Hawaiian Garlic Butter Shrimp

I discovered this fabulous recipe on the Food and Wine website. It was created by Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon, who claims it was inspired by the food trucks that serve garlic butter shrimp on Oahu’s North Shore.

The shrimp are “marinated in a mixture of Italian dressing, mayonnaise, key lime juice, and salt, then grilled and tossed in roasted garlic butter. The result: unbelievably sweet, juicy grilled shrimp. You can make the garlic butter in advance, and use any leftover garlic butter on pasta, fish, or toast.”

If you’re not familiar with Chef Simeon, he was born in Hilo on the big island, and his parents’ influence sent him on his path to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific onto an internship at Walt Disney World. Chef Simeon was a finalist on season 10 of Top Chef in Seattle, and won the coveted “fan favorite” title. Earlier this year, Simeon opened Tin Roof, a mom and pop eatery in Kahului, which in in Maui. The food looks incredible. He also authored a cookbook, published in 2021, called Cook Real Hawaii.

Hawaiian-Style Garlic Butter Shrimp

1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (from 1 head garlic)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), at room temperature
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing (or a traditional home-made vinaigrette)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh Key lime juice (from about 8 Key limes)
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
2 pounds peeled and deveined tail-on raw large shrimp
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place oil and garlic in a small baking pan; cover with aluminum foil. Roast garlic in preheated oven until soft and light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour. Remove garlic from oil; place garlic in bowl of a food processor. (For sake of ease I sometimes use peeled garlic cloves in chile oil.)

Add butter to food processor, and process until smooth. Stir in salt. Let butter mixture stand at room temperature until ready to use.

While roasted garlic cools, stir together Italian dressing, mayonnaise, lime juice, and salt. Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Remove shrimp from marinade, and discard marinade. Grill shrimp until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a large bowl.

Add roasted garlic butter, and toss until butter is melted and shrimp are coated.

Sprinkle with scallions, parsley, and paprika; toss to combine.

Transfer to a serving plate.

Honestly I’m not sure I enjoyed the lime juice mixed with the vinaigrette. Something wasn’t right with this recipe, but I’m glad I tried it. If you google Hawaiian garlic butter shrimp, recipes are abundant!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. angiesrecipes July 18, 2022 at 6:13 AM - Reply

    They look mega delicious! I would probably finish the whole plate myself.

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 6:58 AM - Reply

      Thank you so much Angie!

  2. ajeanneinthekitchen July 18, 2022 at 8:13 AM - Reply

    Those look so good. :)

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 8:41 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I’d never heard of these before, but if you google they’re everywhere!

  3. cookingwithauntjuju.com July 18, 2022 at 9:45 AM - Reply

    This recipe is totally different from the cookbook (which I have). Sheldon has a recipe for “Garlic Shrimp”. This sounds good and so does your version – anything with shrimp is “thumbs up” for me. My brother lives near the crater just about 20 minutes from Hilo :)

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 3:01 PM - Reply

      Oh, Hilo is beautiful. The orchids there.. I’m with you on shrimp!

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen July 18, 2022 at 2:36 PM - Reply

    These look amazing, so succulent and inviting!

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 3:00 PM - Reply


  5. Angela July 18, 2022 at 3:10 PM - Reply

    Looks delicious! I love roasted garlic 🧄

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 5:14 PM - Reply

      As long as it’s roasted but not burnt…

  6. Anonymous July 18, 2022 at 4:05 PM - Reply

    This makes me miss Hawaii so much… I never had the “real” thing, of course, but it’s a whole vibe. This recipe nails it.

    • Chef Mimi July 18, 2022 at 5:13 PM - Reply

      I was always into mahi mahi and poke when we were in Hawaii. Not garlic shrimp. And I’m also not a food truck gal. I like to sit when I eat!

  7. Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 19, 2022 at 1:30 AM - Reply

    Oh YUM! These garlic butter shrimp look amazing – totally drool worthy. And such an interesting marinade :)

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2022 at 7:07 AM - Reply

      The marinade is interesting. I personally wouldn’t mix both the vinaigrette and lime juice together next time.

  8. Sherry Mac July 19, 2022 at 3:39 AM - Reply

    i do love a good garlic butter coated prawn!!

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2022 at 7:06 AM - Reply

      I know what you mean!

  9. Madalaine July 19, 2022 at 9:56 AM - Reply

    This looks like a wonderful blend of flavors. So many times Hawaiian = Pineapple. It was so refreshing to see Lime in the ingredients instead. 😋

    • Chef Mimi July 19, 2022 at 1:34 PM - Reply

      Oh I know. pineapples and macadamia nuts!!! This one’s definitely different!

  10. 2pots2cook July 20, 2022 at 2:28 AM - Reply

    This is great. Perfect light summer dinner!

    • Chef Mimi July 20, 2022 at 6:25 PM - Reply

      Or a nice appetizer!!!

  11. John / Kitchen Riffs July 20, 2022 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    That vinaigrette/mayo/lime mixture looks terrific! LOT of flavor there. And I’ll never turn down shrimp. Or garlic. :-) Really nice — thanks.

    • Chef Mimi July 20, 2022 at 6:25 PM - Reply

      I think next time, though, I’ll just use lime and not the vinaigrette. I think that would be better.

  12. Healthy World Cuisine July 20, 2022 at 4:11 PM - Reply

    Loved seeing all of the garlic in the pan. Now you have our attention. Your Hawaiian garlic butter shrimp are making our mouth water. Can’t wait to give this a go.

    • Chef Mimi July 20, 2022 at 6:24 PM - Reply

      We love garlic as well! And shrimp!

      • Ben | Havocinthekitchen July 21, 2022 at 7:35 PM

        As a huge fan of sweet and salty, this recipe makes me happy and excited. I’ve never cooked shrimp this way, but the result looks impressive!

  13. Abbe@This is How I Cook July 21, 2022 at 2:36 PM - Reply

    I love shrimp and garlic and together is perfect. I have a great Mexican garlic shrimp recipe that I love and now I can’t wait to try this Hawaiian version. Thanks Mimi!

    • Chef Mimi July 21, 2022 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      Often in the past I’ve just made a cilantro and garlic mixture, but this one obviously is a bit different!

  14. Ben | Havocinthekitchen July 21, 2022 at 7:35 PM - Reply

    As a huge fan of sweet and salty, this recipe makes me happy and excited. I’ve never cooked shrimp this way, but the result looks impressive!

    • Chef Mimi July 21, 2022 at 7:38 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It was fun to make.

  15. For the Love of Cooking July 22, 2022 at 12:02 PM - Reply

    My shrimp loving son would LOVE this meal.

    • Chef Mimi July 22, 2022 at 4:55 PM - Reply

      He most likely would!

  16. Debra July 22, 2022 at 8:12 PM - Reply

    Shrimp is a favorite in my household and this will be a wonderful addition. The cookbook looks interesting to me!

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2022 at 6:26 AM - Reply

      It does look interesting! I’m trying to cut back on my addiction in 2022.

  17. Sandra Shaffer July 22, 2022 at 8:30 PM - Reply

    Oh my! I think I could polish off this dish all by myself! This is as close as I’ll get to the islands this year. YUM.

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2022 at 6:26 AM - Reply

      Yes, me, too!!

  18. Pauline July 22, 2022 at 10:04 PM - Reply

    Yum, I could eat a whole plate of these, we love prawns here, your shrimp, and this is a fabulous way to cook them. It never ceases to amaze me what great food can come out of food trucks. Such an interesting back story as well, thanks Mimi.

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2022 at 6:25 AM - Reply

      That’s an interesting point. There really aren’t food trucks where I live, but it would be fun to be in downtown Los Angeles and visit one of the food truck venues.

  19. Valentina July 23, 2022 at 1:53 AM - Reply

    I adore garlicky shrimp. And that melting butter dripping off the prawn!!! I’ll take two platefuls, please. :-) ~Valentina

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2022 at 6:24 AM - Reply

      Yes – garlic plus butter plus shrimp equals happiness!

  20. Frank Fariello July 23, 2022 at 3:47 PM - Reply

    Well, I was wrong. When I read Hawaiian Style”I immediately thought there’d be pineapple in this. And I’m glad there’s not. I do like pineapple as dessert but not in my savory dishes. This sounds lovely! Anything with garlic butter.. !

    • Chef Mimi July 23, 2022 at 3:53 PM - Reply

      Hahahaha! Somebody else said the same thing! No pineapple in this dish!

  21. David Scott Allen July 23, 2022 at 6:34 PM - Reply

    Well – you know me! I am going to make this someday with shallots and I bet it will be just as fabulous! Then I can make my apologies to Chef Simeon for changing his recipe…

  22. Ronit July 24, 2022 at 6:01 PM - Reply

    Shrimp, lots of butter and garlic – how can that be anything but delicious?
    Great find! :)

    • Chef Mimi July 25, 2022 at 12:26 PM - Reply

      That part was wonderful! I just didn’t like mixing the vinaigrette with the lime juice.

  23. Fran @ G'day Souffle July 25, 2022 at 4:30 AM - Reply

    Love the golden color of the Roasted Garlic Butter mixture- looks very Hawaiian! You mentioned that the lime flavor didn’t seem to go with the Italian dressing vinaigrette- perhaps leaving the lime juice out would be a good idea. To me, it looks like the roasted garlic sauce would almost be enough for this recipe!

    • Chef Mimi July 25, 2022 at 1:06 PM - Reply

      I completely agree with you.

  24. Raymund July 28, 2022 at 3:03 AM - Reply

    You made me miss Hawaii, I was fortunate enough to try that food truck on the way to Dole, so good! I bet this would be the same if not better

    • Chef Mimi July 28, 2022 at 7:26 AM - Reply

      Oh, that’s wonderful!

  25. olivenol August 18, 2023 at 3:13 AM - Reply

    garlic and shrimp. good idea

    • Chef Mimi August 18, 2023 at 6:59 AM - Reply


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