Kirbie's Cravings

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

Make this popular Hawaiian dish at home. Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp is easy to make, so you don’t need to wait until your next Hawaii trip to eat it. The shrimp come out crispy and full of garlic butter flavor.

garlic shrimp on a plate with rice and a lemon wedge.

Since we aren’t traveling anywhere anytime soon, I’ve been trying to recreate some dishes from destinations we planned on visiting this year. One of the dishes Hawaii is known for is garlic shrimp. Shrimp are lightly breaded, pan-fried, and then tossed in a savory garlic butter sauce.


  • Minced garlic
  • Unsalted butter
  • Mochiko flour
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Jumbo shrimp (deveined)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon slices

Mochiko flour: This is used for the shrimp coating. Mochiko flour is a glutinous rice flour that is traditionally used to get that crispy coating on the shrimp. I have tested this recipe with all-purpose flour, and it works well, too. However, if you want to make authentic Hawaiian garlic shrimp, you should use rice flour.

Shrimp: I recommend using extra large or jumbo shrimp. I used 16/20, but you can also use 21/25 . To keep the dish authentic, I used shell-on shrimp. The garlic butter sauce and breading coat the shell nicely, and you can suck on the shell before peeling and eating the shrimp. If you don’t like peeling shells, you can make this with already peeled shrimp. This dish can be made with fresh or frozen shrimp. But if you are using frozen shrimp, try to avoid using ones that are high in sodium.

Parsley: I use this as a garnish, but it’s optional. I like the color, but I don’t usually see it used in authentic versions.

a fork lifting a shrimp from the plate.

How to Make It

Garlic butter sauce: First, you melt the butter and add the garlic. Once the garlic is browned, transfer the sauce to a bowl.

​Shrimp coating: Mix up the seasonings and flour. I like to place the mixture in a large resealable bag and add the shrimp. This makes it easy to coat them in the seasoned flour.

Cook the shrimp: Place the coated shrimp in a large pan and cook them over medium heat. They only take a few minutes to cook.

Add the sauce: Pour the sauce over the cooked shrimp in the pan and stir to coat them evenly.

What to Serve Garlic Shrimp With

This dish is often served with scoops of sticky rice, macaroni salad, and a lemon wedge. But to keep it simple, I just served it with steamed short-grain rice. If you’re on a low carb diet, you can also serve it with salad or cauliflower rice.

Recipe Tips

  • How to Keep the Dish Authentic: Use mochiko flour and shell on shrimp. Omit the parsley and serve the dish with sticky rice and lemon wedges.
  • Variations: Cook the garlic in the butter until it’s a dark golden brown and crunchy. Also, cook the shrimp long enough to make the shells crispy. That way, you can eat the shells. Add a little honey to the sauce if you want a touch of sweetness.

a shrimp coated in garlic sauce.

More Shrimp Recipes

Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Learn how to make this popular Hawaiian dish at home. The shrimp come out crispy and full of garlic butter flavor.


  • 1 1/2 heads fresh garlic minced
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup mochiko or all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more as needed
  • 3-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb extra large or jumbo shrimp (shell on, deveined) 21/25 or 16/20
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 lemon sliced


  • Add garlic and butter to a large skillet. Cook on medium heat until butter is melted and garlic turns golden brown. Pour garlic butter sauce out into a bowl and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt. Whisk to evenly combine. Pour flour mixture into a large ziploc bag.
  • Pat dry the shrimp with paper towel. Place shrimp into bag, seal, and shake until shrimp are evenly coated in flour mixture.
  • Add 3 tbsp of olive oil to your skillet. Bring to medium heat. Place shrimp into skillet, keeping them to a single layer without overlap. Cook a few minutes on each side until shrimp are completely cooked. Add more olive oil if your skillet begins to get dry.
  • Pour garlic butter sauce over shrimp. Toss and stir few times until shrimp are evenly coated in sauce. Garnish with parsley. Remove from heat and serve immediately with lemon slices and rice (or rice substitute)


  • Please review my "Type of Shrimp to Use" section of the post which discusses in more detail what type of shrimp to use. Try to avoid using frozen shrimp that contains a lot of sodium.
  • This dish is usually made with mochiko flour but I found all-purpose works just as well.
  • I used regular sized garlic. If you are using large heads you may need to reduce the amount to use. You can use more or less garlic, depending on your taste preference.
  • You may need to adjust the salt amount depending on how salty your shrimp are.
  • You can leave out the cayenne pepper if you don't like spicy or increase it if you do like spicy.
  • The parsley is completely optional. I added it more for color but I don't usually see it in the dish.
  • Nutrition estimate assumes that the shrimp absorbs all of the breading, olive oil and butter. So the estimate is a little higher than what you actually consume because you will have some breading, oil and garlic butter leftover.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 399kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Sodium: 432mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, NET CARBS: 11

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

Subscribe to receive new post updates via email

don’t miss a thing!

Get new post updates via email:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

4 comments on “Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp”

  1. Am a huge shrimp lover. Definitely trying this, thanks for sharing