I miss Hawaii so much lately. Just the thought of kayaking, hiking, and eating local Hawaiian food almost makes me want to hop on a plane and deal with the two-week quarantine once I get to the islands. I made this Hawaiian shrimp scampi to bring some aloha into our lives. It’s one of my favorite summer dishes that doesn’t involve the grill!
Hawaiian shrimp scampi is synonymous with North Shore in Oahu. North Shore is a long and gorgeous drive from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu city life. As the name implies, it is the northern most part of the island. They host three annual surf competitions every year and attract surfers from all over the world. It’s also where Jurassic Park was filmed! On my first ever visit to North Shore, we stopped for food trucks in the middle of nowhere. And I had the most amazing shrimp scampi.
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is the original shrimp scampi truck. They started the garlicky craze in 1993. Besides big waves, North Shore is home to Hawaii’s aqua farms. It makes total sense to use the local seafood to start a food truck business! Today, there are many food trucks selling their version of shrimp scampi all over the island but the recipe always consists of shrimp, butter, lemon, and large amounts of garlic.
The internet is flooded with recipes recreating this dish and now I’m adding mine. My recipe has evolved as I continuously tweak it to personal taste. Through the years, I’ve started using a combination of butter and oil and I’ve upped the amount of garlic. Just like all classic Hawaiian plate lunches, the OG shrimp scampi is served with two scoops of rice. I don’t like rice (gasp!) so I serve mine with King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls instead. Hello, Costco two-pack! I think these sweet rolls are a perfect compromise for soaking up that delicious garlic butter.
Hawaiian Shrimp Scampi
- 2 pounds 16/20 raw shrimp (shell on, headless, butterflied, deveined, and pat dry)
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1 cup fine chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Step 1 On a large plate or quarter sheet, mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and flour until well mixed.
- Step 2 Add shrimp to flour mixture and toss until all shrimp are evenly coated. Set aside.
- Step 3 Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Step 4 Add shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- Step 5 Add garlic and stir constantly to avoid the garlic from burning. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until garlic is lightly browned.
- Step 6 Remove skillet from heat and add lemon juice.