An ode to garlic

I will always have a soft spot for Crustacean — it was where Roo took me to celebrate my first birthday as an Angeleno (2006)! The roasted crab and garlic noodles combo is such a rich, decadent treat. One day it occurred to me that people have probably tried to replicate the An family’s secret recipe, and was excited to try out this recipe that I found. Obviously, I’m not really in the habit of keeping Dungeness crab lying around, so I just used some shrimp I had chillin’ in the freezer. I almost never cook with seafood, and I’m not really sure why it intimidates me so much.

Crustacean-inspired Garlic Noodles Recipe
Recipe from Rasa Malaysia


1 lb fresh noodles
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic (pounded)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
2 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
5 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese


Rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside. Heat up a pot of water and let it boil. Boil the noodles in the hot water until they are done, drain the water, and set aside to cool down the noodles.

In a pan, sauté the garlic with the olive oil in medium heat. The purpose is to infuse the olive oil with garlicky flavor. Discard the garlic and then add in 4 tablespoons of butter and turn the heat to low. Add in the chicken bouillon powder, garlic powder, oyster sauce and blend well. Set aside to let it cool.

Once the garlic mixture is cool and the noodles are cool at room temperature, pour the garlic mixture over the noodles and toss them together to blend well. Add in the grated parmesan cheese, toss well, and serve immediately.


The only thing I changed, other than fiddling around with the proportions since I had 1.5 lb of udon noodles in the package, was the addition of the shrimp, which I sautéed separately in a little butter and garlic and set aside. After tossing the noodles with the mixture, I threw in a few shrimp and voilà! I also squeezed some fresh lemon juice and sprinkled some parsley on top, which were nice little touches. The noodles turned out great, although it’s been a while since I’ve been to Crustacean so I’m not sure how well they measure up to the real thing. Next time, maybe I’ll try adding some heat to the shrimp to make things more interesting!

I also made some spinach on the side to squeeze some more veggies into our meal. In keeping with our garlicky theme, I found this Ina Garten recipe online and thought it sounded easy enough.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style

1 1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 cloves)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Sea or kosher salt, optional


Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make sure it’s very clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.

In a very large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it’s browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and pepper to the pot, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook it for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt. Serve hot.


Ok, this turned out way too salty, but it was probably my fault. I only had one bag of spinach, which is about 1 lb, not 1.5. I should have done a better job of adjusting the ratios. Actually, I’m reading the reader reviews on the site (made the mistake of not doing this before cooking because I was in a bit of a hurry), and others complain of too much salt too! I would definitely 1/2 the amount called for in the recipe. We made the best of it by adding a small portion to our noodles for some added flavor; I don’t think we could have just eaten it on its own. One of the best parts of this recipe: I got to use my salad spinner for the first time – whee!


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