Hawaii's Famous Garlic Shrimp

It only took me trying Giovanni’s Garlic Shrimp Truck one time to declare it the best shrimp I’ve ever tasted, and trust me, I’ve had A LOT of shrimp! But never have I had such juicy and flavorful shrimp like this anywhere else. One of the many local foods Hawaii is known for is its garlic shrimp. Literally, you can find several food trucks on every coast on Oahu selling garlic shrimp, especially the North Shore. Giovanni’s is the most famous of them all and for good reason! They’ve got the most garlicky and buttery shrimp out there, and since $15 per plate is a bit steep for an everyday shrimp-diet budget, I decided to recreate these bad boys at home!

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

So, if you haven’t noticed, there are a TON of garlic shrimp recipes out there, each quite similar to each other. The basic concept for this dish is simple: saute a bunch of garlic in a bunch of butter, add an acid then shrimp and thats it! The difference is in your seasoning. If you’ve ever made shrimp scampi, then this will be a piece of cake. Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp is essentially shrimp scampi, just with lots more garlic and, I’d say, less lemon juice. The key is to enhance that garlic flavor, not diminish it with a strong flavor such as lemon. However, you do want to squeeze lemon over the finished dish to bring it all together, we’re just not cooking the lemon in the dish.

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

Now that we understand that, let’s talk about the acid. An acid is poured in over the cooked garlic and reduced. I’ve seen some recipes that use white wine in this step but I prefer to use rice wine vinegar to give it a more Asian inspired flavor. I’ve not yet tried it with white wine but I can imagine it will give it a drier, less tart flavor. I prefer the tart.

Next, you cant have garlic shrimp without your side of white rice I decided put a little spin on the rice and add coconut milk to give it a more island feel! Just replace half of the water you’re using with coconut milk and cook as usual; this can be done with brown rice as well! In no time you’ll be feeling like you’ve just landed on the North Shore of Hawaii! Aloha & enjoy!

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
Hawaii's Famous Garlic Shrimp w/ Coconut Rice
Hawaii’s famous juicy & buttery garlic shrimp, like they’re straight from the North Shore!
    Garlic Shrimp
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined & shell on
  • 10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vingear
  • 8 lemon wedges
  • Cocount Rice
  • 1 1/2 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Bring water, coconut milk and rice to boil in a medium pot. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  • Mix flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl, set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large, hot skillet. Add minced garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add rice wine vinegar and reduce, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Coat shrimp in flour mixture and place side down in the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Serve shrimp with rice and lemon wedges.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings