Garlicky Crab Noodles

I used to make a version of this dish at my restaurant, Red Ginger Pan-Asian Kitchen, but there I used bean thread noodles instead of rice stick noodles. I’ve come to prefer the mai fun rice noodles for this application; they absorb the flavors of the sauce very well and the resulting dish is both drier and more flavorful. But otherwise the dish is the same simple and delicious combination of fresh crab and rice noodles shot through with lime, garlic, and a hit of dried chili.

It’s a pretty easy dish to make, but I have a couple of big tips! Make sure your pan or wok is very hot. It should be smoking. Also, except for the finishing sauce, all your ingredients should be dry and your noodles should be well-drained. Finally, make sure your crab is super-fresh. It’s the star of the show, so don’t skimp!

Rice noodles & crab! Hot damn!

You will need:

5 ounces of dried rice noodles, called mai fun, rice sticks, or rice vermicelli
2/3 pound fresh crab. I generally use Dungeness, but Blue, Snow, or Alaskan are all fine.
2 tablespoons xao xing (Chinese cooking wine)
2 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce (I prefer Three Crabs brand.)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon toasted garlic (A Vietnamese product.)
2 tablespoons fried shallots (Also a Vietnamese product, somewhat like Durkee’s onions.)
1/3 cup sliced scallion greens
1/3 cup picked cilantro leaves

Soak mai fun noodles for ten minutes in boiling water. Drain very well.

Do This:

Put dry noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over to fully cover the noodles. Soak for ten minutes and drain well, shaking excess water off the noodles. When fully dry, with a pair of scissors cut the noodle bundle several times so you have more manageable lengths of rice stick.

Pick through crab to make sure you don’t have bits of shell or cartilage in the crabmeat. Nothing bums me out more than shells in my noodles!

Now, in a squeeze bottle or small jar combine xao xing, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, salt, peppers, chili, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Shake well to combine. This is your finishing sauce.

To cook the noodles heat a wok (or large saute pan, preferably non-stick) on high until smoking. Swirl in the remaining oil. Add ginger, garlic, and shallots and stir-fry until just about golden, which will take less than a minute. Add noodles and move around quickly, tossing and turning to get garlic, ginger, and shallots well distributed. Now shake up the finishing sauce and pour it all over the noodles. Using tongs or chopsticks stir-fry the noodles, trying to coat the noodles as much as possible with the liquid. Cook on high, tossing noodles, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Fresh garlic and toasted garlic make Garlicky Crab Noodles extra garlicky!

Turn off heat and taste the noodles. Add salt and/or pepper if necessary. Finally, toss into noodles the toasted garlic, fried shallots, scallion greens, and cilantro leaves. Remove noodles from the wok and plate it up! Squeeze a little fresh lime over the top if you so desire.

Simple, delicious noodles. Yummy to the last bite!

I hope you love these noodles as much as I do. They are light, chewy, a bit sweet, a bit salty, a bit briny, with some tender bits, and fresh bits, and crispy bits. Take a bite and see!

Regina’s not only President of the Clean Plate Club, she’s also a client.

I got crabs! Crab noodles, that is. 

1 thought on “Garlicky Crab Noodles

  1. Pingback: Vietnamese Steamed Quiche with Pork & Glass Noodles | OMNIVOROUS

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