can use a vegan parm alternative, although I do expect that the flavor will be somewhat different.
- Prepared noodles: You’ll want to use 8 ounces of dried noodles for this recipe and prepare them according to package instructions in a saucepan. For the noodles, I used Chuka soba noodles that my local grocery store carries. You can use just about any kind you like! Egg noodles, Hong Kong-style noodles, or even spaghetti or angel hair pasta will do. This is a fusion recipe; there’s no wrong answer here!
- Fried Garlic: It can be a tricky ingredient to find in a regular grocery store, so you can certainly omit it from the recipe or make your own! But know that the fried garlic bits on top are what truly make this recipe irresistible. If you’ve got easy access to an Asian supermarket, you can find this easily! Just know that a lot of the brands fry their garlic in palm oil. If you also feel strongly about avoiding palm oil, I suggest checking the ingredient list before you buy. I was lucky enough to find a brand that didn’t, locally. But here’s a brand that fries them in soybean oil in case you’re interested.
How to make the best garlic noodles on the planet:
- Boil the noodles: Set a large pot of water to boil. When the pasta water reaches a boil, cook them according to the package directions. As the pasta cooks, you can start the infusion of the butter. Drain the pasta and set it aside until you’re ready to toss it.
- Infuse the butter. The key to making good garlic noodles is to make sure you do this step right. Which is allowing the minced garlic and scallions to really infuse all of their flavors into the oil and butter. Start with a cold large skillet, add the butter, oil, garlic, and scallions and slowly let the pan heat up. This will take you about 5-7 minutes, but trust me, this is the part you don’t want to rush. The total time is still in the ballpark of under 30 minutes, and I promise it’s worth the wait!
- Make garlic noodles. While the garlic is simmering, combine the fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Once the garlic is done, you’ll want to kick it up to medium-high heat and add the sauces. Give it 30 seconds to simmer and then add the cooked noodles and toss it all in the sauce. Taste and adjust with more fish sauce as you’d like. If you’re just starting off, I suggest doing a tablespoon of each of the fish sauce and the oyster sauce. You can always add more but you can’t take it away! Top with fried garlic right before serving. And don’t anticipate any leftovers!
What’s to love about this recipe:
- They take about 15 minutes, give or take.
- You’ve probably got almost all the ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator.
- You can serve this with just any kind of protein! Hubby made a spicy Thai Chicken last week, and we swapped the quinoa for garlic noodles. But really, we’ve had this with Miso Ginger Salmon too, and you just can’t go wrong here. I love Hawaiian Shrimp Scampi with this too!
- You can skip the protein and go the vegetable route. Sauteed broccolini or seared bok choy in sesame oil *chefs kiss*
- Perfect for when you’re a single lady (or dude) like I am on some weeknights, and all you want is a bowl of comfort food and you want it FAST.
Quick garlic noodles serve four but if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you there’s just enough for one. Honestly, plan on making more than you think you’ll need.
It’s so dang hard to stop yourself from eating the whole pan!
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Cantonese-Style Pan-Fried Noodles
- Sesame Ginger Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry
- Gochujang Noodles
- Sesame Peanut Noodles with Chicken
- Hibachi Fried Rice
Original recipe shared Feb 2018, updated with new images, and post Oct 2022.
- 3 tablespoons butter + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6-8 fresh garlic cloves, minced (we always use 8)
- 2 scallions, greens only (thinly sliced)
- 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces noodles (see notes)
- fried garlic, for topping
- Infuse the Butter: Heat a large pot with water and allow it to come to boil, cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. While the water is boiling, grab a large, non-stick skillet and place it on medium-low heat. Add the butter, oil olive, garlic, and scallions. Let the butter infuse with the garlic for 5-7 minutes, stirring often. The garlic should barely sizzle here, you don't want it to brown.
- Garlic Noodles: While the garlic is going, grab a small bowl and mix together the fish sauce, oyster sauce, and the sugar. When the garlic is cooked, kick the heat up to medium-high, stir in the prepared sauce; let cook for 30 seconds. Add the prepared noodles and toss with parmesan cheese (yes, parm!) Let the noodles cook for a minute so they soak up all that flavor. Top with fried garlic and serve immediately! That flavor is like NOTHING you'll ever have.
- Please note: after a few responses from readers, I've adjusted the amount of fish sauce + oyster sauce to read '1-2 tablespoons.' I use 2 of each and didn't find it had a fishy flavor but a few people mentioned that it was a bit pungent for their taste. I suggest starting with 1 tablespoon of each and adjusting as desired!
- You can use a lot of different kinds of noodles here. I used Chuka soba noodles, but egg noodles, Hong Kong noodles, spaghetti, or even angel hair pasta will work here.
- You can serve this with just about anything you like!
- This recipe can easily be doubled if you want leftovers, and really with all that garlic, who wouldn't?