Almost Kahuku Garlic Shrimp (Truck)

Sometimes the best things in life, or at least in mine, are the simplest. One of my favorite weekend rituals, which now happens to be a memory I replay when I find myself daydreaming about home (Hawaii) is North Shore (of Oahu) missioning. And by mission, I mean, waking up at eight in the morning, packing up all your beach gear, and driving out to the North Shore from town (Honolulu) for a day in paradise. This of course always takes about an hour yet never feels like more than a twenty minute drive because the minute you get to the country, the beach, everything else fades away. Soaking up the glorious sun while sprawling out on white sand never gets old and somehow the water always seems bluer, warmer, and way more appealing out there. 

The same can be said about the shrimp. A North Shore mission is not complete without a trip to Giovanni's Shrimp Truck (or really almost any of the shrimp trucks) in Kahuku for their world famous garlic shrimp. What makes their shrimp so special? I can't really say because by any account it's just shrimp, heaps of butter and garlic, flour, salt, and pepper and accompanied by a few lemon wedges. Yet ask anyone who's had it and they'll tell you it's hands down the best. But why is it so good!? Well, I think it's the sauce. That amazing garlic butter sauce is spooned over two large scoops of hot, white rice and that fact paired with an amazing day at the beach, makes for the ultimate experience. I've yet to find a better spot for garlic shrimp. Which is why I'm sharing the Silverlake version with you today.

What makes it Silverlake Garlic Shrimp versus Kahuku Garlic Shrimp? One, it was obviously cooked up in a Silverlake kitchen. Two, Aleppo chili pepper flakes. Three, parsley. Four, a little extra lemon juice. That's it. It's no frills and really pretty close to the original, cause you really don't want to mess with a good thing. Especially when that good thing brings you back to the North Shore of Oahu. So go ahead, pick up some shrimp, and break out the butter 'cause I'm bringing the islands to you right now. 

Almost Kahuku Garlic Shrimp (Truck)

Slightly adapted from Foodland's Kahuku Shrimp

Serves 2-4 (depending on serving size)


  • 20 shell-on 20-30 (per pound aka large) shrimp, cleaned and deveined from the back side
  • 20 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 - 2 tsp. Aleppo chili pepper flakes (depending on desired level of heat)
  • 1 stick butter, cut into 1/2" slices
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced curly parsley
  • Lemon wedges, as needed/desired
  • Optional (but highly recommended): fresh pot of white rice


  • Paper towels
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Large cast iron skillet
  • Tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting board


  1. Thoroughly dry cleaned shrimp with paper towels.
  2. Combine flour, salt, and Aleppo chili pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk together. 
  3. Lightly coat ten shrimps with flour mixture, on both sides. Think coating not batter or crust when dusting the shrimp with the flour mixture. 
  4. Heat pan over medium heat and add half the amount of sliced butter. When the butter begins to foam, lay half the shrimp shrimp in the pan in a single layer, being careful not to crowd the pan, and let the shrimp cook for three minutes. When the shrimp are golden on the bottom, flip over, sprinkling half of the minced garlic in the pan and cook shrimp for two minutes. Add half the lemon juice to the butter mixture and swirl around pan. Cook for one more minute.
  5. Remove the shrimp and garlic-butter sauce and repeat with remaining ingredients. Plate your shrimp with desired portion of white rice and pour the garlic-butter sauce over your shrimp and rice. Sprinkle generous amounts of parsley over shrimp and serve with lemon wedges.
  6. Serve and enjoy!