Garlic Shrimp Plate in Kahuku, Hawaii [SOURCE]
Have you ever tried the garlic-butter shrimp plates in Kahuku on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii? If you want to know more, then this post in the "Cooking Hawaiian-style Comfort Food" series is for you..
Some people literally travel from the other side of the world just to get their fix of the buttery, salty, tangy goodness of garlic-butter Kahuku prawns. 

But don't worry, if you don't have the time or resources to hop on the next flight out to Oahu just for this dish, I've managed to come up with a recipe that (somewhat) replicates the garlicky flavors and silky textures of this iconic North Shore "plate lunch" specialty.
I had to play around with a few of the recipes online, but after a couple tries, I got it to where it fits my taste buds best and represents accurately the memories I have of driving along the North Shore in a car full of friends or family for a day of fun and sun at the beach. There was almost always time for that obligatory stop off at one of the famous Kahuku shrimp trucks!
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck in Kahuku [SOURCE]
Try the recipe below and let me know how it turns out. Some key notes, make sure you sautee the garlic in clarified butter, and speaking of garlic, don't be shy, throw in A LOT of it!

Kahuku-Style "Garlic Butter Shrimp Plate" Recipe

  • 1-2 dozen large shrimp or prawns
  • Flour, paprika and cayenne pepper
  • Clarified butter
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • ⅛ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • A slice of lemon
  • Steamed white rice
1) Devein 1-2 dozen shrimp, leaving the shells on.

2) Mix flour, paprika and cayenne pepper to coat the shrimp in.

3) Add clarified butter to a preheated skillet and add chopped garlic. Sautee the garlic for a minute then add the shrimp. (Garlic is a main ingredient, so make sure there is a lot!)

4) Salt lightly and cook one side of the shrimp for a few minutes. Turn the shrimp over and cook on the other for a few more minutes.

5) Add ⅛ cup of white wine and 2 tablespoons of regular butter. Cook until garlic starts to brown.

6) Serve hot with a slice of lemon over a bed of steamed white rice.

It's as simple as that! An authentic, local favorite Hawaii-style comfort food dish that brings back memories of shrimp trucks and pounding surf on the North Shore of Oahu. 

EXTRA VIDEO: Unique Eats Featuring "Shrimp Shack" & Other Local Biteries

PS: Yes, I eat the whole shrimp, shell, tails and all. Enjoy!

The Drive Out to North Shore, Kahuku, Oahu

If you do end up going to Hawaii, you should really consider a drive out to the North Shore of Oahu to try this famous seafood dish first hand.

The drive from Waikiki north to Kahuku takes you along the beautiful coastline of rural Hawaii, past historical towns and geographical landmarks. The pace is laid back and the locals are friendly.

Once you get to Kahuku, there are many shrimp trucks you can stop at alongside the road. The best thing to do is just drive from truck to truck and sample the different dishes yourself. You may just find your favorite truck, or maybe even find that your own home recipe is better!

DIRECTIONS: How to get to the Shrimp Trucks in Kahuku

From Waikiki there are several routes. You can either take HI-83 W, HI-83 E or Pali Hwy to HI-83 W. 

It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get there by car. 

See the map and click on the link for more detailed directions.

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26/11/2013 4:35am

JAY-RRR!!! The You-Tube video says it's not available in my country?!?!?! I do remember seeing on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show. Too bad I'm not a seafood eater.

12/12/2013 11:52pm

Hmm...really? That's too bad! I wonder if it's doing that for anyone else. Try again sometime and let me know if it still isn't playing. Maybe I'll find another video to share instead.

14/12/2013 6:44am

I tried it again, still doesn't work. I went directly to the You-Tube site & looked it up, you have to purchase the video in order to watch it. (>_<) Lame!

14/12/2013 9:59am

I got the ingredients to cook this tonight. I was wondering how much clarified butter you use?


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    I'm JR. I come from a long line of adventurers, some were nomadic explorers of the sea and others wandering cultivators of the earth. Ultimately, this legacy of drifters deeply affects my view of travel. Read more...