Vietnamese-Style Spicy Crab with Garlic Noodles

Craving some Asian flavor for dinner? Looking for something exotic to cook that’ll make a culinary impression? Here’s an entrée that’s sure to satisfy a craving, and make a delicious impression that won’t soon be forgotten.

Today’s Vietnamese-style Spicy Crab with Garlic Noodles recipe is a gourmet cook’s dream, and brought to you by My

Vietnamese-style Spicy Crab with Garlic Noodles Vietnamese-style Spicy Crab with Garlic Noodles courtesy of

Total Time: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes

Yield: Makes 4-6 Servings


  • 1 ½ teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned, quartered, and cracked
  • Vegetable oil for frying, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ pound spaghettini (thin spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 6 small dried red chiles
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • ⅓ cup sake or other rice wine
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves

How to Make It

Step 1: Combine flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, and the cayenne in a large bowl. Pat crab pieces dry with paper towels and toss (in batches) with flour mixture. Remove crab and shake off excess flour. Set aside.

Step 2: In a wok or large pot, heat 3 in. oil to 375º. Lay out paper towels for draining crab and garlic. Fry crab in batches (do not crowd wok) until golden, about 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.

Step 3: Using the same hot oil, fry garlic until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set garlic aside; cool and discard oil.

Step 4: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt and the spaghettini. Cook until tender to the bite, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with butter and half of the fried garlic. Cover and put in a warm place.

Step 5: Heat a wok or pot large enough to hold all the crab over high heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, dried chiles, and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add green onions, serrano chiles, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until onions wilt, about 1 minute. Add sake and cook, stirring, until sake is reduced by about half. Stir in crab and cover. Cook until crab is heated through, about 3 minutes.

Step 6: Remove lid and cook, stirring, until any liquid evaporates. Stir in basil, mint, cilantro, and remaining ½ tsp. Pepper. Cook, stirring, until herbs have wilted. Stir in remaining fried garlic. Transfer crab to a warm platter and serve hot, with garlic noodles.

Chef’s Notes:

Frying the crab first is optional, but it adds superb flavor and makes the crab meat more tender. The results will be even more transcendent if you start with raw crab (get it from a fishmonger, and fry it a minute or two longer than cooked crab).

For a simpler version of this dish, skip steps 1 and 2 (frying the crab). Put 1 cup of the oil in a small saucepan over high heat and start recipe with step 3.