Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp with Green Beans
February 18, 2020
Shrimp in a light flour batter fried in a buttery garlic sauce yields a crispy and perfectly cooked seafood snack. The buttery sauce makes it perfect over rice or with a starchy pasta salad.
I recently took a trip to Hawaii and was blown away by the beaches and the comfortable easy living. The food was also delightfully flavorful and has a mix of Asian and indigenous influences, and of course is very influenced by the available produce and fish on the island.
One of the most iconic Hawaiian dishes is “Garlic Shrimp” which you would normally get at a roadside truck. The buttery, garlic sauce binds to the fried battered shrimp, and is served over a simple white rice which absorbs the extra oil and butter. Traditionally it’s served with the shell on, but I prefer to cook it at home with the shell off for convenience- it’s a matter of preference and the recipe doesn’t actually change too much if you use shell-on shrimp.
Additionally, I like to toss green beans in the leftover garlic butter sauce to not let it go to waste and to make this into a quick somewhat well-balanced meal.
- 1 pound shrimp, deveined
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed, and snapped into 1 inch segments
- 1 head garlic, minced
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
- lemon wedges
- white rice
- Mix the flour, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt in a large ziploc bag.
- Pat the shrimp dry on paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
- Add the shrimp to the ziploc bag and gently turn the bag over to allow each piece of shrimp to coat individually in the flour mixture.
- Add the green beans to a pot of boiling water and blanche for 5 minutes.
- Strain the green beans under cold water, drain in a colander and set aside.
- Melt the butter and oil in a cast iron skillet over low heat.
- When the butter has fully melted, add the minced garlic and stir well. Let sit for 5 minutes on low heat to soften the garlic.
- Individually remove each shrimp from the ziploc bag, lightly shaking off any excess flour mixture. Lay the shrimp carefully in the cast iron pan on top of the bubbling garlic mixture in a single layer. Increase the heat to medium, and let sit without stirring for 4 minutes.
- Use a flexible spatula or fish turner to flip the shrimp, trying to catch some of the garlic with it, and allow to cook on the other side again in a single layer for 4 minutes.
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt, and stir the shrimp in the reduced butter and flour sauce to coat well in the sauce and then use the spatula to transfer the shrimp out of the cast iron pan.
- Add the blanched green beans to the cast iron pan and stir to incorporate with the remaining flour, butter, garlic, and spices in the pan.
- Serve the shrimp immediately over white rice with the green beans on the side. Garnish with a lemon wedge and chopped parsley leaves.
Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.