Ahhh Garlic Noodles with Shrimp, a noodle dish I love with my whole dang heart. This is an Asian inspired Shrimp Garlic Noodle recipe where chewy spaghetti noodles (or any noodles really) is tossed in a garlic butter sauce with savory umami Asian inspired flavors. Juicy seared shrimp compliments it perfectly, bringing some additional flavor and texture to the dish.
Flavorful is an understatement when it comes to describing this dish. The flavors are unique, distinct, and will have you coming back for more.
Noodles are such easy and delicious meals that can be made quickly. Be sure to also check out other noodle dishes that are similar to this Garlic Noodles with Shrimp that I think you will enjoy: Shrimp Stir Fried Noodles, Chicken Lo Mein, Ramen Noodle Stir Fry, Tom Yum Fried Noodles, and Mee Goreng Mamak (Malaysian Fried Noodles).
Here’s all the reasons why you need some Garlic Noodles with Shrimp in your life:
- Ready under 25 minutes! This noodle dish is quick, easy, and perfect for busy evenings.
- Easy-to-find ingredients. Do not be intimidated by the Asian items in the ingredient list because these are all found in the Asian aisle in most mainstream grocery stores. And they are definitely in most Thai and Chinese dishes you’d had at restaurants.
- Oh so flavorful! If you love complex, bold flavors, you will love this. It may not look wet and overly saucy, but trust me, that garlic butter sauce is crazy flavorful. So proceed with caution. 🙂
- Saves well as leftovers/ meal prep. This is also an easy recipe to double or triple and then save leftovers as meals for the next day, and the next day, and the next day…
This Shrimp Garlic Butter Noodle recipe will also go perfectly with fish, scallops, crabs, lobster, or any seafood instead of in addition to shrimp. The flavors of the noodles compliments any seafood extremely well.
If you really want to make this with chicken, tofu, beef or pork, it will be very tasty as well.
Honestly, with that flavorful sauce, it’s hard to go wrong with this.
Disclaimer: Garlic Noodles with Shrimp is not an authentic Asian recipe. It calls for Asian ingredients, along with western ingredients such as butter and spaghetti noodles. 🙂 It calls for a lot of very classic Asian ingredients like fish sauce and oyster sauce, so it still reminds me of noodle I had growing up in Asia, but with a slight twist.
Regardless, it is VERY DELICIOUS, and addictive, and trust me, you will want seconds once you get a taste of my Garlic Noodles with Shrimp.
I’ve raved about the sauce in this Garlic Noodles with Shrimp recipe so much, I figured it’s about time I give you the deets.
So, here you go! Here are the ingredients that go into the sauce:
- Garlic – use fresh, NOT powdered (a strong no for this dish!).
- Fish sauce – a classic Thai seasoning that tends to have a strong smell. But do not be intimidated! When cooked, it produces the most gorgeous flavors. An important ingredient in Pad Thai and Pad See Ew.
- Oyster (flavored) sauce – another sauce that is widely use in a lot of Chinese and Asian cooking. You don’t have to like oyster to like this! (P/S: I actually don’t like oysters) It creates a beautiful umami flavor to the dish.
- Butter – cooking oil cannot hold a candle next to the flavor butter brings to this dish. TRUST ME.
- Brown sugar – to balance out the saltiness from the fish sauce.
- Sesame oil – a nutty, fragrantly oil used a lot in Asian cooking.
When I think of the sauce for this Asian garlic butter noodles, I think of it as a ‘seafood’ sauce. Something about the fish sauce and oyster sauce combination just makes this so perfect with any seafood.
As I mentioned earlier, you should be able to find all of these items in the Asian aisle is most mainstream grocery stores. If not, I attached the affiliate link for you if you need to get it online, or just want to take a look at what the products look like.
Here are the rest of the ingredients to make Garlic Noodles with Shrimp:
- Raw shrimp – do not use cooked shrimp. Fresh, good quality shrimp makes a big difference to the quality of this Shrimp Garlic Noodle recipe as a whole
- Spaghetti noodles – you can use any noodles of your choice – ramen noodles, egg noodles, rice noodles, angel hair pasta etc.
- Green onions
A list that is pretty short, simple and straight-forward.
How to make Garlic Noodles with Shrimp
Step 1: Boil Noodles
First, cook or soften the noodles you are using. I’m using spaghetti noodles, so I’m boiling it in water based on the package instructions. If you are using a different type of noodles, follow its package instructions. The goal is to soften the noodles so that it can be easily tossed in garlic sauce.
Avoid overcooking noodles because it will cook slightly after its being tossed in the garlic sauce.
Step 2: Sear Shrimp and Make Garlic Sauce
While noodles are boiling, go ahead and heat a large skillet with cooking oil.
We will be using the same skillet to 1)sear shrimp, and 2)make that delicious garlic sauce.
When searing shrimp, there are a few things to note:
- shrimp should be completely defrosted and pat dry before adding to the skillet to sear.
- do not overcook shrimp. Overcooked shrimp is tough and unappetizing. Cook it for 1-2 minutes on each side. Shrimp is cooked once it turns orange/pink, and curls up. Remove shrimp from heat immediately once cooked. Don’t leave it on the skillet, even if the heat is turned off.
Set shrimp aside, and use the same skillet to make the sauce. Here’s why:
- This way the delicious flavors on the skillet from cooking the shrimp will get incorporated into the sauce
- Less skillets to wash at the end of it all!
- But really, the first reason is the main reason why we are doing this. The second one is a convenient plus though. 😉
When making the sauce, first melt the butter on the skillet, then bring together all the sauce ingredients – fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, and brown sugar.
Mix it together, and then scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta water from pot that is boiling your pasta, and add it into the sauce to dilute it.
Step 3: Toss noodles and shrimp in sauce
When noodles are done, drain them and then add them to the garlic butter sauce.
Use a pair of tongs to give them a nice toss so that they are coated evenly in the sauce.
Then add shrimp, and toss them along with the noodles in the sauce.
Step 4: Garnish and serve
I usually say garnishes are optional, but for this, I would highly, highly recommend it. Unless you really can’t stand green onions. Then maybe just omit it. 😉
Green onions give this Garlic Noodles with Shrimp dish a nice bite of freshness and also some crunchy texture.
Variations and subsitutions
This Garlic Noodles with Shrimp is a highly versatile dish and can be made with many different variations:
- Other seafood – as I mentioned earlier, instead of or in addition to shrimp, crab meat, fish (salmon, tilapia etc), clams, scallops would be very tasty with these Asian garlic noodles as well.
- Add vegetables – feel free to add other veggies to it, such as carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, peas, bak choy etc. If adding vegetables, I would sear the vegetables first on the skillet (before even searing the shrimp), make sure it is fully cooked, set aside, cook the rest of the items (shrimp, garlic sauce), then add the veggies to toss into the sauce along with noodles and shrimp later.
- Other noodles – you can also use ramen noodles, egg noodles, rice noodles, other long pasta (linguini, angel hair etc). Make sure you pre-boil/pre-soak noodles according to the package instructions so that noodles are soft when tossed in the sauce.
- Other garnishes – cilantro, fried onions, fried garlic would also be very yummy with this Asian Garlic Noodle dish!
A few things to note to make the best Shrimp Garlic Noodles ever!
- Make sure shrimp is dry (completely defrosted and ay dry) before searing!
- Avoid overcooking shrimp
- When searing shrimp, do not overlap them. Cook in two batches if needed. Sear shrimp on one side for a couple of minutes, then turn and sear shrimp on the other side.
- Avoid overcooking noodles – it will be soggy and not delicious if overcooked.
- Use all the sauce ingredients I listed – avoid substituting! 🙂 All the ingredients play an important role in bringing amazing flavors to this dish!
Frequently Asked Questions
I highly recommend NOT substituting because these ingredients bring out complex flavor that will not be achieved by using any other sauces. If you really want to, you can use soy sauce instead of either one, but it will not taste half as delicious…TRUST ME.
It keeps very well as leftovers! To reheat, simple drizzle noodles with some water (so that it will be moist and not dry) and microwave to reheat.
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More Asian Recipes
- Tom Yum Fried Noodles
- Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
- Mee Goreng Mamak (Malaysian Fried Noodles)
- Ramen Noodle Stir Fry
- Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
- Beef Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)
- Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry
Garlic Noodles with Shrimp
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 1 lbs raw shrimp
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- 4-5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster (flavored) sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
- Bring water to boil in a large pot, cook spaghetti noodles accordingly to package instructions.
- While noodles cook, heat a large skillet with cooking oil under medium heat. Pat dry defrosted shrimp and sear shrimp for a few minutes on each side until shrimp is fully cooked (turn pink/orange, and curls). Avoid overlapping shrimp when searing – cook in two batches if needed. When shrimp is cooked, remove shrimp promptly from skillet.
- Add butter to skillet, followed by minced garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Stir to combine.
- Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to garlic sauce. Stir to combine. Remove skillet from heat.
- Drain pasta and add pasta to sauce. Toss pasta in sauce.
- Add shrimp, and toss pasta and shrimp in sauce.
- Garnish with green onions. Serve and enjoy!