Garlic Shrimp {Hawaiian Style}

Published June 14, 2020. Updated May 20, 2023

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The BEST Garlic Shrimp ever! It’s just like the famous shrimp you buy at the food trucks in Hawaii. Made with succulent shrimp cooked in an extra garlicky, deliciously rich, butter based sauce.

Overhead image of Hawaiian garlic shrimp on a white platter. It is garnished with fresh lemon wedges and parsley.

Hawaiian Style Garlic Shrimp

I love this recipe because not only does it pack an abundance of fresh flavor but it’s incredibly easy to prepare.

And who doesn’t love a delicious sautéed shrimp recipe? Plus a fast dish, built up with basic ingredients, that’s sure to impress?

It’s one of those entrees that’s perfect for a busy day yet it’s so good you’d love to serve it to guests at a weekend get together.

Shrimp is always good (when properly cooked of course) but then when you finish it off with a sauce this good people will be talking about it for days and longing for another taste of this savory decadence.

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Garlic shrimp in a shallow white bowl with rice, pineapple and a fresh tropical flower for decoration.

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp Ingredients

  • Raw shrimp: Go with the extra large size about 21 – 30 count per pound. Peel and devein unless you prefer the shells left on.
  • Unsalted butter: Salted butter will work fine to just don’t season shrimp with as much salt.
  • Olive oil: Regular or extra virgin olive oil will work.
  • Garlic: You’ll need lots of garlic here, about 1 medium size head of garlic. Yes almost an entire head of garlic! It’s so good trust me!
  • All-purpose flour: This helps the buttery sauce stick to the shrimp.
  • Paprika: Go for standard sweet paprika for this recipe not smoked. Smoked may overpower the enticing garlic flavor.
  • Cayenne pepper: I love the light kick of heat this adds. If you want it spicier add more, if you don’t like heat then omit.
  • Salt and pepper: Season to taste.
  • Lemon juice: Stick with fresh lemon for best flavor. This just finishes off the dish with a nice bright flavor.
  • Parsley: This fresh herb just for a nice pretty finish and mild flavor, you can omit if you don’t have any on hand.

Image of ingredients used to make Hawaiian garlic shrimp. Includes raw shrimp, olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon, flour, butter, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.

How to Make Easy Garlic Shrimp

  1. Using paper towels, dab shrimp dry of excess moisture on both sides. Place in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper as desired. Toss to evenly coat.
  3. Melt butter with olive oil in a large 12-inch non-stick skillet.
  4. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds until nicely fragrant (but not browning!).
  5. Add shrimp in an even layer in skillet. Cook on first side until pinkish color on bottom, about 2 minutes. Then flip and cook opposite side until just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
  6. Remove from heat, toss with lemon and garnish with parsley if using.
  7. Serve right away topped with extra garlic butter sauce from pan.

Collage image of four steps showing how to prepare Hawaiian garlic shrimp. Includes drying shrimp with paper towels, tossing shrimp in a bowl with spices and flour, sauteeing garlic with butter and cooking shrimp in pan.

What to Serve with It

  • White rice (I like it with jasmine rice)
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Steamed or roasted vegetables such as broccoli or asparagus
  • Pasta (a thin spaghetti or even something like orzo are good options)

How to Reheat Shrimp

  • Shrimp is one of those things that’s always just best served shortly after cooking the first time around but don’t toss those leftovers, they can be reheated.
  • No matter what method you’ll be using to reheat you’ll want to cook over a moderately low heat and only warm through or it will become rubbery.
  • For this recipe (or a similar recipe with a sauce) you can reheat in a skillet over low to medium-low heat with the sauce, or reheat in the microwave, covered, on 50% power just until heated.
  • For other recipes that don’t include a sauce you can reheat in a skillet with a little olive oil.

Close up overhead image of Hawaiian garlic shrimp on a white platter with the butter sauce.

Tips for Garlic Shrimp

  • Don’t brown the garlic or it will taste bitter and ruin the dish.
  • Don’t skip drying the excess moisture from shrimp or the seasoning mixture will just clump up.
  • Careful not to overcook shrimp or it will ruin the tender texture.
  • Finish with fresh lemon for a delicious finishing touch.
  • Serve it warm. Some shrimp recipes are meant to be served cold but not this one.

Close up image of Hawaiian garlic shrimp served over white rice with slices of fresh pineapple.

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Close up image of Hawaiian garlic shrimp served over white rice with slices of fresh pineapple.
5 from 27 votes

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

The BEST Garlic Shrimp ever! It's just like the famous shrimp you buy at the food trucks in Hawaii. Made with succulent shrimp cooked in an extra garlicky, deliciously rich, butter based sauce.
Servings: 4
Prep15 minutes
Cook5 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Using papar towels, dab shrimp dry of excess moisture on both sides. Place in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle with flour, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper as desired. Toss to evenly coat.
  • Melt butter with olive oil in a large 12-inch non-stick skillet.
  • Add garlic and saute 30 seconds until nicely fragrant (but not browning!).
  • Add shrimp in an even layer in skillet. Cook on first side until pinkish color on bottom, about 2 minutes. Then flip and cook opposite side until just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat, toss with lemon and garnish with parsley if using.
  • Serve right away topped with extra garlic butter sauce from pan.
Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 332mg111%
Sodium 158mg7%
Potassium 190mg5%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 1292IU26%
Vitamin C 16mg19%
Calcium 201mg20%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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67 Comments

  • Heidi

    Frequent Hawaii regularly and love the shrimp trucks on North Shore of Oahu. This recipe is excellent. People have the misconception that Hawaiian recipes have pineapple in them. This dish is an authentic Hawaiian food truck recipe served in Hawaii. Delicious! I make this at home to satisfy my fix for Garlic Shrimp.

  • carly

    Simple and excellent. The only change I made was using ground chipotle pepper instead of cayenne. I also doubled the amount – we like things spicier.

  • Diane

    Not a wow factor, but the family like it, It was a pretty presentation.
    How can I post my picture?

  • Diane

    I have a bag of shrimps in my refrigerator, Trying this today hope my family likes it.

  • Karen L Freitag

    I haven’t made it yet. But I want to know why it’s called Hawaiian shrimp when there’s no pineapple in it as it shows in the picture.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      This is just a common dish served at food trucks/ restaurants in Hawaii sans pineapple. Not many Hawaiian dishes actually have pineapple in them :)

  • Veronica

    Made this for dinner today!! It was just ok
    Nothing special.. I didn’t taste anything Hawaiian about it .. maybe I needed sliced pineapples in my dish .. very garlicky.. won’t make it again

    • Cat

      Lol you have clearly never been to Hawaii. We don’t just cover all of our food in pineapple… curious what to you makes something “taste” Hawaiian?

      This is a pretty authentic recipe as far as it tastes very similar to the garlic found in food trucks on the north shore of Oahu. Of course it’s going to taste very garlicky… it is literally garlic shrimp.

  • Anne PR

    Super good! I tossed some leftover cooked whole wheat spaghetti in the skillet to heat. Added a simple cucumber salad and an ice cold Modelo. What an easy and delicious meal!