Cooking With Confidence
shishito_feature
Appetizers, Economical, Gluten Free, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Seafood, Spicy

Charred Shishito Peppers

by Nick

One of the cuisines that Betsy and I frequently choose when we rarely go out to eat is sushi. It’s just really hard to reproduce good sushi at home and I also love watching sushi chefs work. It’s truly an art.

I like to get some edamame as an appetizer when we go out for sushi but recently I’ve been obsessed with these little charred peppers: shishito peppers. They are spicy, but not super spicy, and usually served with some fun toppings and spicy/savory dipping sauces. I never thought to try to make them at home until I saw a big bin of the peppers at Whole Foods recently. They were cheap and so I grabbed a few handfuls and figured I would give it a shot at home.

While I probably won’t get into sushi making at home anytime soon, you can bet I’ll make these any time I need an appetizer for an Asian-style meal because they are insanely addictive and take just a few minutes.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Charred Shishito Peppers

Ingredients

  • 18-20 shishito peppers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds
  • Bonito flakes
  • Sriracha sauce

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) Rinse peppers well, dry them, and toss them with both kinds of oil.

2) Get a large cast iron skillet hot over medium high heat and add in all the peppers. Be sure to turn on the fan over your stove as it might get a little smokey.

3) Let peppers char for 2-3 minutes and stir once so they are charred on all sides.

4) When peppers are lightly charred all around, remove from pan and add to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 2-3 minutes.

5) Drizzle peppers with soy sauce and plate. Cover with a liberal topping of sesame seeds and bonito flakes and serve with sriracha chili sauce.

Interesting Peppers

These peppers aren’t really expensive, but they can be a bit tricky to find. Like I said, I happen to find some at Whole Foods, but you can probably call around to Asian grocers as well and have good luck finding some fresh ones.

These peppers are mild although I found that some were fairly spicy which is fun. They also have a lot of crags so they char in random spots.

shishito

The Shishito

When you are ready to cook the peppers, rinse them and dry them well and then toss them with some vegetable oil and sesame oil. You want a very light coat of oil on the peppers.

oil

Oiled

Then just add the peppers to a hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. These will need to char for about five minutes and you should stir them a few times as they cook to make sure they are cooking evenly.

One note about this is that the peppers will probably smoke a bit as they char so make sure to turn on your vent over the stove or open a few windows.

You can also easily do these on the grill if you happen to be grilling.

charred

This might get a little smokey.

When they are done, they’ll look something like this!

char

Perfect char.

Once the peppers are charred, add the peppers back to the bowl and drizzle with some soy sauce. Then cover them with plastic wrap and let them steam for just a few minutes. This will soften them up a bit further. Don’t let them steam for more than a minute or two though or they will get mushy.

The Toppings!

Honestly, you don’t need a ton of toppings for these guys because they have really nice flavor on their own, but I think these three toppings are very fun.

toppings

Fun toppings

Sesame seeds and sriracha are pretty common but you may not have used bonito flakes before. Basically they are a smoked and dried fish (mackerel) that is then sliced paper thin. The flakes literally dissolve in your mouth and have a savory and smokey flavor. You can find bags of them in the Asian section of most grocery stores these days.

A healthy dose of these on the peppers takes them to the next level for sure.

Bonito

Savory as it gets.

Once the peppers are tossed with soy sauce and steamed, I just pile them high and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds and bonito flakes.

Serve with the chili sauce on the side.

shishito peppers

From above

Honestly, I ate almost all of these by myself, but 4-5 peppers is probably a good appetizer serving so a big plate like this will easily feed four people.

You might be a little scared to bite into a whole pepper, but trust me that they are mild and wonderful with just enough spice to get you sweating.

bite

CHOMP.

Has anyone had these before? Am I the only one who is obsessed? Leave a comment!

Share this post!

14 comments on “Charred Shishito Peppers

  1. This looks really good and want to try but what would be a good alternative to Bonito flakes, or would the sesame seeds alone be just fine?

  2. This sounds delicious. I am definitely trying it as soon as I get to Whole Foods and find the peppers. Instructions are really clear.

  3. I am obsessed with these as well, had them for the first time recently in NYC at a Peruvian/ Asian fusion restaurant ! Hopefully I can find some at my local Asian market.

  4. Yum yum yum – I LOVE shishito peppers. I usually just top them with lemon juice and salt, but your toppings look fantastic!

  5. Will have to try! Speaking of sushi making, you might enjoy this doc film called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Pretty amazing!

  6. Hey – I haven’t tried these peppers yet but I believe I can find them at the local farmer’s market. I’m lucky here in Atlanta – we have the Buford Highway Farmers Market and it is world class. I sort of consider myself a chili head and I think I may need to try to make the recipe this week! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Thanks! Billy

  7. I haven’t seen these at a supermarket yet, but I saw them on a menu yesterday (Rustico 22201), so I ordered them. They were salted and served with lemon yogurt for dipping. The yogurt had black pepper and toasted mustard seeds in it. They were charred with too much oil in my opinion, but the dip was awesome.

  8. I love these so much I have 3 plants growing in my garden this summer. I have more peppers than I can eat. Cheap for whole foods is still too much $ if you are obsessed! Grow your own.

  9. we have used the Padron
    peppers from spain…..very seasonal…..
    and a bit smaller. they have a little bite, , and
    are prepared the same way….just add coarse salt….
    Yummy.

  10. Eating these at Citizens Burger in Charlottesville, Va and the drizzle a sweet soy over them! Can’t stop eating them! I’d love to make them but can’t seem to find them anywhere! We live in CT and tried Whole Foods and an Asian market. Any suggestions?

  11. I had these at a bar in Okinawa, Japan and have often wondered if I could ever find them again. I found them at Albertsons just today and looked here to see how to fix them. Thank you. My husband saved some of the seeds to grow. Can’t wait to see how they turn out for me.

Leave a Comment