how to make crustacean-inspired garlic noodles

Ever since National Girlfriend Day (not a real holiday) when JJ and I got the chance to have dinner at Beverly Hills Crustacean this past summer, we’ve been talking about remaking Chef An’s famous Vietnamese garlic noodles. Finally, I decided to attempt the recipe and make it for Friendsgiving this year. Although, it may not be the exact recipe as Chef An’s, the dish turned out to be equally delicious and satisfying per JJ and my sister, whom is very picky about food and especially, my “healthy” cooking. I’m so happy that JJ convinced me to try the recipe because now I have an extra dish I can feed myself with while I’m in Fresno! I am also very excited to share it with my friends this weekend.

The recipe I followed called for these ingredients:

  • 1 lb noodles ($2-3 per lb at most Asian markets; I bought home style “Pancit” noodles because I prefer this texture type)
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce  ($3 at most Asian markets)
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder ($2 at Smart n Final)
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder ($2 at Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 stick butter or less if preferred
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese ($3 at Smart n Final; optional, to add at the end)
  • shredded seaweed/nori (optional)
  • 1/2 lb of shrimp or your choice of protein (farm raised shrimp for a typical dinner, $3-4 at Smart n Final; crab for the party dish)

HEALTH DISCLAIMER: this is not a healthy or clean version of the garlic noodles recipe. The chicken bouillon powder contains MSG (monosodium glutamate), which explains why they’re so absolutely addicting!! Although the recipe contains a minimal amount, I’d suggest leaving it out or using less of it if you want a healthier alternative. I think I would avoid the bouillon powder in one of my future trials and see how the taste is affected. Also, as with eating any carbohydrate-heavy dish, be conscious of overeating because noodles can contribute as much calories as pasta and rice. Stick to the recommended portion size which should resemble one fist or baseball.

First, I gathered all the ingredients. The amount of garlic pictured is actually double the amount that the recipe calls for. Don’t over do the garlic like I did. I absolutely love garlic in everything and the two tbsp scoops were even too much for me. {Recipe called for 4 cloves, but I already had minced garlic on hand}

Bring a big pot of water to a boil and carefully place noodles into boiling water. Soften noodles until al dente. Some Asian noodles are pre-cooked before packaged; be careful not to overcook them in the boiling water or they become mushy and soggy.

 Details for noodles I chose if you need an example.

 In another large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic until aroma and lower the heat to avoid burning the the garlic. Toss in the butter, garlic powder, chicken bouillon powder and noodles last.

   I also included a 1/2 lb of shrimp for protein, deveined and seasoned with salt and pepper; then, cooked in the pan after the noodles.

Parmesan cheese is mixed into the noodles at the end as an option.

 The same recipe cooked with steamed crab on a different day.

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