The hype of Louisiana-Style Cajun seafood restaurants serving fresh and hearty seafood has been sweeping our shores since a couple years back and one of my favorite has got to be Dancing Crab. The no-frills concept is pretty straight-forward. Choose the choice of seafood (crabs, prawns, mussels, etc), type of sauce (their signature sauce is really awesome) and the whole bag of piping hot seafood is emptied on your table. It’s all about getting those fingers dirty and working. Last heard, this laid-back American restaurant has already ventured into the shores of Jakarta and Tokyo, well done!
Anyhow, today’s post is not about crabs. In fact, their garlic noodles is one of my favorite side items to have. When I tried it the first time at Dancing Crab, I was so taken aback by the humble-looking bowl of noodles. How something that looked so plain could taste so flavorful? The texture of the noodles was smooth and buttery, with a prominent flavor of garlic and each mouthful was laced with tons of umami-ness. I kept tasting it (meaning I finished the whole bowl) to figure out what was in the seasoning.
I dug around online and realized the birth of this addictive buttery noodles could well be from Crustacean Seafood Restaurant in San Francisco. Their recipe is so secret they have to cook it in another kitchen within the main kitchen! I’d love to visit SF one day, just to eat that.
When I came across this ‘copy-cat’ version, I gave it a try and it came pretty close to that of Dancing Crab. When I made it the second time, I reduced the amount of butter and added chicken powder and fish sauce to kick up that umami flavor. Even though I’m sure there might be a few more ingredients I might have missed out, the unanimous approval I’ve got from the family is enough to make this recipe a keeper.
1 packet (200 g) fresh / dry egg noodles (I’m using dry)
6 cloves garlic – minced (I used a garlic press)
2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp grated parmesan cheese (try not to skip this ingredient)
1 tbsp chicken powder / 1 chicken bouillon cube (if using cube, dissolve with 2 tbsp hot water)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp maggi seasoning sauce (I’m using Golden Mountain seasoning sauce)
1 tbsp brown sugar
Toasted sesame seeds
Chopped green onions
Recipe inspired by: The Culinary Chronicles (with slight modifications)
Boil your egg noodles according to the packet instructions and drain. I like to keep it slightly under-cooked as it will cook further in the sauce.
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together.
Heat a large skillet or pan and add in butter and olive oil.
Add in minced garlic and cook under low heat to avoid burning the garlic.
Saute until aromatic and add in the noodles. Toss and mix well. Add a few spoons of water and drizzle in the sauce.
Cook at high heat and mix until the sauce is well combined with the noodles. DO NOT overcook unless you like soggy noodles.
Turn off heat and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the noodles.
Give it a final toss and serve.
I like to sprinkle heaps of sesame seeds and green onions over the noodles. They taste great warm or even at room temperature.