Dungeness Crab with Cellophane Noodles

Dungeness Crab with Cellophane Noodles

One of the signature dishes of San Francisco's popular restaurant, The Slanted Door, this delicate medley of light cellophane noodles and plump chunks of crab highlights the full flavors of Vietnamese cooking. "It's one of those classic, homey dishes," says Chef Charles Phan. "It's savory and light; one of those dishes that kind of hits the spot."

Charles Phan
Recipe by: Charles Phan

Executive chef/owner of The Slanted Door, Out the Door, Academy Café/Moss Room and Heaven's Dog in San Francisco, California.


(Serves 2 to 4 as part of a multi-course meal)
Dungeness crab is available December through February, and June

  • 4-ounce package dried cellophane noodles
    (also called mung bean noodles, mung bean threads, crystal noodles or glass noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup picked Dungeness crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro leaves for garnish


Note: This is a quick-cooking dish, so have your ingredients ready to go in advance.
  1. Soak the noodles in very hot water for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet on high heat.
  3. Add the oil and heat until it begins to smoke.
  4. Add the garlic and crab. Cook for about 30 seconds, tossing and stirring to mix the ingredients together.
  5. Add the noodles and stir to mix all the ingredients.
  6. Continue to toss and stir, adding the fish sauce and oyster sauce.
  7. Add the sesame oil and green onion and combine well with the other ingredients.
  8. Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve immediately.
Hints from the chef:
  • Cellophane noodles, fish sauce and oyster sauce can be found in many supermarkets as well as in Asian markets. 
  • Make sure the wok gets very hot so the food cooks quickly.
  • Don't put too much food in the wok at one time. If you overcrowd the wok you'll get too much steam and your food will be soggy.
  • If you've got a lot of food to cook (or a small wok), don't put everything in at once. Cook in small batches.
  • Don't over-soak the noodles or they will break into pieces when you add them to the stir fry.