Honey Garlic Shrimp is an easy dinner idea that delivers a bang of flavor without fuss and stress. Serve with rice or lo mein noodles for Asian take-out at home or over cauliflower rice and vegetables for a healthy, well-rounded meal.
This shrimp is succulent, juicy, and doused in a sticky-sweet garlic sauce made up of simple ingredients. You've got fresh garlic, ginger, sweet honey, and chili flakes, all coating the shrimp like a glaze with extra sauce left behind to drizzle over rice, noodles, or veggies. It's a win-win!
Most recipes call for extra wait time in the form of marinating the shrimp. Boo that. We can testify this is by no means necessary, and thanks to our flavor-packed honey garlic sauce, you can get straight to cooking and right to eating. This easy shrimp recipe is ready in 15 minutes, and yes -- that includes your prep time.
WHAT TYPE OF SHRIMP TO BUY
It is important to pay attention to the size of the shrimp you are buying because size affects cook time. For this Honey Garlic Shrimp recipe, we recommend using shrimp with a shrimp count of 26/35. This means that there are approximately 26 to 35 shrimp of this size per pound.
Most of the time you will see shrimp with this shrimp count labeled as large shrimp, but shrimp labels can be fairly misleading. This is why we recommend going with the shrimp count over descriptive terms like medium-large, or extra-large.
You can use fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe, but we suggest only buying fresh if you are shopping on the day you plan to cook it, otherwise frozen is probably the better choice.
It may come as a bit of a shock, but frozen shrimp is often times fresher than the stuff you would buy from the seafood counter. Unless you live very close to the ocean, the "fresh" shrimp at your grocery store has most likely been frozen and thawed once already before it ever gets to you.
If you're buying from the seafood counter, do your best to avoid shrimp that smells like ammonia or feels especially soft or at all slimy.
If you're going the frozen route, be sure to set it out to thaw in a large bowl of cold water 20-30 minutes before you intend to start cooking your Honey Garlic Shrimp, to ensure it will be ready for use.
Another option you may see while shrimp shopping (who knew there were so many choices to be made, right?) is that of wild-caught vs. farm-raised.
Wild-caught means it was caught from it's natural ocean habitat, whereas farm-raised means the shrimp were raised in a tank. The main reason people gravitate toward wild-caught shrimp is that they will have a higher level of nutrients because of their access to a variety of fresh food sources.
HOW TO MAKE HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP
This dish cooks incredibly quickly, so you'll want to have your sauce ingredients measured and mixed before the shrimp goes into the pan. In a small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined. Set the sauce aside, and it's onto the shrimp!
We prefer to buy our shrimp already peeled and deveined as it is a big time saver, but if your shrimp are still in need of that little bit of prep, we just so happen to have some advice on peeling and deveining!
Like our Shrimp Mac and Cheese, this is a no-tails kind of recipe as this shrimp is real saucy, and it's best to use chopsticks or a fork. Without the tails, this Honey Garlic Shrimp can be easily mixed in and enjoyed with your rice or noodles, stress-free.
After the shrimp has been peeled, deveined, and tails removed, we need to remove the exterior moisture from the shrimp to ensure a proper pan sear.
The quickest way to do this is to lay down a few sheets of paper towels on a work surface, place the shrimp on the paper towels in a single layer, and then top with another couple of layers of paper towels. Press down on the shrimp to remove the excess moisture from its exterior. Removing any extra water clinging to the shrimp helps the oil and seasoning to stay put, better equipping the shrimp for a perfect pan sear! We also use this technique in our Roasted Shrimp recipe.
Transfer your shrimp to a medium size mixing bowl, drizzle with either olive oil or avocado oil, and season with kosher salt and garlic powder. Toss the shrimp until it is evenly coated with the oil and the spices, and move on over to the pan! Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of either olive oil or avocado oil.
You may have noticed sesame oil was called for in the sauce portion of this Honey Garlic Shrimp recipe. In this case, sesame oil is used for adding flavor. However, because of sesame oils' low smoke point, it is best to use an oil like avocado or olive oil for pan searing. For more pan-seared shrimp see our Stovetop Shrimp recipe.
Once your oil has come to temperature, place your shrimp in the skillet in a single layer and cook for about two minutes. Then, turn the shrimp and cook for about two minutes more. Do your best not to crowd the pan, and cook the shrimp in batches if necessary.
You'll know your shrimp is fully cooked once the tail end starts to curl in toward the shrimp's body. The interior of the shrimp should also be completely opaque, with no translucency whatsoever.
Once the shrimp come out of the pan, add in the minced garlic and grated ginger and sauté for about one minute.
Next, pour the honey soy sauce mixture into the pan and increase to the medium-high heat setting. Your Honey Garlic Shrimp is almost ready!
As soon as you see this mixture begin to simmer, add cornstarch and water to a small bowl and use the tines of a fork to whisk until combined. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir to combine. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes more and as soon as it has thickened up slightly, remove it from the heat. Add the shrimp back to the sauce and stir until the shrimp are evenly coated.
Loving these flavors? We love them so much that we also created a Honey Garlic Chicken recipe!
Serve your shrimp over white or brown rice, Asian noodles, or cauliflower rice, and garnish with green onions, chopped cilantro, and extra red pepper flakes if desired.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER HONEY GARLIC SHRIMP
Your Honey Garlic Shrimp will stay good for two days post-cooking, as long as it is refrigerated and stored in an airtight container.
6 MORE SHRIMP RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
- Shrimp Spaghetti
- Shrimp Pesto Pasta
- Shrimp Quesadillas
- Stuffed Shrimp
- Shrimp Sandwich
This Honey Garlic Shrimp recipe takes less than 20 minutes to make and the end result is better than your favorite take-out, guaranteed.
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound large shrimp (26/35 count), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, separated
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Chopped cilantro and green onions for garnish, if desired
Mix soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Set aside and prep the shrimp.
Pat the excess moisture away from the shrimp using a paper towel. Add the shrimp to a medium-sized mixing bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, add spices, and toss until evenly coated. Set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat and allow it to come to temperature. Then, add one single layer of shrimp, leaving a bit of space between each one.
Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip and cook for about 2 minutes more on the other side. Repeat the cooking process with any remaining shrimp. The shrimp are ready when completely opaque and semi-firm to the touch.
Once the shrimp are cooked and removed from the pan, add the garlic and ginger and saute for about 1 minute.
Pour the honey-soy sauce mixture into the pan, and increase the heat to medium-high.
Once the mixture reaches a simmer, use a fork to whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and stir. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 2-3 minutes, and as soon as it has slightly thickened, remove it from the heat.
Add the shrimp to the sauce and stir to coat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions, if desired.