On the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, nestled in between the palm trees and umbrellas off of the Kamehameha Highway, is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck.  My husband and I came across this truck by chance with some friends on vacation. The picnic tables surrounding the truck were packed with locals and tourists chowing down on huge, juicy, in the shell shrimp that had been cooked in a combination of spices and garlic.

As a spice lover, the option that stood out to me immediately was Giovanni’s “No Refunds Hot & Spicy Shrimp”. Most of my friends, who are slightly saner than I – opted for the ever popular “Garlic Shrimp Scampi”. Meanwhile, myself and one of my girlfriends peeled and pulled at the shells on our screaming hot shrimp. We were overheated, our mouths were on fire, and we were loving it.

The white truck signed in black writing to the right is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. It is iconic, and a must visit while in Oahu!

I will always be thankful that we discovered Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck towards the beginning of our trip. We were frequent customers over our trip to Oahu, and I have had a hard time forgetting the incredible flavors ever since.

About two years later, I followed up with the iconic local truck begging for some guidance on how I could duplicate it at home. I don’t blame them for declining to share their recipe.

Since then, it’s common for me to make this quick and easy shrimp dish at home. While inspired by the hot and spicy flavors at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, this is definitely not their recipe. But, until I have the opportunity to return to Oahu, it will scratch the itch!

 Recipe for Firecracker Peel & Pull Garlic Shrimp: 

1 Pound of Shrimp, In Shell – Deveined
6 -7 Cloves of Garlic, Coarsely Chopped
2 -3 Tablespoons of Butter
1 Tablespoon of Paprika
2 Tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
2 Teaspoons of All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon of Kosher Salt
1/2 Lemon Juice
Hot Sauce (Dashes, to Taste)
White Rice
Pineapple Slices

Instructions for Firecracker Peel & Pull Garlic Shrimp: 

1: Boil salt water and cook plain, steamed rice. Set aside.

2: Mix Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Flour, and Salt in a bowl. Stir. Add your shrimp and toss well in seasoning. Remove shrimp and set aside.

3: In a frying pan, heat butter over medium heat. When butter is bubbling, toss your shrimp and garlic into the pan. Saute. Sprinkle in a few dashes of hot sauce.

3: Ensure your shrimp are sufficiently coated, adding additional leftover spices from your bowl if needed. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into your pan, and reduce heat to low.

4: Spoon rice into a bowl. Add fresh pineapple slices. Spoon in spicy shrimp.


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