Honey Garlic Shrimp

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Are you looking for an easy and delicious dinner? This honey garlic shrimp recipe is a simple stir-fry ready in less than 30 minutes! The wok-fired seafood is tossed in a sweet and savory sauce.

Quick and easy recipe for honey garlic shrimp.

This one-pan honey garlic shrimp recipe is a quick and easy dish. It’s easy to prepare, even on the busiest days. Using Asian-inspired ingredients and succulent shrimp makes for a flavorful and exciting meal.

Briefly marinating the shrimp infuses umami flavors into the salty seafood. The crustaceans cook quickly in a hot wok, then simmers in a honey soy sauce to glaze the pieces. Serve alongside a bowl of rice and your favorite steamed vegetables for a complete meal.

Shrimp selection

For this recipe, purchase large fresh or frozen shrimp. I use 16/20 count per pound. It gives a hearty two-bite piece. Any smaller and they will cook too quickly and shrink significantly in the hot pan. Before cooking, peel and devein the shrimp. I leave the tail on for a pretty presentation, but it can easily be removed—the chefs choice.

Dry the raw shrimp with a paper towel to soak up excess moisture. Marinate the shrimp in soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper to enhance the taste. You only need 10 to 15 minutes to soak before cooking.

Make the sauce

The sauce is just two simple ingredients; soy sauce and honey. Using equal ratios of savory and sweet ingredients gives just the right balance of flavors. If you prefer a more robust sweetness, increase the honey to ⅓ cup. Pure maple syrup is a good substitution, especially if you want to make the dish paleo.

Cook the shrimp

Use a wok or large skillet for cooking the shrimp on the stovetop. Once the shrimp is finished marinating, it only takes 5 minutes to cook the protein. Use medium-high heat to sear the shrimp in hot olive oil. Drain off the marinade so the shrimp doesn’t splatter when you add it to the pan. Cook in a single layer for 1 minute.

The shrimp will turn opaque and be lightly golden on the surface. Give them a flip to cook the other side. You don’t want to thoroughly cook the pieces, as they will continue to simmer in the sauce. Add the fresh garlic and ginger, stir-frying for 30 seconds to release the aromas of the aromatic ingredients into the dish.

Reduce the sauce

Add the honey soy sauce to the hot pan. It will bubble, a good sign that the liquid is already evaporating. As the sauce reduces, the sugars will help it thicken up. A light glaze only takes a few minutes to form, coating the pieces for delicious bites.

If you like a sticker glaze, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the sauce mixture.

Serve this with

Frequently asked questions

How can I make the sauce spicy?

Add some red chili flakes, ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon, to the honey sauce. Chili paste or Sriracha will also kick up the heat level for a spicer taste. Start with ¼ teaspoon and increase to taste.

Can I make the sauce gluten-free?

It’s easy to swap the soy sauce for a gluten-free alternative. Look for gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for a sweeter taste.

Can I use a different sweetener?

Pure maple syrup is the best substitute for honey. Packed brown sugar is also a suitable swap with a slight molasses flavor.

Honey garlic shrimp served in a bowl with white rice, sliced carrots, and snow peas.

Using other garlic products

Freshly minced garlic gives the dish the most robust allium flavor and aroma. However, if you have none available, other pantry staples like dried or jarred come in handy. Dried products add a mellow, roasted note. Use ¾ teaspoon of dried minced garlic or powder. Jarred minced garlic or paste can be substituted for the same amount of fresh. I’ve noticed that the paste has a slightly sweeter taste.

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Honey Garlic Shrimp

Looking for a quick and easy dinner that's full of flavor? Try my recipe for honey garlic shrimp- this dish is perfect for busy weeknights!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Asian

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound shrimp, 16/20 count size, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ soy sauce, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sliced green onions
  • ½ teaspoon white sesame seeds

Instructions 

  • Defrost Shrimp – Place frozen shrimp in a colander and run under cold water until no longer icy, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, set them in a bowl and submerge in cool water until defrosted. Drain well, and then use paper towels to pat dry.
  • Marinate the Shrimp – In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, sesame oil, and black pepper. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid.
  • Make the Sauce – In a medium bowl, whisk together honey and ¼ cup soy sauce. Set aside.
  • Cook the Shrimp – Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, carefully add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook until they turn pinkish on the bottom and just start to curl, about 1 minute. Flip and cook for 1 minute.
  • Cook the Aromatics – Add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Reduce the Sauce – Add the sauce, and stir until the sauce reduces and lightly glazes the shrimp, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • To Serve – Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Video

Equipment

Notes

  • Storing: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Cover and microwave on high setting in 15-second intervals until warm.
  • Thicker Sauce: Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to the soy sauce and honey mixture.
  • Make it Gluten-free: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos for soy sauce.
  • Make it Paleo: Use coconut aminos for soy sauce and pure maple syrup for honey.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 196kcal (10%)Carbohydrates 18g (6%)Protein 23g (46%)Fat 4g (6%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0.01gCholesterol 183mg (61%)Sodium 140mg (6%)Potassium 326mg (9%)Fiber 0.2g (1%)Sugar 17g (19%)Vitamin A 16IUVitamin C 1mg (1%)Calcium 79mg (8%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Rob Mueller says

    Hi Jessica,
    Does the shrimp overcook as you reduce the sauce? Wouldn’t one want to remove the shrimp before reducing?

  2. Tom says

    Just saying – After making this twice, I have to agree with Rob. The sauce just does not get ‘glazy’ in 2 minutes when I do it. It takes about 6 minutes to get to what looks like a glaze to me. I removed the shrimp, then reduced the sauce, then added the shrimp back in for 30-45 seconds flipping them constantly. They were perfect. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but this works for me. Taste is SPOT ON. I love this recipe.

    • Tom says

      Watched the video again and maybe it’s the wok vs a pan (I do not have a wok), and it looks like you are cooking them much hotter than I was. Your sauce starts bubbling immediately, and mine does not.

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