Garlic scallion noodles: 48 cents/serving

This is a terrific, flavor-packed weeknight meal that can be whipped up in minutes using pantry staples, some green onions, oyster sauce, and Vietnamese fish sauce. I made it specifically to use up some Chinese egg noodles I had wearing out their welcome in the fridge, but you can also use just plain ol’ spaghetti and I promise it’ll be just as good. You could also add meat or fried tofu for protein, if you’re so inclined, although it most certainly doesn’t cry out for any additions, especially given the amounts of butter and sugar in play here. (Trust me—you won’t be sorry.)

Recipe adapted from Steamy Kitchen. As below it makes about 4 servings.

• 14 oz. fresh or dried egg noodles, width and size of your choice: $1.19
• 1/2 cup chopped green onions (garden): $0
• 1/4 cup brown sugar: 7 cents
• 6 T butter (I warned you!): 36 cents
6 garlic cloves, chopped: 6 cents
• 2 tsp fish sauce: 10 cents
• 2 T oyster sauce: 15 cents
TOTAL: $1.93/4 = 48 cents/serving

Start a large pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat the butter in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and green onions and slowly cook until garlic is fragrant, lowering the heat if necessary to keep it from burning. This might take longer than you’d expect, but the longer it’s in the butter, the more it flavors it. Add the brown sugar, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. Stir well.

Cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain well and add to the sauce. Fry for about 2 minutes over medium heat to ensure each noodle is saturated with the fish sauce-caramel mixture. Serve.

4 responses to “Garlic scallion noodles: 48 cents/serving

  1. Looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Does it really need the sugar? If I’d make this for 2 it’d be 2 Tbsp, but that still sounds like a lot for a savory pasta dish?

    • It does; it’s basically a fish-sauce caramel, but I didn’t want to overtly point that out and risk scaring off people who aren’t familiar with Vietnamese cooking and might not like the way it sounds. It’s very tasty! There’s a restaurant here that uses it as a glaze for chicken wings. The garlic and oyster sauce provides enough of a savory balance for plain pasta, I think.

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