Chinese New Year

Garlic Crab Noodles

February 23, 2015
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

We have been celebrating Chinese New Year with friends for several years now, pushing ourselves to try to recreate our favorite restaurant dishes worthy of a celebration. From soup dumplings to giant, whole, fried fish to pork belly buns, we've had some really worthy meals. This year due to winter colds and work travel we were a little late to the table, but the meal did not disappoint. Pork belly buns, Momofuku Style, were garnished with a spicy pickled mustard sauce, rib eye was thinly sliced, fried crisp and tossed in an orange peel chili sauce and garlic crab noodles, my favorite standard every year, were as good as ever.

Once inspired years ago by the famed garlic noodles at Crustacean in San Francisco, we have assembled our own version over the years. Sometimes we add miso, sometimes a dash of cream, but the main concept is the same: lots of garlic, shallots, something sweet (mirin, sugar), umami (soy, miso, parmesan, bouillon), something fresh (cilantro, parsley) and lots of sweet crab meat.
A lot of similar recipes out there will call for bouillon cubes or Maggi seasoning. We have often used dashi granules which help give that umami punch. This time around we used a spoon of the Better then Bouillon Chicken Base because it is easy and great tasting and a staple in our fridge.
This year we took the easy route and bought fresh noodles, but this recipe works and used a Harold McGee-modified recipe from David Chang: (My friend reported that the baked soda stripped the polish off her make note and use caution!) —savorthis

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound fresh noodles
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon chicken (or one bouillon cube)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • cilantro to garnish
  • 2 cups crab meat (I had 1.5# of legs/claws)
  1. Melt butter in a medium pot and add garlic, shallots, mirin and a hearty dose of fresh black pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until garlic is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add soy to pan. Mix bouillon with 1/4 cup water and add to the pot. Stir in crab and simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Cook noodles in boiling water until done. Drain, toss gently with crab sauce, parmesan and fresh cilantro. Slurp.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • CJ
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • savorthis
  • AnnieHable
Co-Owner/Designer @ Where Wood Meets Steel-Custom Furniture

7 Reviews

CJ January 19, 2021
just made this for late lunch and was delicious! I substituted a couple of things b/c I didn't have them on hand: apple cider vinegar for mirin (didn't add sugar and it was sweet enough); red onion for shallots; mushroom soup base (can get at any Korean market) for chicken bouillon; pecorino romano or reg parm. I also cut the butter to 1/2 stick. even my very snobby asian foodie family said it was awesome.
AnnieHable November 22, 2020
Loved this. Dungeness crab is in season. I used 1/4 cup chicken stock instead of bouillon and was happy because it was salty enough. Super easy and filling meal! Make sure you take the time to cook the garlic done
judy October 23, 2020
Garlic was a little harsh,but overall quite good
Brett October 17, 2018
Also, cutting the butter by 50%, I would add 1/4 cup more chicken bullion instead.
Brett October 17, 2018
Very good recipe but the first thing I tasted was butter and the last thing I tasted was butter. To much butter. I would cut the butter by 50%. Also should have gone with the parsley instead of the cilantro. Will try this again with those changes.
LeBec F. February 24, 2015
My mom was a Virginia girl and the only thing she EVER did with sweet lump blue crab meat- was to make her fantastic ethereal crab cakes. So of course, that's all I ever do w/ VA. blue crab. But i think this recipe has won me over, st. I'm going to have to make this lovely concoction! Congrats and thx so much!
savorthis February 24, 2015
I spent time every summer at my Aunt and Uncle's house on Long Island and we would catch blue crabs in the bay. We would sit around the kitchen table picking the sweet meat, eating most of it as we went. I don't think we ever bothered to transform it at all beyond a dip in some butter or a bit of mustard mayo! Those were some fond, fond memories. I do love a good crab cake, but I trust you will find a new sweet spot for crab noodles~