Oh yes, we're cooking with butter and garlic tonight. ARE YOU EXCITED?
Despite the name of this dish, this is more Vietnamese-American than traditional Vietnamese cooking. The linguine and butter should be a tip-off there. In Andrea Nguyen's book Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors, the dish is called Nui Xào Maggi, or western noodles ("nui" is the Vietnamese phonetic equivalent of the French word "nouilles," or noodles) stir-fried (xào) with Maggi seasoning. From the book:
When my family lived in Vietnam, these noodles were considered special because Western noodles...and butter were expensive imports. Once we arrived in the United States, we indulged in them to the point that they were no longer dear. In fact, I forgot about them for years, only to rediscover their garlicky, buttery, nutty goodness at a Vietnamese French restaurant in Westminster, California. Nowadays, I prepare these noodles not just because they are a comfort food from my youth, but also because they are good.The recipe I make and enjoy, however, is Nguyen's updated version of her cookbook Nui Xào Maggi recipe, which she calls Vietnamese Garlic Noodles on her website. The recipe is made to imitate the noodle dish prepared by some Vietnamese-American restaurants. For the most part, I have stuck to Nguyen's recipe, and my mouth couldn't be happier. Not to mention, this is a really easy dish to make if you want a quick dinner, as it only takes a few ingredients.
Let's get started! You'll need either fresh (obviously better) or dried linguine. If fresh, you'll want 10 ounces; if dried, 8 ounces. I'm using dried.
Now, about the garlic. Nguyen's original recipe calls for minced garlic, while the newer version calls for mashed garlic. I'm kind of compromising here. I'm mashing the garlic with the back of my knife, but not completely. I'm starting with 8 cloves of garlic.
Mix the garlic with 2 teaspoons of water.
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