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If you’re a fan of spicy food, you’ll love these Spicy Chili Crisp Garlic Noodles! They’re a delicious fusion between Chinese and Italian that’s complex in flavor and complete with a fiery kick. Boldly spiced chili crisp and sweet and savory hoisin sauce combined with garlic butter and al dente pasta – a flavor fusion you didn’t know you needed!
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This recipe is inspired by our Miso Garlic Butter Pasta. When we first fell in love with the combination of miso and garlic, we knew we wanted to put an Italian spin on it and turn it into a Miso Garlic Butter pasta sauce. The result was a pasta that perfectly married our favorite Chinese and Italian flavors.
Now we’ve decided to take it to the next level by putting a spicy twist on the original dish. The result? Tender pasta noodles and umami-rich mushrooms tossed in an extra-spicy fusion sauce you won’t be able to stop eating!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Noodles: Since this is a fusion-style recipe, we opted for classic pasta, but udon noodles or any kind of wheat noodles will work in its place. If you are gluten-free, opt for gluten-free pasta or use naturally gluten-free noodles like rice noodles or gluten-free ramen noodles.
- Aromatics: A simple combination of shallot and lots of garlic creates a flavorful base for the chili crisp sauce and helps infuse the garlic throughout the dish. For the best flavor, make sure to use freshly chopped garlic cloves! Garlic powder and dried garlic granules aren’t the same.
- Mushrooms: Add umami, texture, and earthy flavor to the dish. If you don’t enjoy the flavor of mushrooms, feel free to omit them, or replace them with another vegetable such as snow peas, chopped bell pepper, or leafy greens like spinach or kale.
For the Chili Crisp Sauce
- Butter: To make this chili garlic noodles recipe vegan-friendly, opt for vegan butter, or if needed, a cooking oil with a high smoke point. We like the vegan butter by Country Crock.
- Parmesan: Savory parmesan cheese isn’t an ingredient you’d typically find in an Asian-inspired noodle dish but it adds the perfect savory, nutty, salty addition to this Chinese-fusion dish! We love using our homemade Vegan Parmesan cheese, but a store-bought version will work well, too.
- Spicy chili crisp: This spicy and flavorful Chinese condiment is extremely popular for a reason! It’s versatile, complex in flavor, and adds the perfect fiery kick and crunch to any dish it’s added to. If you’ve never used chili crisp in your home kitchen, it can often be purchased at most large chain grocery stores or in local Asian markets. The brand Laoganma’s is the most widely available, but there are often several brands available. Or, if needed, make your own homemade chili garlic sauce, try this Spicy Chili Oil with Crispy Bits.
- Soy sauce: Regular soy sauce adds a savory, salty, umami-rich flavor to the sauce. If you are gluten-free, opt for tamari.
- Hoisin sauce: Adding a bit of hoisin sauce helps balance the savory and spicy flavors with a bit of sweetness. Not all hoisin sauce is vegan so be careful to purchase a vegan brand. If you are gluten-free, try this hoisin sauce.
- Lime: Freshly squeezed lime juice adds a final boost of acidity that balances all of the flavors and enhances the savory ingredients. Feel free to serve with additional lime wedges to taste!
How to Make Spicy Chili Garlic Noodles
- Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, generously salt the water, then cook the pasta on the lower end of the cooking spectrum. For example, if the estimated cooking time on the package instructions is 8-10 minutes, cook the noodles for 8 minutes. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.
- Sauté the shallot. While the pasta cooks, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add in the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes. Then, lower the heat and add the remaining butter, heating until melted.
- Whisk in the chili crisp. Add the chili crisp, soy sauce, hoisin, and vegan parmesan and whisk until the sauce is emulsified.
- Add the pasta. Add the cooked pasta noodles and toss to coat. If the sauce needs more liquid, slowly add the starchy pasta water until your desired consistency.
- Season and serve. Remove the spicy chili garlic noodles from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Top with scallions, freshly chopped cilantro, and toasted sesame seeds, then season with salt and black pepper to taste and enjoy!
As is, these noodles are a flavorful and satisfying main that can be enjoyed for a quick lunch or dinner on busy weeknights. If you’re looking for a few simple side dishes that would pair well, here are a few of our favorite ideas:
- 25-Minute Smashed Cucumber Salad with Edamame
- Vegan Potstickers (Chinese Dumplings)
- Baby Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Garlic
- Vegan Seaweed Salad
It can also be served with your choice of protein including tofu, tempeh, vegan chicken strips, or vegan beef.
These Chinese chili garlic noodles will keep well as leftovers and would be a great recipe for meal prep. To store, allow the noodles to cool to room temperature then transfer to an airtight container. If storing for meal prep, store in individual serving sizes to easily grab and go. Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
We have not tested freezing these chili garlic noodles and would not recommend it. Pasta and similar kinds of noodles do not tend to freeze and thaw well without a change in texture.
Reheat leftover spicy noodles in individual servings in the microwave or in a skillet until warmed through. If needed, add additional liquid to thin the consistency of the spicy sauce again.