San Francisco Style Garlic Noodles


I'm going to get straight to the point. These noodles are fucking delicious.

Whenever I feel exhausted, anxious, upset, or stressed I find myself ferociously craving noodles. Whether it's macaroni n' cheese, pho, pad thai, a bottomless bowl of bucatini, or a giant plastic container of garlic noodles, I need the noods. To be honest with y'all, I could use a giant plastic container of these garlic noodles right now. It's only Tuesday and I already feel like I could classify this week as "one of those weeks". I sound like I'm an old person. But I'm over it. I'm so ready for the weekend so I can bake pineapple cakes and fold another round of dumplings. I also really want to go ice skating to get into the olympic spirit! Did you know that Reuben was a hockey player? I call him an ice angle and I love seeing him fly around so gracefully around the rink : )

OHMYGOSH. What if there was an ice skating rink that served garlic noodles?!!! I would never leave.

I dream about these garlic noodles. When I'm away from San Francisco too long, I start to become that annoying out of town person and can't stoping talking or thinking about them. But when I tell people about them they get confused on why I'm so crazy about buttered noodles. It's not just buttered noodles! The flavor is so much more complex and addicting than the basic buttered noodles of your picky eating childhood.


What are San Francisco Style Garlic Noodles?

I'm assuming that most people don't know about San Francisco style garlic noodles. Heck, I didn't really know this dish was San Francisco specific until like last year. Here is a little history lesson. This is a Vietnamese-American noodle dish that was invented at Thanh Long in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco back in 1971. It consists of a lot of butter and a lot of garlic. Pretty straightforward. It is typically served with a bounty of crab or shrimp. But a lot of restaurant serve it with imperial rolls or grilled Vietnamese meats. 

You can find these noodles at a ton of restaurants around the Bay Area now. But my absolute favorite place to get garlic noodles is from Perilla in Inner Sunset. I used to live a few blocks from there and it was a constant internal battle to not order from there everyday. If I did, I probably wouldn't be able to fit into my softest and stretchiest pants. You have the option of ordering a large Chinese food container of just plain garlic noodles for like $4. Which I tried my hardest not to do... but it was perfect for those days when you're hangry and your body is screaming for CARBS and BUTTER.

The recipe is real easy. No fuss or fancy ingredients. A lot of other recipes call for Maggi Seasoning Sauce, but I found that oyster sauce worked perfectly fine. The actual noodles that you use make a huge difference. You want chewy, fresh, and flavorful Chinese egg noodles. If you don't make them yourself, you can definitely find them at your local Asian store. I tried making my own noodles and I'm not quite ready to share that recipe with you guys yet. Still needs a few tweaks! When I finally cracked this recipe, I was literally jumping up and down with excitement because it tasted exactly the same as Perilla's garlic noodles. I can now rest easy and not have to fear garlic noodle withdrawal or depression when Reuben and I move to Philadelphia or back to Ohio. Hooray!

Also, YAY EAGLES! Any Philadelphia Eagles fans out there?! I'm not much of a sports person. The exceptions are when Cleveland sports teams are kicking butt and when Reuben's favorite sports teams are also kicking butt. I'm excited if Reuben is excited. And he ordered us some cute Eagles beanies and I'm going to make an Eagles themed Superbowl cake. Double Hooray! 

San Francisco Style Garlic Noodles

serves 2 to 4


1 pound of fresh Chinese egg noodles
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt to taste
dash of white pepper
chopped parsley for garnish 


Boil your noodles until al dente. When cooking fresh Chinese egg noodles it should only take about 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.

Heat a large skillet on low heat. Add 5 tbsp butter to the skillet and allow it to slowly melt. Once the butter has melted, add in minced garlic and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes. The garlic shouldn't brown too much. You are really trying to infuse the butter with garlic flavor.

Turn up the heat of the skillet to medium high. Add oyster sauce, sugar, pinch of salt, and dash of white pepper. Add in egg noodles and toss the noodles so that everything is evenly coated and mixed. Leave the noodles alone for 3 minute and then toss. Repeat this until the noodles are lightly crisped.

Garnish with parsley and serve hot with a side of stir fried veggies, crispy shrimp, or your favorite protein!