San Francisco-style garlic noodles

San Francisco-style (the BEST) garlic noodles

San Francisco-style garlic noodles are a classic dish you'd easily find at various Vietnamese and Asian restaurants in San Francisco. Every restaurant has their own version of garlic noodles -- and they're good enough to enjoy on their own or paired with proteins like five-spiced chicken or seafood!

What are San Francisco-style garlic noodles?

Popularized by San Francisco's Thanh Long in the Outer Sunset, San Francisco-style garlic noodles are packed with umami seasonings like soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, Parmesan cheese, and of course tons of garlic! The combination of these ingredients produces a very savory, slightly creamy, and absolutely addicting plate of noodles.

These are typically made with fresh, thick egg noodles, which are springy and bouncy. I highly recommend using the fresh kind, but if you can't find them, you can use dried egg noodles or even pasta like spaghetti.

Here's a version you can make in less than 15 minutes that definitely rivals ones you'd get at a restaurant!

Check out my other restaurant favorite recipes:

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San Francisco-style garlic noodles

San Francisco-style Garlic Noodles

Packed with umami and garlic, these savory and creamy San Francisco-style garlic noodles are delicious on their own or paired with a protein!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4


  • 14-16 oz package of fresh egg noodles (dried works too)
  • 10-12 cloves garlic (about 1 whole head)
  • cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted or salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt for cooking noodles
  • green onions for garnish
  • black pepper for garnish


Prepare the ingredients

  • Prepare garlic by mincing or crushing with a garlic crusher (I prefer this method because you get more garlic juice = more garlic flavor in the sauce!)
    10-12 cloves garlic
  • Grate ⅓ cup of Parmesan cheese and set aside.
    ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
  • For the sauce, mix together fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
    1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon white sugar

Boil the noodles

  • Boil water for your noodles and cook them according to package directions. The fresh egg noodles only require a dash of salt for the water and cooking for 1 min. After noodles are cooked, save 1 cup of the pasta water for later.
    14-16 oz package of fresh egg noodles, salt for cooking noodles
  • After cooking the noodles, drain the noodles and immediately rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking and to keep them chewy and bouncy.

Make the sauce

  • Heat up a pan to medium heat with butter and oil (this prevents the butter from burning). Once butter is mostly melted, add the crushed garlic and cook for 2-3 min.
    2 tablespoon unsalted or salted butter, 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • Add the sauce and mix.
  • Add all your noodles, and use tongs to incorporate the sauce well. Garlic will probably stick to the tongs, so periodically scrape it off.
  • Once the noodles are heated through, add about ½ cup of saved pasta water -- this starchy water adds a ton of creaminess to the noodles. Feel free to add more if needed.
  • Turn off the heat, add the grated Parmesan, mix, and you're done cooking! Garnish with green onion, black pepper, and maybe even your favorite chili oil!
    green onions for garnish, black pepper for garnish
Keyword asian fusion, garlic noodles, san francisco garlic noodles, SF garlic noodles, thanh long garlic noodles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



    I had the instagram post open as I was cooking and it was fantastic. It was written concisely and all the recipe information is represented in many areas so it’s easy to follow while live cooking. I didn't need to sit down and mise-en-place before starting which made this recipe really accessible for me.

    Sometimes online recipes are kind of convoluted for a casual or beginner home chef but Suzy makes it so approachable!

    And also if you are missing ingredients or replacing ingredients, the recipe is still incredibly delicious. I subbed with instant ramen noodles and didn’t have cheese on hand and it was still amazing.

    • smellylunchbox

      Reb, thank you so much for making this recipe!! I'm so happy to hear that it's easy to follow and approachable 🙂 I could also see instant ramen being AMAZING for this recipe!

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