Hawaiian Style Garlic Shrimp

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We had the time of our lives in Hawaii. It was the most perfect and relaxing trip. Ever! We stayed in Turtle Bay on the North Shore. Everyone knows that while you are in Hawaii, no trip is complete without a trip to a shrimp shack!
Hawaiian Style garlic shrimp on a white plate.Here is the problem for me. I hate shrimp. It is so chewy and gross and the texture makes me gag. I accidentally ate it once in a chinese dish. So I ordered other things in Hawaii besides the shrimp. My hubby and friends absolutely loved the shrimp shacks in Hawaii and we stopped at them three different times. I asked the famous Giovanni shrimp shack the ingredients that they use and was able to completely make this shrimp taste exactly like it was from Hawaii…. according to my husband!

Hawaiian garlic shrimp cooking in a skillet.The butter garlic sauce turned out the same that I had imagined in Hawaii. It had the perfect blend of garlic and spices, just as it was in Hawaii! And if you have been lucky enough to experience the shrimp in Hawaii, you know that it is loaded with tons of caramelized garlic. You definitely will need a breath mint after trying this, but the sauce is absolutely perfect! And according to my hubby, I made it taste and smell just like it came from a shrimp truck in Hawaii!

Giovanni's shrimp truck.

Hawaiian Style Garlic Shrimp

4.5 from 2 votes
Delicious famous Hawaiian shrimp cooked perfectly in a buttery garlic sauce!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1 pound White Shrimp
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 heads fresh garlic minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon course Hawaiian sea salt regular sea salt is ok
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • In a medium skillet on medium low heat, add 4 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons butter, and minced raw garlic. Saute the garlic until it is brown, tender and caramelized.
  • Add the salt, pepper, paprika, remaining butter, 1 T olive oil, and juice of one lemon. See notes. Let the sauce develop and carefully add the shrimp in one layer in the pan.
  • Shrimp cook quickly and only take about 3-5 minutes on each side. Once the shells have turned a lovely pink orangeish color, it is time to flip them. Do not overcook them or they will be rubbery and tough.
  • Serve the shrimp with rice and to get the full Hawaii effect, use the leftover garlic sauce to serve on top of the rice. 🙂


Although I thought the sauce was perfect, my hubby thought it should be a little thicker. If you want it thicker, before adding shrimp, whisk in a Tablespoon of flour.


Serves: 6

Calories254kcal (13%)Carbohydrates2g (1%)Protein16g (32%)Fat20g (31%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol211mg (70%)Sodium849mg (35%)Potassium91mg (3%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar1g (1%)Vitamin A274IU (5%)Vitamin C13mg (16%)Calcium119mg (12%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword hawaiian style garlic shrimp, shrimp, shrimp recipes
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic


Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. I stumbled across your recipie on Pinterest and I just have to say that this shrimp recipie looks amazing. I have printed it out and although I don’t really like to cook I will attempt to make it this weekend.

    Thanks a bunch

    Mary (Thunder Bay, Ontario – Canada)

  2. I just came back from Oahu and while on the island we decided to take a drive around the island. We ended up in the north shore, we stumbled across the food truck Macky’s and fell in love with the Garlic Butter Shrimp. I have been dying for those shrimp since I came back. I looked all over Pinterest for a similar recipe and stumbled upon yours. I will be making this for dinner tonight!!! Can’t wait to taste it 🙂 Thanks for uploading this!

    Wendy (OC, California)

  3. Very nice, tasted really good.

    I’ve also made this recipe page into a drinking game. I took a shot every time you said “in Hawaii” in your description.

  4. I just made this! It turned out really great!
    I actually live in Hawaii but have never been to Giovanni’s. Sad right?

    On a side note, I used a lemon that my aunty grew at her house. Her lemons are kind of large so I used half and I guess because of the type of lemon, the dish had a really strong lemon flavor.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  5. i made this tonite and i was so impressed by how exactly the flavors were like the shrimp shack! my whole family was heaven eating this. we don’t have to go back to hawaii now since i can make this. just kidding on that but thanks for sharing a recipe that was spot on!!!

  6. A few weeks ago I had Giovanni’s Shrimp. I am fortunate enough to live on Oahu but don’t get to North Shore shrimp trucks often. When I got home I started looking for a recipy and found yours. I finally made it last night and it came out great. Thank you so much for posting this!

  7. Thanks! I live in Hawaii (born and raised) and was too lazy/broke to go to the North Shore for some of my favortie shrimp (Giovannis isint really that good or big in my opinion). This recepie was pretty good!Thanks for the recepie for when I dont want to go outside haha
    *sorry for all the typos

  8. I will give you an A for effort, but this looks nothing like Giovannis and you missed a critical step in the prep, not to mention you did not use the right shrimp. I am sure it tastes great, but this is not Giovanni style.

      1. Maybe it has to do with the mysterious 2T remaining butter that was never used. Recipe requires 4 and instructions use 2….? No one else noticed and not sure if I’m missing something so I’m just gonna use 3 and hope it works out lol

  9. Love this recipe! Although the recipe wasn’t 100% like Giovanni’s, I still thought it was simple and easy to make at home. Super fast to make to get dinner on the table. I’ll save the 100% to the experts 😉

  10. I just got back from Oahu a month ago. We stayed at Turtle Bay too 🙂 I made your recipe tonight, and it was spot on! Thank you so much for putting it together. DELICIOUS. At Giovanni’s shrimp truck, they did have the shells on the shrimp, but I prepped mine like you did and it was much easier to eat which is good if you have kiddos to chase after. THANK YOU!

  11. My daughter uses rice flour and adds coconut milk. No wine. More butter. Pretty yummy.

    In my opinion cooking them with the shell on really adds flavor. Messy? Yes, but worth it. Last night we inadvertently thawed shelled shrimp so that’s what we made but I would always use the shell on, devained, easy peel shrimp. Get down and dirty!

    She also makes the spicy version and pretty much just grabs spicy stuff, cayenne, some paprika and Old Bay. Yes, I’m sure Old Bay is sacrilegious but they are still yummy!


    1. OOOOH I LOVE your ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing them! It sounds like I need to remake this meal soon:)!

  12. I love this recipe! It’s so good and easy to make! Although It’s been a while since I’ve been back home to eat Kahuku shrimp, I will say this is really close to what I remember! I do use lemon juice from a bottle rather than a lemon and just kinda squirt maybe a tablespoon of it in the sauce. I do recommend to use larger shrimp and keep the shell on because it helps trap the sauce in.

  13. I just made this tonight and it’s quite similar! I did add the flour and the consistency was great. I might cut down on the salt next time, but otherwise spot on. Thanks!

  14. I tried cooking the Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp since I’m longing fo those..it turned out very sour due to lemon juice. I dont remember it being sour..so I told my daughter to omit lemon juice then. I’ll without lemons next time..but turned out tasty..thanks.

  15. This recipe is very close if not a replica of Giovanni’s. The garlic is what makes this dish so tasty and wonderful. Mahalo for taking the sharing this recipe.

  16. This recipe is spot on! So delicious and tastes just like Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck! I love it! No modifications needed. We had some leftovers and I can’t wait to have it for dinner!

  17. Just came back from Oahu and had to find a recipe. I do remember however that the sign at Giovanni’s mentioned that the shrimps are marinated first and the steamed. I assume there is a garlic marinade and then after cooking, caramelized garlic is added. That might be the “missing step” mentioned in the comments.

  18. I’ve now made this recipe 3 time! I think it’s better than waiting the 45 minutes at the shrimp truck 😉 There’s nothing I would change, however I do like the recommendation of adding flour to thicken it up.

  19. 5 stars
    This was exactly how we remembered Giovanni’s shrimp (sans tourists & balmy Island weather).

    Now to track down a purple potato taco recipe, my Haleiwa fantasies will be realised.

  20. 4 stars
    Your one is only recipe I found in the internet which is very close to the genuine taste After reading lot of stupid so called recipes for Hawaiian Garlic Shrimps I found yours one is very close. But I don’t remember any of those famous food trucks used pepper of paprika. May be I couldn’t taste them as fried.

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