Garlic Noodles | Kenji's Cooking Show

Sep 13, 2020
325 552 Views

I'd never heard of these before moving to the Bay Area, and that's because these Vietnamese-American garlic noodles were created here at Thanh Long restaurant in the outer sunset. They are frequently served with roast dungeness crab, but they work well on their own.
Garlic Noodles
Serves 2-3
250g (1/2 pound) dry spaghetti, or 150g (1/3 pound) fresh egg noodles
2 tablepsoons butter
12 cloves garlic, minced
15ml (1 tablespoon) oyster sauce
10ml (2 teaspoons) soy sauce or Maggi seasoning
10ml (2 teaspoons) fish sauce
30g (1 ounce) grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
Thinly sliced scallions (optional)
1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions in unsalted water (the sauce is very salty; if using fresh noodles, cook them at the start of step 2). Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish and stir to combine.
2. Using tongs, transfer the cooked noodles to the garlic sauce. Increase heat to high, add cheese and scallions, and stir and toss vigorously until the sauce is creamy and emulsified, about 30 seconds. If sauce looks too watery, let it keep reducing. If it looks greasy, splash some more pasta water into it and let it reemulsify. Serve immediately.

  • Hey Kenji, great stuff as usual! To clarify though, I didn't claim that osmosis is the primary mechanism here. I described the salt as an abrasive we use to break down garlic. I did, however, say that I think salt gives the illusion that the garlic has been broken down into smaller pieces than it actually has, by making the garlic wet. Certainly this is primarily due to the mechanical perforation of cell walls, but it seems clear that osmosis would also be a factor, no?

    Adam RaguseaAdam Ragusea4 days ago
    • @Adam Ragusea holy shit you never stop do you?

      Spencer SSpencer S18 hours ago
    • haha garlic go brrrrr

      Pablo QueméPablo Quemé19 hours ago
    • This is about to get ugly...

      John DoeJohn Doe2 days ago
    • While you're here, lemme just ask if you're ever gonna go back and redo the almost completely wrong conspiracy-esque video on food plastics = estrogen? Its the same shit as saying soy = more estrogen, which is just wrong and misinformation.

      DeadlyPearDeadlyPear2 days ago
    • Michael Lim thanks for all of this, very good conversation here!

      J. Kenji López-AltJ. Kenji López-Alt3 days ago
  • Kenji back at it again with the First Person Wok

    Daniel Jae ImDaniel Jae Im12 minutes ago
  • "Yeast extract"??? Did you say Vegemite!?

    petethebastardpetethebastardHour ago
  • Is Rice-a-Roni a sponsor or something? So many mentions! Anyway, thanks for the recipe.

    Nathan LauNathan Lau3 hours ago
  • Next time I come to San Francisco, where, besides the grocery store, can I get the San Francisco Treat. I used to love beef flavored Rice-a-roni. Burned the f out of my tongue so many times tasting the saute'd pasta and rice.

    David HigginsDavid Higgins4 hours ago
  • Question: is rice a roni the real San Francisco treat?

    Trevin C.Trevin C.5 hours ago
  • can you make a vid on rice a roni🤨

    evan andersonevan anderson6 hours ago
    • kolim jone whats yyst mean

      evan andersonevan anderson4 hours ago
    • Are you a fellow lefty?

      kolim jonekolim jone5 hours ago
  • I'd like to recommend Hubei, it's a Chinese restaurant in Millbrae. Their garlic noodles are supremely good. It sounds like you're close by, so give it a try.

    Laurence BordowitzLaurence Bordowitz8 hours ago
    • 1:22 Gee that camera movement make me dizzy. Would be great if you prepare everything on set before you actually start recording

      kolim jonekolim jone5 hours ago
  • I would like to be Kenji's internet friend either

    Kalender GülbudakKalender Gülbudak8 hours ago
  • kenji "the REAL san francisco treat" lopez

    Davis OzawaDavis Ozawa9 hours ago
  • Oh damn! Just made this one. So freaking good, so easy, so fast. I love it.

    sol029sol0299 hours ago
  • As an Italian, I cringe every time I see him cook pasta.

    MontalbanJRMontalbanJR13 hours ago
  • Needed this lol

    Gary The SnailGary The Snail13 hours ago
  • awesome recipe Kenji :) tried it with a mix of different sauces (woesterchire, soy, nuoc mam), and was super. more please :)

    Blaise HugueninBlaise Huguenin13 hours ago
  • I watched this yesterday, and made it today with cauliflower instead of noodles. Fantastic.

    Daniel PincusDaniel Pincus15 hours ago
  • USkeys's given me four different videos on this one recipe in as many days. ALL RIGHT, FINE, I'll cook it already!

    JonMWJonMW17 hours ago
  • Do you have a recommendation on where to buy a molcajete. My local Mexican grocery doesn't have a great selection

    Jimmy StoneJimmy Stone17 hours ago
  • Hi Kenji, I'm searching for a wok and the one you are using seems to be a perfect fit. Where can I buy?

    weilan hweilan h19 hours ago
  • Yo... Move to new Orleans plz...

    carpet everybodycarpet everybodyDay ago
  • This dude needs to sell Kenji T-shirts that say : Not THE San Francisco Treat. Great branding.

    JQuintos FootGolfJQuintos FootGolfDay ago
  • So when is the rice-a-roni video?

    kolim jonekolim joneDay ago
  • What is that beer in the fridge? 👀

    renevas2renevas2Day ago
    • your videos and never paid attention but this time I did and wasn't disappointed. Keep up the good work man!

      kolim jonekolim joneDay ago
  • 1:22 Gee that camera movement make me dizzy. Would be great if you prepare everything on set before you actually start recording

    HyperionHyperionDay ago
  • Are you a fellow lefty?

    Nate TallmanNate TallmanDay ago
  • Did he say Maggi seasoning? 🤔

    Ayush KumarAyush KumarDay ago
  • You should use USA made garlic .. with the roots attached . Read more about it . Chinese garlic has a lot of chemical etc . Will try this soon ! Thx

    ThuyThuyDay ago
  • You have no idea how much I live for these first person cooking videos. I really appreciate this pandemic for the amount of FP cooking we've gotten

    perpetualtediumperpetualtediumDay ago
  • I make something similar to this but I add Sriracha along with the other sauces and at the end crack an egg in carbonara-style. It's the default go-to on a lazy night.

    Kris HarpKris HarpDay ago
  • "wheres my mortar and pestle" "shit, guess I'll just use my XXL mortar and pestle"

    louiearmstronglouiearmstrongDay ago
  • I thought that Rice-a-roni was a San Francisco treat. Ha, Ha, Ha

    Phillip MoxleyPhillip MoxleyDay ago
  • A truly fusion-y video of a fusion-y dish . . . blending the drool response from the noodles and the motion sickness induced by the pan-cam

    Hal DasingerHal DasingerDay ago
  • If you want to watch a version of this that won't make you dizzy:

    Joshua FagansJoshua FagansDay ago

    Melissa DanaMelissa DanaDay ago
  • That's our favorite restaurant!! And they have the very best garlic noodles!! 😊 thanks!

    Loretta GravelleLoretta GravelleDay ago
  • Can’t say ‘allicin’ on the USkeys anymore without mentioning Brad. That’s quite an accomplishment. Quite an odd accomplishment, but still.

    Thdxbll3Thdxbll3Day ago
  • When did British units stop being real?

    Dan WittelsDan WittelsDay ago
  • This is the beauty of America hahah crazy mix of Asian and Italian food making some crazy dish. I love it.

    David BakerDavid BakerDay ago
  • When I saw that you didn't discard the pan with the little pieces of scallions left, I knew you were the one. Liked and subscribed right away. Some American food youtubers don't know the worth of the food (I can name Binging with Babish, I used to binge watch his series and I remember him wasting food in so many occasions.) I watched a handful of your videos and never paid attention but this time I did and wasn't disappointed. Keep up the good work man!

    erimlolerimlolDay ago
  • Didn't rinse your scallions?

    CornOnTheConCornOnTheConDay ago
  • Did this at home to mix things up a bit, but my girlfriend gave me an earful for "just making pasta with sauces" and "shitty student food". Tried explaining the history, listing the ingredients, no luck. Delicious recipe, but it didn't fix our relationship. Cook your own food from now on asshole. Thanks anyway

    BFABBFABDay ago
  • Real units!:)

    Grischo SchluesiGrischo SchluesiDay ago
  • This was so delicious. I used fettuccine noodles because it was what I had on hand. Super simple, super tasty.

    Hien HoangHien HoangDay ago
  • I makes these all the time. I didn’t realize that Vietnamese-Americans invented it. Who knew?

    Marco PoloMarco PoloDay ago
  • Looks great

  • Your camera is very malikot, nakakahilo.

    Stiv JabStiv JabDay ago
  • Selling salt boxes. I new you loved salt, a little too much me thinks JK-Lo

    Dave RobertDave RobertDay ago
  • So if you get the pre-minced garlic you could say "Allicin Doesn't Live Here Anymore."

    Larry PetersonLarry PetersonDay ago
  • Where is the kenji's cooking show rice-a-roni episode

    Calvin KomelskiCalvin KomelskiDay ago
  • Feels like this time the rice-a-rony mob was holding a gun behind the camera

    Rock girlRock girlDay ago
  • Made this recipe for lunch twice since you uploaded this - So good as per usual

    Iain ShearerIain ShearerDay ago
  • eh not gonna wash vege?

    H CH CDay ago
  • Kenji I'm curious, though you said store bought minced garlic is bad, due to it's lack of flavor, is store bought garlic paste, also not good?

    Jon VJon VDay ago
    • Use whatever you want! Personally I find garlic paste to be unpalatable.

      J. Kenji López-AltJ. Kenji López-AltDay ago
  • Misophonics nightmare towards the end.

    this is a normal human personthis is a normal human person2 days ago
  • Less talk, more cook. I had to mute the video on/off.....just keep to the topic! Other than that - looks good.

    Kara S.Kara S.2 days ago
  • bottarga is mullet roe

    Michael HuntMichael Hunt2 days ago
  • A Vespa is NOT a Mo Ped, IF you ever rode one you would know

    steve bewleysteve bewley2 days ago
  • Sorry, vegans.

    kevorammakevoramma2 days ago
  • I would rather have your meal over any RICEARONI!! Just sayin

    Ian DurrIan Durr2 days ago
  • That board on the far left is beautiful; but, I can't figure out its utility...

    Saurabh BhardwajSaurabh Bhardwaj2 days ago
  • Put this with some duck.

    D. Fort.D. Fort.2 days ago
  • What the fuck are you talking about with the garlic man?!

    Dan WaltersDan Walters2 days ago
  • A L L I C I N It's like a 2 part epoxy, you know.

    Sam VimesSam Vimes2 days ago
  • Your ex-girlfriend wants the salt box back. Joking. Maybe.

    vonmoose1vonmoose12 days ago
  • When you said it was gonna get even crazier in a minute I thought “how much crazier can it possibly get”, AND THEN YOU GO “I DIDN’T SALT THE PASTA WOURDER”. Holy shit.

    M MM M2 days ago
  • But what about the myth that the garlic is peeled by Chinese prisoners using their teeth?

    M MM M2 days ago
  • Woohoo, Leone!

    M MM M2 days ago
  • pre-peeled garlic has some ethical issues in case you're not aware. much of it is connected to prison labor - google "pre peeled garlic prison" and you'll get a bunch of info. i know its impossible to divest from all things unethical, but as someone that seems to be socially conscious, thought you might want to know if you haven't already heard.

    Craig KaneshiroCraig Kaneshiro2 days ago
  • Hey Kenji, this recipe looks really good, I'm going to try it. Thanks for listing alternative sauces that can be added in place on the ones you used, I have a sort of clarifying question on that. I developed a shellfish allergy a few years ago, so I was wondering what you think the best replacement for oyster sauce to use in general (not just in this recipe) is? Thanks.

    Garrett ParksGarrett Parks2 days ago
    • Vegetarian oyster sauce is widely available!

      J. Kenji López-AltJ. Kenji López-Alt2 days ago
  • As soon as you said you guys, gals, and non-binary pals, you lost a sub. So stupid, shameful, and ignorant.

    Blue PiggyBlue Piggy2 days ago
    • By all means, explain, so I can learn how to not be so stupid, shameful, and ignorant.

      J. Kenji López-AltJ. Kenji López-Alt2 days ago
  • Hi Kenji, I noticed you didn't wash the scallions before using - is this not something you have to do? genuinely curious - I always wash but it often adds a lot of unwanted water to the dish (for example when making fried rice) - can I safely skip the washing step? Thanks!

    chiubakkachiubakka2 days ago
  • Wait. 20 miles south of the BA? Are you a peninsula boy?

    FfandD CondraghFfandD Condragh2 days ago
  • I need to see an avengers type video with kenji and all of his internet buddies

    Michael TranMichael Tran2 days ago
  • sorry, I disagree. You should always add a little salt to the pasta water, otherwise, pasta comes out soggy.

    Vince SergiVince Sergi2 days ago
  • You've got great recipes and talent, but you're getting more and more condescending and smug in your videos. It's becoming off putting.

    Matthew WeitzMatthew Weitz2 days ago
  • Kenji, man what a cool recipe and what a cool dude you are. I did a little Wiki on you and what a story. I love the fact that you combined your name with that of your wife and opted out of a MIT profession to do something you really enjoy. I don't know maybe you build skyscrapers as a hobby. Anyway I'm definitely going to try this recipe. I sent it to my daughter who used to live in San Mateo and now lives in SF. She is a scientist who loves to cook. Cheers!

    Walter HolokaiWalter Holokai2 days ago
  • Hi kenji I just wanted you to know how amazing your videos are and how inspiring you are . I would like to tell you something special sir ... my 3 year old son loves tour videos specifically your POV way of shooting but I think more is your soothing voice . Today he said “ I want to watch kenji with headphones “ I’m not surprised you write children’s books . Thank you for being the connection between me and my son . Much love and regards from banglore ❤️

    Vikram MohanVikram Mohan2 days ago
  • Hi kenji I just wanted you to know how amazing your videos are and how much

    Vikram MohanVikram Mohan2 days ago
  • We're just stuck at home alone watching Kenji while he's flexin his many food USkeysr friends... literally every big name on FoodTube.

    Frank YuFrank Yu3 days ago
  • The beauty of this dish is every single ingredient it calls for I have in my house right now.

    KN ByamKN Byam3 days ago
  • The way the chef prepare and work around in the kitchen it messy and unorganized. Imagine his restaurant kitchen look like . Sorry I don’t think that will be a good food.👎

    Oai PhanOai Phan3 days ago
  • are those chopsticks or drumsticks!? have i left this comment before? i watch too many kenji cooking videos

    kittyhawkkittyhawk3 days ago
  • I love the dog begging in the background at 14:31.

    Kelsey DonoghueKelsey Donoghue3 days ago
  • Hi Kenji, I've been cooking your recipes for years and I love your food and listening to you explain it. However, I can't watch your videos without getting motion sick. I would love to watch you cook, but the go pro head camera is really hard. Could you consider switching to another filming method for some of your videos?

    Michael HolperMichael Holper3 days ago
  • Just made this. I probably prefer the garlic olive oil pasta. This has a ton of umami and I just added some laogonma 😄

    MingMing3 days ago
  • I live close to there. Moving to New York at the end of the month. I have to go there before I leave!

    I HI H3 days ago
  • This video coulda been 2 minutes long

    Matthew BalokMatthew Balok3 days ago
  • Does this taste a little salty to anyone? Edit: I'm a fucking idiot that added TABLESPOONS of oyster sauce and fish sauce instead of TEASPOONS lol

    Blue AcidBlue Acid3 days ago
  • What's with the stick on the lazy susan? And what is the knife you are using?

    upnuphuskyupnuphusky3 days ago
  • Soooo, how much did you get per pitch? Very subtle, I must add.

    Cee Cee RedCee Cee Red3 days ago
  • I bet you have very soft, woman like hands

    The TruthThe Truth3 days ago
  • I would pay to eat that noodles

    ADTY MRYDADTY MRYD3 days ago
  • The San Francisco treat. A San Francisco treat. Ugggghhhhhh kill me

    Eryk BialkowskiEryk Bialkowski3 days ago
  • Made this for dinner tonight. My wife is Filipino, so we had a lot of ingredients on hand. I decided to add mushrooms and sauteed shrimp for the top. Delicious

    Brian KannBrian Kann3 days ago
  • Was expecting Kenji to explain alisin as a two part epoxy. Am disappointed.

    Jason LeungJason Leung3 days ago
  • Thats called Aglio e Olio. Except that the garlic is sauteed in olive oil and you add a little pasta water to it. And there's no soy fish or oyster sauce in it. Yet another cheap asian knock off of a classic Italian dish.

    Brian ShaheenBrian Shaheen3 days ago
  • I feel like there is some sort of sponsorship happening with rice a roni.

    Sean EhartSean Ehart3 days ago
  • I like how kenji lives life with simplicity like he's not a renowned food scientist that knows everything there is to know about food.

    OhShiiWaddupOhShiiWaddup3 days ago
  • Kenji could be a PA announcer lol

    Nikhil KrishnaNikhil Krishna3 days ago
  • Woe, best dish in a simple way.Thanks

    MA darMA dar3 days ago
  • "Enough for 2-3 people." I usually cook 240g for four of us!

    onoderaonodera3 days ago