Serves a Crowd

Garlic Crab Noodles Inspired by PPQ

January 28, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

If you're in San Francisco I highly recommend checking out the garlic butter roasted crab with garlic noodles at PPQ Dungeness Island or the originator Thanh Long. They are Vietnamese restaurants serving up the local seafood, large, sweet Dungeness crabs. I've created a version that is easier to eat and make if you buy pre-picked crab. - prettyPeas —prettyPeas

Test Kitchen Notes

My husband and I both liked this dish very much. Unable to get Xiao shing cooking wine, I found out that sherry is a valid substitute. I could see where the garlic press wouldn't work—you need the garlic to be chunky (and be forewarned, it's A LOT of garlic)—but my knife worked fine for that. The first part came together really easily. I did give the dish some resting time (about 1/2 hour), but didn't refrigerate it as I felt the pasta would not hold up well. I ended up doubling the amount of sauce to deglaze the saute pan. After tasting the dish as prettyPeas dictated, we experimented with additions to make it more flavorful and give it some texture. We both liked chopped scallions on top, a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and a squirt or two of lemon. All in all, we liked the dish very much. —drbabs

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound linguine
  • 6 tablespoons butter (salted, or salt to taste)
  • 20 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound picked crab meat (canned works in a pinch or for budgetary reasons, but is not as sweet. I recommend rinsing canned crab and soaking in Xiao Shing cooking wine during preparation, then draining before use)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Xiao shing cooking wine
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  1. Bring four quarts water to a boil in a large pan to cook the linguine.
  2. While water is boiling and linguine cooking cut garlic into small pieces. Unfortunately my garlic press did not work as well in this application and made it more likely to burn during the dual cooking. I usually use a nut chopper like this to chop the garlic but a food processor would work if you are careful.
  3. While pasta is cooking heat 3/4 of the garlic, 4 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium heat until garlic begins to sweat but not brown. Pour over crab in a large bowl, big enough to store crab plus pasta.
  4. Remove pasta from cooking water when just short of al dente (usually about a minute less than the minimum cooking time). Drain and rinse briefly.
  5. Add noodles to garlic crab butter bowl and toss until evenly covered.
  6. It is best if this step is allowed to rest, refrigerated. I usually rest overnight, which makes for a quick and easy prep the next day, but you aren't required to rest.
  7. Bring large sautee pan to medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil and remaining 1/4 of the chopped garlic. When garlic begins to sweat add noodle mixture, spread evenly over pan, and let sit for 1 minute or until noodles begin to brown. Turn noodles and let sit for another minute.
  8. Mix lemon juice, fish sauce, xiao shing wine and 3 T water in a measuring cup.
  9. Deglaze noodles with mixture and toss with tongs.
  10. Add remaining 2 T butter, mix until melted, and serve
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4 Reviews

BigK March 29, 2020
I made this tonight, it’s fantastic! I can’t wait to go try the restaurant version too.
prettyPeas February 23, 2011
If you're ever in the San Francisco area you should stop by and try the restaurant version. It has easily double the amount of butter and likely uses some garlic powder. Also, chow mein noodles are used, but I've found that unless you can find a really good version that can stay firm after boiling (which generally indicates lye in the treatment of the noodles) it is much better to use linguine. Sherry is a great substitute for the Chinese cooking wine, and mirin is also good--the restaurant version might use a bit of actual sugar. I often need to salt the dish at the end, depending on the saltiness of the fish sauce and crab.
drbabs February 23, 2011
My husband is begging me to make it again.
drbabs January 28, 2011
This sounds totally amazing.