Pastas/Noodles · Side Dish · Vegetables/Vegetarian · Vietnamese

“You Know Whose” Copycat Asian Garlic Noodles

Garlic Noodles

You know who I’m talking about right?

The one who I probably shouldn’t name.

No, not Volde–DOH!  Man…that was a close one!

Oh to heck with it…… I’m talking about the An family. You know…the gatekeepers of the Thanh Long, Crustacean, ANQI (and more!) Dynasty!

Garlic Noodles

Oh how I love their butter dripping, garlic staggering roasted Dungeness crab and noodles. Many places have developed their own riff off of Mama An’s famed crab and noodles (including yours truly) but I’ll always have a soft spot for the old nostalgic and original Thanh Long in the Outer Sunset of SF. It’s where my seester first brought the family over 20+ years ago when the restaurant looked like a small mom and pop joint with mismatched plates and peeled painted walls.

Aromatic garlic perfumed the small restaurant with the constant sounds of cracking crab. But a lot has changed since then…..a boom of high-end sister restaurants and the creation of an empire.

But one thing remains the same…..those DAMN GARLIC NOODLES!!!!!!!!!!

Buttery, garlicky, decadent…..SOOO GOOD!

Garlic Noodles

So good that although I’ve posted my knock off recipe nearly 4 years ago, I believe they deserve a re-post. Especially with better pictures! Ugh…I cringe at how bad those earlier photos were.

These garlic noodles are so darn easy to make and are the PERFECT accompaniment to seafood—particularly shellfish. But like I said before, you cannot skip out on the magic ingredient – Maggi Seasoning Sauce. Don’t let anyone else lie to you…there’s really no substitute. It’s a couple of bucks and can be found in any Asian grocery store. It lasts a gazillion years so just pick up a bottle and keep it in your cupboard. Just trust me on this.


I whipped up these noodles the other week to accompany a quick Asian-style shrimp scampi. The meal was pretty much a BUTTER FEST so obviously it was a hit. But if you want to go vegetarian, sear up some tofu and throw them on a mound of these noodles. You’ll love them just the same.

Now back to trying to scheme–I mean “build” my own empire……


“You Know Whose” Copycat Asian Garlic Noodles
Serves Approximately 4


1 pound chow mein noodles (fresh if possible)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Maggi Seasoning
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 scallion, chopped
2-3 pinches toasted sesame seeds

Cook the chow mein noodles according to the direction on the package. Drain the noodles, reserving a few tablespoons of the starchy water.

In a wok or large sauté pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until aromatic but not browned, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, sugar and Maggi. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the wok from the heat and quickly toss the noodles into the mixture. Sprinkle in the black pepper and cheese. Toss the noodles ensuring that it is thoroughly covered. You may add a tablespoon of the pasta water as needed to loosen the pasta.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.


16 thoughts on ““You Know Whose” Copycat Asian Garlic Noodles

  1. These look as good as the real thing! I’ve been waiting for a good copycat recipe to appear. I eat this from their An the Go food truck every month to not break the bank by going to the restaurant. I’m addicted and have even tried to recreate them with no luck. Thank you for this recipe, I’m so excited!!

  2. I made this tonight! This is just about the same! Omg I made originally 4 servings basically enough for two and some leftovers for lunch. I think I ate my lunch portion as well. I had stop! Thank you for sharing! It hit all points!

  3. I’ve never had Thanh Long or Crustacean, but at another place (while I was on vacation in California) also with delicious garlic noodles and I just had to have more! I searched and searched and finally found yours that I wanted to try. It turned out absolutely delicious!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. from the looks of your photo I think you may have superseded the original noodles themselves, as you know good cuisine is good cuisine.. .look they hire cooks paid by the hour to make this dish there is no way a cook can put the TLC like an individual who cooks with passion so congratulations I am sure it is amazing… I know the family they make it seem like it is a hidden secret I can assure you it is totally overrated, I’ve had several versions of it from their different restaurants, it wasn’t so mystical … the ones I had on California street was so so at best.

  5. Maggi seasoning sauce??? That’s full of MSG. I wouldn’t want to eat at any restaurant where the chef uses this nasty stuff.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with MSG. It got a bad rap years ago because some people are allergic to MSG where it gives them headaches. Some people. Some people are allergic to dairy or wheat or eggs or nuts. Should we all turn our noses up at all those foods.

  6. Wow! We’re no longer 20 blocks up the N Judah from Thahn Long, but this recipe brings us right back. Thanks to Amazon to supply the Maggi (probably would have to drive 6 hrs in any direction from here to find a grocery that stocks it), this is pure garlicky gold. Many thanks for sharing!

  7. This came out wonderful. Could not get enough. The only changes I made was I doubled the liquid. The recipe as written didn’t seem to be enough for a full pound of spaghetti. Glad I did. I also took a lesson from Chef John. Rather than draining the noodles, reserving a few tablespoons of the starchy water, I used a set of tongs to lift the pasta out of the pot and added it to the sauce pan directly, bringing some of the water with it as you lift it out of the pot, to keep it nice and moist, then tossing it until it’s completely coated.
    I did not use the Parmesan cheese. While I have made garlic noodles before (not this recipe) and have had it with and without the cheese, I prefer it without. Although it does taste good with Parmesan cheese, I prefer the distinct Asian flavors. Just my personal preference. Plus it’s easier on the waistline.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s