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Jun 15, 2007 10:03 AM

Oahu - Hale'iwa shrimp truck

In early 2005 the Sturdy Wench and I flew to Oahu for our belated honeymoon in Hale'iwa. I loved it there, and a high point was eating at the shrimp truck in the hardware store parking lot on the main road (Hwy 83?) in Hale'iwa. (I don't think it was Giovanni's, the truck was stenciled only with "SHRIMP TRUCK.")

The truck only offered two kinds of shrimp: Garlic and Sweet Hot. (I've been trying to recreate the garlic shrimp, but so far no success. Anyone have suggestions?) I got a half order of each and from the first bite, surfed my way into gastronomic ecstasy. I've never had shrimp with this much flavor, and a unique texture: A thin, clear, crispy coating, which might have been fried honey, but I'm unsure.

Anyone else tried the shrimp here?

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  1. I knew I'd seen something written about that before. One of the commenters on this particular entry from Ono 'Kine Grindz - the entry itself can be seen here: - left the recipe below. I've never tried it, but heck, it sounds like something I'd like to attempt this weekend.

    Good luck!

    Posted by a fellow named Mike in the comments for that post:

    1/3 cup Olive oil, garlic, 1 lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1tbs paprika, ten cloves garlic, chives (optional) and 1/4 cup dry white wine (use mirin for substitution). These are all for marinading.

    1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16


    1) In very hot pan, fry shrimp first until half cooked and pink. Set aside.

    2) Let pan cool down and set stove to 3. Add in chopped garlic and sauté slowly
    without browning them. Use the smell whether you over cooked the garlic. Once
    garlic is nice and soft, add in the shrimp. Add in the rest of the chopped garlic for

    13 Replies
    1. re: miznic

      that's not the lemon juice, no paprika, definitly no chives, hehe, no wine... man, did this guy get any ingredient right? oh yeah, the shrimp and the garlic. Also, you don't add in the shrimp to the sauted garlic. They are marinated together for 45 minutes with salt pepper and one other ingredient used to thicken the olive oil before pan grilling. email me for the real recipe if interested.

      1. re: shrimpee

        shrimpee, do you have the (or any decent version of) the shrimp truck recipe? I followed the one above but no good.

        1. re: KenWritez

          Did anyone ever get the shrimp truck recipe from Shrimpee? I'd like to make this for New Year's Day! Thanks ~

          1. re: vgreen

            the one I posted at the bottom of the thread was pretty close.

        2. re: shrimpee

          Shrimpee, I tried to email you for the recipe, but can't seem to do it. I would LOVE to have the receipe. We just came back from Oahu and let me tell you, there is no comparison to the Giovanni's. Although I am not a cook, I am a great eater. Could you please send me your recipe???? Mahalo.

          1. re: shrimpee

            Hey Shrimpee,

            Can you forward me your recipe for the shrimp?

            Mahalo Nui Loa.....Mauisurfer

            1. re: shrimpee

              hey shrimpee...just went to oahu and tried the shrimp trucks (romy's). could you email me the recipe?

              1. re: shrimpee

                hi shrimpee, i would love the recipe if you wouldn't mind passing it along.


                thanks a bunch!

                1. re: shrimpee

                  Hey, I know your post is from quite some time ago, but i'd love the recipe if you get this!


                  1. re: shrimpee

                    Dear Shrimpee,

                    I too would like this shrimp truck recipe I have been hearing so much about. Please send it to me via email to: Thank you. In return, I will send you a very famous recipe from New York. Here, not too long ago, there was a famous restaurant called Mangino's where the signature dish was Shrimp Mangino. I will send you that recipe. It took me years to get it.
                    I will be waiting to hear from you.

                    1. re: janinespy

                      This is for anyone and everyone who was looking for the garlic shrimp recipe. Thu-Houng Doung, Esq., was nice enough to share it with me so I am passing it on to all of you. Hope he did not want to remain annon., needed to give credit where credit was due.
                      Here it is:

                    2. re: shrimpee

                      Hi! I'd love to get the recipe for the Hawaiian style garlic shrimp shack shrimp. I've tried macadamia nut oil with garlic and salt pepper and it turned out pretty good but would love to perfect it! Thanks!

                    3. re: miznic

                      I like Giovanni's even though I like to take my food and eat it somewhere else, the bugs kind of bother me. They move around a little over time. Seriously though, when I first moved here I thought people were crazy eating shrimp scampi out of the back of a truck but 12 little fried shrimpies dripping in garlic with rice and shoyu later I was a believer. Why doesn't someone just ask them how they make the scampi? And don't they have the scampi stuff at Malama market?

                    4. I was in Haleiwa on Monday. There are two trucks next to each other. One was Giovanni's, but I didn't see what the other one was, or if it was shrimp they were serving.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Debbie M

                        We ate at Giovanni's last weekend. The second truck sitting adjacent to the Giovanni's shrimp truck serves drinks (very good smoothies!). But as kinipela accurately notes there are a whole slew of shrimp trucks along that stretch of highway. Giovanni's was awesome, and after we slammed down 3 plates (2 garlic, 1 lemon and butter) we were in a state of bliss and seriously considered stopping on down the road at Romy's to do a comparison, but ultimately decided to save room for shave ice at Matsumoto's later in the day.

                      2. gosh.. there's a whole nuch of srimp trucks that all say "shrimp truck" hahah athere's a particular one that i like and i think it may read "shrim truck" on it.. unfortunately though i don't think it's where you say you saw that one... the one i like is the one with the live shrimp "farm" on location...

                        1. Giovanni's is in Kahuku, way down near Turtle Bay. I am not sure what the name of the one in Haleiwa is, may have to go take a trip out there soon to check it out. But too many decisions to make in Haleiwa. Kua Aina for broke da mout burgers, Jamesons for the wop-your-jaw view from the lanai, Cholo's for mexican (not my fav,but still good), or just make a sticky mess of things with shave ice at matsumoto's. And now you tell me get ono kine shrimp at True Value parking lot.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            Hey, you gotta get stuff for your house anyway, so why not make two stops on one trip?

                            Is Killer Tacos on the outskirts of town on the highway still open? That was pretty good, IIRC.

                            1. re: KenWritez

                              yes it is! killer tacos is still open.... and they do have pretty good tacos.. i like them better than maui tacos.

                            2. re: KaimukiMan

                              My bad

                              I was in Haleiwa today, and there is a Giovanni's there, apparently they have two now. There was another one right next to it (blue water?), as well as one right accross the highway. All this is near the Mauka end of Haleiwa. There was no truck parked at True Value, but it was after 5 when we drove thru.

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                yep! they have two trucks now.... dont know exactly when that happened... pretty sure its near blue water..... you know if its any good at blue water?

                                1. re: kimcheesoup

                                  I think the second truck in Haleiwa popped up about a year and a half or so ago. I'm pretty sure the old truck that was parked up in Kahuku got moved to Haleiwa, and the one up in Kahuku is the newer truck in the older location.

                            3. well, i've been to both Giovanni's and Romy's... totally different experiences.

                              Giovanni's had more than two kinds of shrimp (at least when i went they did), maybe things have changed since? i'm not sure, but each place had good flavor, although, the prawns at Romy's were HUGE, i think i prefer Giovanni's flavor in comparison.

                              i think i'll go and re-visit just to make sure.

                              and, now they have another truck called "Blue Water shrimp" they have a truck on North Shore, and now one near UH... strange location if you ask me, but hey, maybe their food is good...... i still have to try.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: kimcheesoup

                                I appreciate you taking one for the team! ;)>

                                1. re: kimcheesoup

                                  Oh yeah, and they have the arts festival in Haleiwa this weekend too..... Sounds like a good excuse to go fooding

                                  1. re: kimcheesoup

                                    They also have a "Blue Water Shrimp" truck in Waikiki, in an empty makai lot near the Kalakaua end of Kuhio.

                                    It used to be pretty good when they started a year and a half ago. But last winter I stopped going when I noticed that they started overcooking the food (because it was not that fresh, maybe?).

                                    At the same time, they started catering more to the Japanese tourists, with special ads for them and front staff that spoke Japanese but barely understandable English.

                                    1. re: residenthawaii

                                      "and front staff that spoke Japanese but barely understandable English." Welcome to Waikiki! ;-)