Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

Sharing is caring!

Hawaiian garlic shrimp or also known as truck garlic shrimp is a quick and tasty dinner idea. Only 5 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and 10 minutes, isn’t it unbelievable?

This is a copycat truck shrimp recipe from the famous Giovanni’s on Oahu’s North Shore. Now, with this recipe, you can get a big plate of juicy garlicky shrimp.

The buttery and garlicky sauce is my favorite part of this recipe. Just pour some over plain white rice and you will get tons of pungent flavor with each bite. 

**Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Some of our links are affiliate links

How long does it take to cook the shrimps?

A little time.

It’s so easy to get overcooked shrimps, and easier to burn the garlic. So, be careful. This is a recipe that needs to be babysat, but it’s just 5 minutes of cooking.

Also, use medium-low temperature to get a better control of the cooking process.

The first thing I do is to melt the butter. Don’t let the butter turn brown. As soon as it’s melted add the garlic cloves finely chopped.

The garlic cloves must be chopped into slices that have the same thickness. This way, all the garlic slices will cook at the same pace. The goal is to avoid burned garlic.

I know it may sound like I’m being a bit intense with the whole “burning the garlic” stuff. The problem is that this recipe is basically just garlic and butter. And burned garlic gives a bitter aftertaste. Imagine the bitterness of 7-10 garlic cloves. It will make the shrimp inedible and that would be a shame.

Now that the garlic starts to get fragrant — about 20-30 sec of cooking —, it’s time to add the shrimp and the spices. Stir well to coat all the shrimps in sauce, and to distribute the spices evenly. Cook the shrimps for 2 minutes per side or until they are pink and fully cooked.

Serve immediately. Shrimps are one of those tender meats that are at their peak of juiciness as soon as they leave the pan. 

Note: when I took the photos for this recipe I used peeled shrimp because that’s what I had on hand. I highly recommend you to use shrimp with the skin on or at least with the tail. This will add extra flavor to the buttery sauce.

What spices do you need?

This recipe doesn’t need a ton of spices, just 3:

  • Cayenne pepper: A bit of spiciness will elevate the flavors of the shrimps. It adds a nice heat to the flavor scheme of the recipe. 
  • Paprika: This adds a smoky yet subtle flavor
  • Black pepper: It balances all the flavors and gives a pungent aroma. 

What can you serve with this garlic shrimp?


I’m not a white-rice person. I feel it’s too bland and “meh” for my taste, but this recipe calls for a big bowl of white rice to cover in butter garlic sauce.

If you want different rice options you can try turmeric rice or spicy Portuguese rice.

You can also serve it with french fries or sweet potato.

0 from 0 votes
Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Hawaiian garlic shrimp or also known as truck garlic shrimp is a quick and tasty dinner idea. Only 5 ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and 10 minutes, isn’t it unbelievable?
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: hawaiian garlic shrimp
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 300 kcal
  • 400 gr deveined shrimp preferably with skin
  • 7- 10 garlic cloves (note 1)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Finely chop the garlic cloves. Try to cut them with the same thickness. This way all the garlic cooks at the same pace.
  2. In a pan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter and toss the chopped garlic. Stir for 20 to 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Immediately add the shrimps and let them sear for 2 minutes per side. Season with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
  4. As soon as the shrimps are fully cooked, remove the pan from the stove and serve.
Recipe Notes

1. The amount of garlic will depend on how garlicky you want your shrimps.

Nutrition Facts
Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 123
% Daily Value*
Fat 13.7g21%
Saturated Fat 7.9g49%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.4g
Cholesterol 421mg140%
Sodium 607mg26%
Potassium 367mg10%
Protein 42g84%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating