The Palamanui Palate: Pupus for your holiday platter

  • Island stylin' shrimp. (Chef Paul Heerlein/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Editor’s note: The Palamanui Palate is a monthly column by staff in the Hawaii Community College – Palamanui’s culinary arts program.

Like Bubba in the movie “Forrest Gump” said, “shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That, that’s about it.”


Bubba didn’t mention my Island Stylin’ Shrimp recipe specifically, but that’s OK. If he ever returns to Kona, I’ll serve some up for him.

Shrimp is frequently served at holiday gatherings, and in this month’s column I’d like to share my recipe for Island Stylin’ Shrimp that you could prepare and impress your ohana with this holiday season.

It’s a fairly simple appetizer and has that magic combination of butter, garlic and lemon that always work well together. What I like to do is skewer the shrimp, alternating with chunks of local Sharwil or Kahaluu avocado for a delicious island style-treat. You can use my Island Stylin’ 6-pepper Salt available at stores locally or just use salt and pepper.

Make it truly island style by getting your shrimp and other ingredients from local sources! Enjoy…

Island Stylin’ Shrimp

Serves 5, appetizer portions

25 pieces, 21/25 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon Island Stylin’ or 1.5 teaspoon salt and pepper

1 clove garlic, finely diced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon unsalted cold butter

Heat a sauté pan over low heat and add olive oil, garlic and Island Stylin’ and cook for about 30 seconds, careful not to brown the garlic. Add the shrimp and cook until almost done about 2 minutes per side, until opaque in the middle. Add the lemon juice remove from heat add butter and stir until completely combined. Arrange on a platter, top with the pan sauce.

Small bites

Congratulations to all the participants and winners of the recent Kona Coffee Cultural Festival KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest. The event was held at the Hawaii Community College – Palamanui campus for the first time this year, and it was great event. HCC – Palamanui student winners this year were Alice Petriyenko, first place in the sweet category for her Three Layer Coffee Cake, and Thomas Elarco, first place in the savory category for his Braised Coffee Beefshank with Autumn Vegetables. Both are excellent students with bright futures.

This past weekend was the 30th annual Christmas with the Chefs at the seaside luau grounds at The Courtyard by Marriot King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Mahalo to everyone who has participated in this event the past three decades and helped raise funds for HCC – Palamanui Culinary Arts students!


The Culinary Arts program at HCC – Palamanui hosts luncheons on several Fridays during the academic year. We invite you to enjoy our campus and the cuisine prepared by our students. Get on our email list to receive menus and to make reservations. Email Cathy Harlan at

Paul Heerlein is an associate professor of Culinary Arts at Hawaii Community College – Palamanui in Kona and on the board of the American Culinary Federation Kona-Kohala Chefs Association.