25 minutes is all you need to make these delectable Chinese style garlic noodles. Topped with refreshing slices of cucumber and a shredded omelet, these slightly pungent and umami packed noodles are filling enough to be served as a main dish.
Savory, Umami and Easy Garlic Noodles
Make these Chinese influenced garlic noodles anytime you need an easy weeknight dinner – but just can’t allow yourself to order takeout again.
Savory, earthy, umami and tart, these cold noodles have a few inherent similarities to the takeout classic chilled sesame noodles – while being overall more nuanced and refined in flavor.
And there’s no need to go on an Asian ingredients shopping extravaganza to make Asian garlic noodles at home. You probably have much of what you’ll need in your pantry right now.
Best part: making this recipe from scratch is as easy as boiling pasta, cracking an egg and measuring out a few sauces.
Asian Garlic Noodles Ingredients
Scroll all the way down for the full recipe.
- Cucumber: Cucumber delivers a freshness that pairs so well with the garlic sauce. Use Kirby cucumbers or English cucumbers for the best crunch.
- Cilantro or Basil: While I think this Asian garlic noodles recipe works best with cilantro, I realize that particular herb can be polarizing – and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Finger shredded fresh basil can also do the trick.
- Neutral Oil: This is just used to make the shredded omelette topping. I used grapeseed oil – but really, any neutral cooking oil will work.
- Egg: You’ll want one large whisked egg. Try to use pasture raised eggs from farms that go the extra step of getting the Certified Humane credential. It really matters!
- Dry Spaghetti: 8 oz is about 1/2 a typical box of pasta from the corner shop. My preference for this recipe is thin spaghetti – but in a sec, we’ll discuss other noodle options you can use.
For the Garlic Noodle Sauce
- Garlic: Use three cloves for just the right amount of sweet pungency. Make sure they’re well minced to unlock their full garlicky potential.
- Soy Sauce: Umami perfection in a bottle. This is your main source of savory goodness in this noodle recipe. If you have trouble finding soy sauce at your local store, you can grab some exceptional shoyu here on Amazon.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic is the perfect vinegar for this garlic noodles recipe because it introduces so many nuanced flavors to the dish. There’s a rich sweetness, a complex smokiness and understated tart notes. Ben, who doesn’t typically care for balsamic vinegar on its own, LOVES it in this recipe.
- Chili Oil, Sesame Oil and Water: You’ll get a little heat – and a little toasted nuttiness from this combination of flavored oils. A couple tablespoons of water just thins the sauce a bit and helps it to go a little further overall.
- Salt: I’m using kosher salt in lock-step with the soy sauce. 1/4 tsp is all you’ll need to up the savory quotient of these garlic noodles.
- Sesame Seeds: This final ingredient imparts a slight nuttiness and – almost imperceptible – mouth feel. While subtle, it really works in this recipe. You can use white or black sesame seeds, whatever you have handy in your pantry. Your choice.
How to Make Garlic Noodles
- First, gather all of your cooking tools and ingredients.
- Then bring a large, salted pot of water to boil.
- Meanwhile, mix all of the garlic sauce ingredients in a small bowl, stir well and set aside.
- In a small pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil. Once the oil is hot, add the whisked egg. Swirl it around in the pan so that the egg covers the entire cooking surface of the pan. Once the omelette is approaching fully cooked, flip it over briefly and turn the heat off.
- Transfer the omelette to a cutting board, cut it into thin strips and set aside.
- Once your water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until al dente (there should be approximate cooking times listed on the box instructions). Once cooked, drain the noodles and rinse under cold water.
- Next, transfer the drained cold noodles to a large bowl.
- Add the garlic sauce and toss well until the noodles are evenly coated.
- Finally, transfer the garlic noodles to a serving bowl or platter and top with the sliced egg, cucumber and fresh cilantro (or basil).
What Other Types of Noodles Can I Use?
Now, I’ve already gone on the record with my preference for boxed dry thin spaghetti noodles for this recipe. And, considering the long history of noodles in general, it’s not surprising that Italian pasta works well in Chinese garlic noodles.
That said, you can really use whatever you like best (and have handy in your pantry). Some other options to consider include:
- Chinese egg noodles
- Soba or ramen noodles
- Fettuccine, linguine or angel hair pasta
Garlic Noodle Additions and Variations
Same goes for additional ingredients or proteins. This noodle recipe is intentionally simple (and I dare say perfect) as it is. However, you could easily round it out with an additional protein or the flavor enhancer of your choice.
Proteins + Veggies:
Sauteed shrimp, shredded chicken, smoked tofu – or vegetables like thinly sliced bell pepper or green onions.
A dusting of fresh cracked peppercorns, red chili flakes or Parmesan cheese – or a dash of sriracha or chili crisp.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover garlic noodles in an airtight storage container inside the fridge for up to 3 days. Since this is a cold noodle dish originally, you won’t need to heat them up them at all.
And don’t be surprised if you find yourself devouring the leftovers right out of the tupperware at midnight, bathed in light of the refrigerator. They’re that good!
Other Easy Asian Noodle Recipes
The pink and grey flower bowl, Seikou kiln kutani chopsticks, and Seikou kiln color tiles sauce plate used in the images, are from Musubi Kiln.
Musubi Kiln is an online store specializing in high quality handmade Japanese tableware and dinnerware. Each product is made by Japanese craftsmen using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Received 10% off your purchase when using the code CAROLINE at checkout.
Did you like this garlic noodles recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Make these delectable Chinese style garlic noodles at home in 25 minutes. Umami perfection – and better than takeout!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Noodles
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 1 kirby cucumber or half an English cucumber, sliced into thin sticks (julienned)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, or basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as grapeseed oil
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 8 ounces dry spaghetti
Garlic Noodle Sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white or black sesame seeds
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the garlic sauce in a bowl, and set aside.
- In a small pan over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the whisked egg and swirl the pan so the egg covers the entire surface of the pan. When the omelet is almost fully cooked, flip it over and turn the heat off.
- Transfer the omelet to a cutting board and cut it into thin strips (julienne). Set aside.
- When the water is boiling, add the noodles and cook until al dente, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water.
- When the noodles are cold, drain them well and transfer them to a large bowl.
- Add the garlic sauce and toss well.
- Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl or plate and top with sliced egg, cucumber, and cilantro.
Store these garlic noodles in an airtight storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 581
- Sugar: 5.3g
- Sodium: 985.9mg
- Fat: 14.1g
- Saturated Fat: 2.2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 91.9g
- Fiber: 4.3g
- Protein: 20.8g
- Cholesterol: 93mg
Perfect Summer time Dish 🙂