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Honey garlic shrimp – How to cook (best Asian flavor)

I enjoy eating this honey garlic shrimp not only because it is mouth-watering. This luscious shrimp coated with the glossy gravy is so easy to make. Once you have marinated the shrimp, it can be on your dinner table in fifteen minutes.

This bouncy shrimp with a slight hint of a crunch is plump, juicy, and toothsome. The meat is imbued with honey and soy with a splash of Shaoxing wine. You will not regret to include this easy honey garlic shrimp recipe into your dinner rotation. 

The mouth-watering honey garlic shrimp are coated with the gravy with soy and honey. Ready in 15 minutes once marinated.

Honey garlic shrimp is not an Asian dish in the strictest sense. However, pan-frying with a skillet is closely resemble stir-frying with a wok. Moreover, light soy sauce, a typical Asian seasoning, is one of the main ingredients along with honey. 

I use Shaoxing wine, coriander, and scallion, and a squeeze of lime juice in the recipe, which are all familiar ingredients to the Asian. 

Asian cooking uses maltose rather than honey to cook most of the dishes. Although most of the Asian do not use honey for cooking, many desserts are made with honey. Due to the similarities, I think it will be well accepted by Asians, especially the Chinese. 

Here is my version of garlic and honey shrimp. Let me show you all the details, step by step. 

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How to prepare Chinese style honey garlic shrimp 

The preparation of honey and garlic shrimp is straightforward. You can jump straight to the recipe below, but I suggest you take some time to read through the following section for the details. 

1. Marinate the shrimp 

Since I intend to cook the shrimp without shell, it is more appropriate to use a medium-size shrimp as small-sized shrimp may shrink further and become less presentable. 

  • Devein the shrimp and remove the head and the shell, and keep the tail intact. This way, the shrimp will look more presentable and yet still quite convenient to eat. 
  • After cleaning the shrimp, drain it in a colander and pat dry with a dry cloth and paper towel. Since I want to use soy sauce to marinate the shrimp, it is best to keep it as dry as possible so that the marinade will not be diluted and not getting splatter during pan-frying.
  • Marinate the shrimp with the Chinese light soy sauce and cornstarch for about 20 minutes. 

2. Pan-fry (or grill) the shrimp until slightly charred 

After the shrimp is well marinated, you have a choice to either pan-fried or grill. I would suggest using a non-stick pan to pan-fry the shrimp. It does require less oil and eliminates the potential problem of sticking to the pan. 

The shrimp taste better when it is lightly charred on the surface. This effect can only achieve if the shrimp are dry when pan-frying over medium to high heat. The pan must be hot enough so that the shrimp is charred quickly, and yet the is not over-cooked.

Another method is to use a grill pan for cooking the shrimp. I find that both ways are working well. 

Use Shaoxing wine and Chinese light soy sauce 

  • While marinating the shrimp, mix two parts of Chinese light soy sauce and three parts of honey for the shrimp. 
  • Chop some garlic coarsely. The amount of garlic does not need to be exact, and there’s no harm to add more. I use three large cloves of garlic for one pound of unshelled shrimp. 
  • Saute the garlic with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Be careful not to burn the garlic because it will taste bitter. 
  • Saute the garlic until fragrant. Add the combination of light soy sauce and honey to the garlic.
  • If you like spicy food, add a teaspoon of chili flakes at this stage. 
  • Cook down the sauce over low to medium heat until it turns into a thick spoon-coating gravy. 

The original volume of the sauce will be reduced to about one third to achieve the desired consistency. 

Add the chopped coriander stalk and chili flakes for extra flavor 

  • Now add the cooked shrimp and tumbled in the thick gravy until it glazes the surface all over.
  • Add a tablespoon of finely chopped coriander stem, and about a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine. Turn up the heat and flash fry for 20 seconds. 
  • Remove from heat. Add the coriander leaves (cilantro) and scallions, and squeeze the juice from one large lime. (You can use lemon instead of lime to turn it into lemon garlic shrimp.)
  • Mix well and serve immediately. 

The honey garlic shrimp is best to serve with steamed rice and some vegetables. It is also a great way to serve on a plate of pasta or noodles. 

Other related recipes

If you like honey, look up for the sesame chicken with honey on this blog. You may be interested also to make the castella cake, in which honey is an integral ingredient. If you prefer looking for more recipes with garlic, sauteed green bean with garlic and dried shrimp is one authentic Chinese recipe you should try. Another great vegetarian dish is eggplant with garlic sauce.

Honey Garlic shrimp thumbnail

Honey garlic shrimp

Yield: 12 shrimps
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

I enjoy eating honey garlic shrimp, not only because it is mouth-watering, but this luscious shrimp coated with the glossy gravy is so easy to make. Once you have marinated the shrimp, it can be on your dinner table in fifteen minutes. Here is my version of garlic and honey shrimp. Let me show you all the details, step by step.


Marinate (A)

  • 345g medium-sized shrimp (weight after devein, with tail)
  • 2 tsp of light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of cornstarch

Gravy (B)

  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

Others (C)

  • 3 large cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander stalk
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced scallion
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (optional)
  • Some coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1 large lime


  1. Remove the shrimp head and shell. Devein and keep the tail intact. Combine A and marinate for 30 minutes. honey garlic shrimp - marinate
  2. Pat dry. Pan-fry the shrimp with a non-stick pan over medium to high heat until the surface is slightly charred. honey garlic shrimp - pan fry shrimp
  3. Saute the garlic with oil until aromatic. Add B and the shrimp juice collected earlier. Add the chili flakes and cook down to form a thick gravy. honey garlic shrimp - honey and soy gravy
  4. Return the cooked shrimp to the pan. Add the chopped coriander stalk and flash fry for 20 seconds.
  5. Remove from heat. Add the lime juice, coriander leaves, and scallion. Dish out and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 shrimp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 516mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 8/4/2020

KP Kwan

Thursday 6th of August 2020

All the best :)


Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Looks delicious! Have to buy shrimp first-- Thank you! Looks like worth 5 stars! Have to be extra careful shrimp is not overcooked---Thanks again.

KP Kwan

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Hi Francine, All the best and wish you will enjoy the shrimp KP Kwan

Joan Murray

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

I love all your recipes.

KP Kwan

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

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