You may have come across Shishito peppers on the appetizer menu of a restaurant. These mini peppers are a great two-bite snack. Often they are dry roasted to produce a lovely char on spots which transforms the pepper to a tender pop of flavor that feels your mouth with a slight heat. Think of the sweet crunch of bell pepper with even more complex flavor. This is true for 95% of the peppers, but occasionally you will bite into a shishito pepper that bites back with some heat. Blistered Shishito Peppers with Dipping Sauce are a quick and simple appetizer.
About Shishito Peppers
Japanese shishito peppers (pronounced she she toe) are small finger-length peppers that are bright green in color and a wrinkled form that usually is slightly curled. On the Scoville scale, they are ranked just above a bell pepper or not spicy at all. The flavor is mellow, sweet, citrusy, grassy with a warm finish on the tastebuds. You can find them at farm markets or Asian markets in the produce section. Trader Joe, Sprouts, Harmons and Whole Foods carry them packaged all year round in the produce section.
Keep them in a crisper drawer of the refrigerator when you bring them home. They will last up to two weeks in the fridge, discard any peppers are starting to get soft spots. While you can substitute Shishito peppers for green bell peppers, the complex flavor really shines with a quick sear that blistered the skin and slightly roasts the pepper. You can eat the whole pepper, but I usually bite up to the stem end as it is a little tough. Spanish Padron peppers can be substituted for Shishito peppers as they are also a mellow, slightly sweet pepper.
Since the peppers have very thin skins, they blister and char very quickly making them a perfect appetizer for a meal. All it takes is a splash of neutral oil and a heavy cast iron pan. You can add minced garlic or lemon zest as you quickly toss the peppers until the skin begins to blacken and blister. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, and serve with this quick and easy dipping sauce. Start to finish the whole dish takes less than 15 minutes. And you won’t have to feel guilty eating as many peppers as you’d like. I plan on 6-8 peppers per person. Remember the key to blistered Shishito peppers is fast hot cooking so have your pan hot, and the peppers dry when added them to the pan. Toss as soon as the skin begins to char and remove them from the pan while they are still crunchy.Print
A simple appetizer that is quick to make and goes with all sorts of cuisines. The smoky flavor compliments the mellow sweet crunch of the Shishito peppers.
- 1 pound shishito peppers, washed and dried thoroughly
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Sriracha Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1–1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
- Wash and throughly dry the peppers.
- In a small bowl, combine Sriracha dipping sauce ingredients and stir well to combine. Spoon the sauce into a serve container and set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat. When the pan is very hot, carefully add 1/2 the peppers and cook until blistered on all sides. Turning the pepper gently to get an even char, about 2-4 minutes. Just before removing the peppers toss in 1/2 of the minced garlic and toss to coat the peppers. Remove peppers from the pan.
- Remove any stray minced garlic from the pan and allow pan to get hot. Repeat process with the second 1/2 of the peppers and garlic.
- Once all the peppers have been blistered. Sprinkle the warm peppers with sea salt and black pepper.
- Transfer the blistered peppers to a serving dish and serve with prepared Sriracha Dipping Sauce.
Cook the peppers until the skin is blistered, but the vegetable is still firm.
Keywords: shishito peppers, Sriracha sauce,