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Chili Garlic Noodles Recipe

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Chili garlic noodles recipe is perfect for those moments when you crave a quick and easy spicy dish on the table. Make it with your choice of protein, toss in your favorite stir-fried vegetables, and garnish with fresh herbs. These noodles are tossed with an irresistibly spicy stir-fry sauce and come together faster than takeout delivers!

Stir-fried chili garlic noodles served in a white dish with a blue border, accompanied by wooden chopsticks.

This is just one of my many spicy noodle recipes, try one of these reader-favorites next: pad kee mao (drunken noodles) and chicken khao soi. If you love garlic, try this easy pickled garlic recipe!

What is chili garlic noodles

Chili garlic noodles is an easy dish featuring stir-fried rice noodles tossed with a blend of chilies and fresh garlic. It’s easy-to-make comfort food that’s ideal for busy weeknight dinners.

Garlic chili noodles

These garlicky noodles are a fusion dish of Asian cuisines, they’re incredibly popular in Asian restaurants in the United States.

The best thing about this chili garlic noodles recipe is how quick and easy it comes together. It’s perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.

You’ll also love how customizable these spicy and garlicky noodles are. I love to throw in my favorite type of protein: Thai fried pork belly. Feel free to add yours; pork, chicken, beef, seafood, and shrimp – anything goes.

Close-up of wooden chopsticks lifting chili garlic noodles. The dish also had fried crispy pork belly on the side.

Toss in your favorite vegetables like Chinese broccoli (gai lan), bell peppers, green beans, onion, zucchini, broccoli, spinach, and mushrooms – they’re all delicious. This recipe is perfect for cleaning out your fridge and adding whatever you have on hand.

And for a vegan or vegetarian noodles dish, simply toss in some firm tofu. So easy!

What noodles for stir-fry

It’s important to choose the right noodles for stir-frying. For fans of the classic authentic chicken pad Thai, rice noodles are an excellent choice. They’re gluten-free and easy to work with. Ideal for a quick meal!

Close-up of homemade Thai sen yai noodles prepped for stir-frying.
Homemade sen yai noodles, typically used in the classic beef pad see ew.

Beyond rice noodles, you can experiment with udon noodles, ramen noodles, lo mein and chow mein noodles, soba noodles, and even fresh wide rice noodles, also known as sen yai noodles.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients displayed on a banana leaf: white sugar, oil, and roasted sesame seeds in clay cups; oyster sauce and dark soy sauce in plastic cups; garlic, dried chilies, and rice noodles presented in a  bamboo basket.
  • Rice noodles – These type of noodles are made from rice flour. I recommend using wide rice noodles. You can find them at Asian grocery stores and at Asian markets.
  • Large dried chilies – Large chilies add more of that delicious chili flavor instead of just heat.
  • Dried chilies – ‘Regular’ sized dried chilies are used to add spice.
  • Garlic – Garlic is the key ingredient, and it’s important to use fresh garlic, not powdered. Feel free to add more or less to taste.
  • Sesame seeds – These add a subtle nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch, don’t forget to garnish with more roasted sesame seeds before serving.
  • Oil – For frying your chili-garlic paste. Make sure to use a neutral oil with high smoke point like canola oil or vegetable oil.
  • Oyster sauce – Oyster sauce is a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine, adding a savory and slightly sweet touch to our dishes.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy sauce will give the noodles an appealing color, as well as giving them a distinct hint of sweet.
  • White sugar – White sugar is essential for balancing out the spicy and savory notes. Thai cooking is all about balancing the flavors to make it right for your taste.

Cooking instructions

Close-up of pounded chili flakes and garlic in a granite mortar.

Step 1: Crush dried chilies into red pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and pound. A food processor can be used for a quick option.

Close-up of fried chili garlic paste in a wok with a spatula.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the chili and garlic paste for 1 minute. Stir in oyster sauce, white sugar, roasted sesame seeds, and dark soy sauce. Cook for an additional minute to meld flavors. Remove from heat afterward.

Cooked noodles in a colander.

Step 3: Prepare rice noodles as per the package’s directions; once done, drain them.

Step 4: Place noodles in a large bowl. Add the spicy chili-garlic mixture, tossing well to ensure an even coating. The noodles can be tossed with any kind of cooked protein and vegetables.

Step 5: Serve in individual bowls, garnished with chopped green onions and a dash of toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Kitchen tools

  • Large mixing bowl for tossing the noodles
  • Mortar and pestle or a food processor
  • Wok, cooking pot, or skillet

How to serve

Serve the spicy chili garlic noodles steaming hot, perfect for lunch or dinner. Spoon the noodles into individual bowls and sprinkle with a vibrant mix of garnishes: cilantro, freshly chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, Thai chili flakes, a drizzle of sesame oil, fresh Thai basil leaves, a few drops of Thai chili oil, or some crispy fried garlic for that extra crunch and more garlicky flavor.

For a complete meal, pair with a side of Thai vegetables stir-fry or this refreshing Thai cucumber salad. A refreshing drink like green Thai tea is always good!

How to store

Allow the dish to cool to room temperature before placing any leftovers in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator and consume within 2 to 3 days for best freshness.

Reheating: Use a microwave or warm it up on the stovetop in a pan. Just add a little water or oil to help moisten the noodles and restore their texture.

Frequently asked questions

How spicy are these noodles?

If you follow the exact quantities of the recipe card, these noodles score an 8/10 on the spice-o-scale. However, by adjusting the amount of chilies or removing the seeds, you can control the heat.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe in advance. Simply precut the vegetables and your choice of protein, store them in your fridge, and cook everything when you’re ready to eat. Alternatively, you can make the whole dish in advance and reheat when you’re ready to enjoy it, or eat it cold.

Are these noodles vegetarian?

You can turn this into a vegetarian noodle recipe by substituting the oyster sauce for a mushroom sauce alternative.

Related Thai noodle recipes

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Chili Garlic Noodles Recipe

Stir-fried chili garlic noodles served in a white dish with a blue border, accompanied by wooden chopsticks.
Easy chili garlic noodles recipe, perfect for every home cook and ready in just 20 minutes!
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 5 dried chilies large
  • 3 dried chilies
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 9 ounces rice noodles

Instructions

  • Crush dried chilies into red pepper flakes using a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and pound. A food processor can be used for a quick option.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the chili and garlic paste for 1 minute. Stir in oyster sauce, white sugar, roasted sesame seeds, and dark soy sauce. Cook for an additional minute to meld flavors. Remove from heat afterward.
  • Prepare rice noodles as per the package’s directions; once done, drain them.
  • Place noodles in a large bowl. Add the spicy chili-garlic mixture, tossing well to ensure an even coating. The noodles can be tossed with any kind of cooked protein and vegetables.
  • Serve in individual bowls, garnished with chopped green onions and a dash of toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Store the leftovers in your fridge for up to 2–3 days.
  • Add your favorite vegetables and protein: bell peppers, tender broccoli, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), bok choy, Thai eggplants, or other vegetables. Pork, chicken, beef, seafood, tofu, shrimp, the choice is yours!

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