ArrowDownFill 1arrow-small-lineFill 1Cooking Light - EasyCooking Light - FastCooking Light - So GoodCooking Light - How-ToCooking Light - Staff FaveCooking Light Badge - Wow!GroupClose IconEmailEmpty Star IconLike Cooking Light on FacebookFull Star IconShapePage 1 Copy 3Page 1 Copy 2Grid IconHalf Star IconFollow Cooking Light on InstagramList IconMenu IconPrintSearch IconSpeech BubbleFollow Cooking Light on SnapchatFollow Cooking Light on TwitterWatch Cooking Light on YouTubeplay-iconWatch Cooking Light on Youtube

Vietnamese-style Spicy Crab with Garlic Noodles

Dan Goldberg
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Yield Makes 4 to 6 servings
Top homemade garlic noodles with spicy fried crab for a Vietnamese-inspired entrée that's sure to satisfy your cravings for Asian flavor.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned, quartered, and cracked
  • Vegetable oil for frying, plus 3 tbsp.
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/3 cup sake or other rice wine
  • 1 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Nutrition Information

  • calories 610
  • caloriesfromfat 43 %
  • protein 27 g
  • fat 29 g
  • satfat 7.1 g
  • carbohydrate 56 g
  • fiber 4.2 g
  • sodium 1292 mg
  • cholesterol 105 mg

How to Make It

  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.

  2. In a wok or large pot, heat 3 in. oil to 375°. 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.

  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.

  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tbsp. 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.

  5. Heat a wok or pot large enough to hold all the crab over high heat. Add remaining 3 tbsp. oil, dried chiles, and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add green onions, serrano chiles, and remaining 1/2 tsp. 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.

  6. Remove lid and cook, stirring, until any liquid evaporates. Stir in basil, mint, cilantro, and remaining 1/2 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.

  7. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Cook's Notes

Frying the crab first is optional, but it adds superb flavor and makes the crabmeat 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.