20-Minute Asian Noodles

Simple, super fast, slurpy Asian noodle dishes like this kill me. I could eat them every night of the week (which is why it’s no surprise I have a lot of recipes for different versions of Asian noodles). All quick and easy, all delicious. This one is no exception. In fact, if you are really on your A-game, you could knock this one out in 20 minutes. I know! Get out.

This meal was a total lifesaver for me last week. I threw it together in between scout drop-offs and wrestling practice pick-ups and I’m happy to report that even with the making of dinner thrown in there, the max any one child had to wait for me to show up to get them was about seven minutes. A new record. Plus, they had this heap of tender noodles waiting to greet them at home so all was well.

If you aren’t a fan of shrimp (hmmm, not sure how I feel about that since it’s one of my favorite things in the history of ever, but we’ll let it slide today), you can totally sub in chicken or leave the whole thing meatless, although I’d probably amp up the veggies or add mushrooms if it were me facing a meatless meal.

In the interest of keeping it real, I didn’t have time to prepare anything other than this and only this for dinner. I contemplated slicing up an apple, but in the end, I just didn’t have time so we had piles of saucy noodles and veggies and shrimp and fresh cilantro on our plates and called it good. And it was good. Very, very good.

20-Minute Asian Noodles

30-Minute Asian Garlic Noodles

Yield: Serves 6-ish

30-Minute Asian Garlic Noodles


    Noodles and Veggies:
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 3 zucchinis spiralized or small diced
  • 3 large carrots, cut into thin matchsticks or chopped
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce, more to taste, if needed
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, lightly salted water according to package directions just to al dente. Drain and rinse quickly with cool water. Set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together all the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch. Measure out 1/4 cup and set aside. Whisk in the cornstarch to the larger batch of sauce.
  3. Heat the 1 teaspoon oil in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp or chicken lightly with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Add the 1/4 cup reserved sauce. Saute until cooked through (just a few minutes for shrimp, 5-6 minutes for chicken). Remove the meat to a plate and return the skillet to the heat.
  4. Add another teaspoon of oil, if needed, and add the bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are crisp-tender, longer for softer vegetables.
  5. Add the cooked spaghetti, shrimp or chicken, and reserved sauce mixture. Toss to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  6. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: adapted quite a bit from this recipe at Damn Delicious (increased the proportions to feed our family, altered the sauce to suit our tastes)

35 Responses to 30-Minute Asian Garlic Noodles with Shrimp {or Chicken}

  1. Christen says:

    I couldn’t find Oyster Sauce at the store. Where do you usually find it? I looked up and down every isle because I had time. No luck in the international isle or Asian isle.

  2. Jamie says:

    Sometimes I really appreciate it when you take a picture of your ingredients. Chili sauce can mean so many things. From the Chili Sauce next to the katusup at the market that is great for dips (and is not spicy), to Siracha to Sambal Oelek (ground fresh chili paste) to the Sweet Chili Sauce for Spring Roll that I buy at the Asian Market that has very little kick.
    I have seen some people complain about some recipe sites that have way too many pictures and directions. I don’t mind any of that because if you know how to cook you can just go to the end and find the recipes. Sometimes the first time you make something it is nice to have pictures of the ingredients or if you don’t know cooking terms, to see a picture of some of the steps.
    I love you Mel! I recommend your site to everyone. It’s on my Bucket List that we’ll have lunch together one day.

  3. Melanie says:

    I made this last night and my husband and I LOVED it! I totally forgot to halve the recipe (it’s just the two of us), but we’re okay with that because the leftovers are so good!

  4. Jamie H. says:

    Mel, I made this last night and it was so good! I needed a good and fast recipe to use leftover chicken in and this was perfect. One of my sons was standing at the stove slurping up the noodles after dinner he loved it so much. Looking forward to the leftovers today for lunch! 🙂 Thank you for a wonderful meal!

  5. Dana says:

    Mine turned out really salty. I loved it but not sure what I did wrong. I love this dish but not the saltiness.

  6. Jen says:

    This was good, but a LOT of work dicing 2 peppers, 3 zucchini and 5 garlic cloves, plus making the sauce. 5 cloves of raw garlic in the sauce that isn’t cooked was pretty strong. But still a tasty meal from my absolutely favorite cooking blog.

  7. Griselda says:

    This was so good, the only thing I left out was the yellow bell pepper and that’s because I didn’t have one. Thank you!

  8. Vanessa says:

    Yum, yum, YUM! I loved this. I was really worried when I smelled the fish sauce (I used that instead of oyster sauce), but it turned out super delish. I think I will use a bit less noodles next time, but other than that, this was a winner! I used chicken instead of shrimp (not a big seafood fan), and it was divine!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

  9. Trish says:

    Hi Mel. Made this dish for the second time and my family LOVES it! I used ginger this time and boy, it adds a lot of flavour! My sons, aged 21, 18 and 15 love the sauce and noodle combo. Thank you for another great recipe!

  10. Taylor says:

    A lot of prep time, but nonetheless very good. Well received by my family. Subbed red pepper flakes for the chili sauce and ground ginger for fresh. Will make again. Thank you!

  11. Ronna Weber says:

    This looks amazing. I’m familiar with all of the ingredients except the chili-garlic sauce. Any brand recommendations or advice to offer before I go hunting at the store? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I usually use the huy fong brand but I know Roland makes a brand too (and probably other companies). It’s usually in a plastic container with a green lid.

  12. Lauren says:

    This was a really fabulous Friday night birthday dinner for my husband last week. And the leftovers – amazing! I forget to get oyster sauce, but it still tasted delicious. Thanks, Mel, for this! We all really loved this shrimp, vege, sauce, noodle concoction. It was awesome.

  13. Mia says:

    Hey Mel!

    I used to comment frequently (probably every day lol) and then life happened and Iv’e been buried under a pile of children and crazy, had to start cooking for crohn’s (as my daughter was diagnosed with Severe Crohn’s) and a whole bunch more crazy and generally extra children too! Anyway, I really just wanted to let you know that I still visit your site often and still use many of your incredible recipes. Thank you for taking the time to do this, you save my life often and more than you will ever understand. I am printing this one off to add into my meal plan for next week 🙂

    Thank you, thank you, thank you <3

  14. Mrs Boffin says:

    You are the go-to for most of our meal inspiration. Thank you so much for your tasty, delicious recipes! What would you use as a substitute to oyster sauce though? I’ve never used it and I’m a bit hesitant since the sea and I don’t usually agree! 😉

  15. Ada says:

    You saved dinner last night! I used chicken and I subbed mushrooms for the zucchini and used 1 teaspoon of fish sauce in lieu of the oyster sauce. Took right around 30 minutes and was so yummy. Thanks Mel!

  16. Sharon says:

    Hi Mel!
    I made this last night, and it was super Yummy!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Alicia says:

    This was AMAZING! My husband took a few bites and quickly said this needs to go into the regular rotation. We were all wowed! It probably took me 45 minutes, rather than 30 (prepping all the veggies took longer than I expected) but it was TOTALLY worth the effort. And we have quite a bit of leftovers after feeding 5 people, so it makes a lot. Yeah for a tasty lunch for me!! Thanks for another winning recipe!

  18. Caroline says:

    I am a sucker for asian noodles! These look fantastic!

  19. Claire says:

    I really want to learn more about what kind of shrimp to buy and how to cook it! I hope you can feature that on your blog someday? This is the first time I have commented, by the way. I check your blog every day-thanks for all of the meal inspiration for me and my family.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Claire – thanks for commenting! That sounds like a good tutorial! I usually buy the 2 pound bags at Costco (or Sam’s back when we lived close to one) and use that after thawing and pinching off the tails. I’ll try to include more details!

  20. Robin says:

    What brand of oyster sauce do you use? I can’t seem to find it around here.

  21. Paige says:

    This seriously looks so yummy! I think this will be going on next weeks meal plan.My husband loves shrimp, and I love stir fry, so it’s a total win win.

  22. Josie says:

    Amazing as usual Mel 🙂

  23. Teresa R. says:

    I love Asian noodle dishes. Can’t wait to try this. I get to use my brand new spiralizer on the zucchini, plus this meal will only take 30 minutes! Thanks again for making my life a little easier and much yummier.

  24. SaKay says:

    Nothing in particular to do with today’s recipe, but I have to say how much I enjoy your site. I pin a lot of recipes, visiting many other blogs, and you are one of my favs. You are one of my go-to sites when I need a specific thing I want to make. I enjoy both your wit and your food. Anyway, maybe you need a lift today because I felt compelled to write this. Have a good one!

  25. Ellen says:

    Asian noodles. One of my very, very favorites as well… any kind, variety, style, along with your easy peanut sauce…. I’ll be trying this one soon!

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