Blistered Shishito Peppers

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Just 10 minutes and four ingredients to the most delicious blistered shishito peppers ever – just like at a restaurant!

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Easy Smoky Shishito Peppers

Blistered shishito peppers have become a popular dish in many restaurants and homes due to their unique flavor and the element of surprise they bring to the table. Shishito peppers are small, thin-skinned peppers that originate from Japan. When cooked, they develop a mild, slightly sweet flavor with a hint of smokiness, and their thin skins blister and char easily, adding an extra layer of texture and flavor. However, shishito peppers are famous for their unpredictability; while most of them are mild, about one in every ten peppers is significantly spicier, providing a fun and adventurous eating experience.

To prepare blistered shishito peppers, the peppers are typically tossed in a bit of oil and cooked in a hot skillet or on a grill until they are charred and blistered on all sides. This cooking method brings out the peppers’ natural sweetness and adds a smoky flavor. They are then seasoned with salt and often a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to enhance their flavor. Blistered shishito peppers can be served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish, and they pair well with a variety of foods, including grilled meats, rice dishes, and noodles. They can also be dipped in various sauces, such as soy sauce or a garlic aioli, for an extra kick of flavor. Whether you’re a fan of mild peppers or enjoy the occasional spicy surprise, blistered shishito peppers offer a delicious and exciting eating experience.

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How to Make Grilled Shishito Peppers

First you will need to assemble:

  • Shishito peppers (12 oz) – Shishito peppers offer a mildly sweet and smoky flavor, with a hint of grassiness, and an occasional unexpected spiciness.
  • Olive oil (2 tbsp) – Olive oil adds a rich, fruity, and slightly peppery taste, which can enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
  • Celtic sea salt (2 tsp) – Celtic sea salt provides a briny flavor with a hint of minerality, contributing to a more complex and balanced seasoning.
  • Adobo seasoning (1 tsp) – Adobo seasoning offers a savory, slightly spicy, and garlicky flavor, with hints of onion, cumin, and sometimes a touch of citrus, adding depth and warmth to dishes.

Use this Method

Blister. Heat oil in a heavy pan on medium high heat. Add shishito peppers to oil (be careful, they will “spit” a bit) Flip shishitos after 2-3 minutes when blistered. Rotate shishitos as they cook on all sides, rotating until blistered on all sides.

Toss and Serve. Remove peppers from pan and toss with salt or optional spices.

green peppers blackened

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Peppers

Selecting Peppers: Look for bright green, firm shishito peppers without any wrinkling or soft spots.

Washing and Drying: Rinse the peppers thoroughly and make sure to pat them completely dry before cooking to ensure even blistering.

Poking Holes: Use a knife to make a small slit or poke holes in the peppers before cooking. This helps release steam and prevents them from bursting in the pan.

High Heat: Use high heat to cook the peppers. A hot pan or grill helps them blister and char quickly, developing their signature flavor and texture.

Don’t Overcrowd: Cook the peppers in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lead to steaming instead of blistering.

Keep Them Moving: Toss or flip the peppers frequently while cooking to ensure even blistering on all sides.

Minimal Oil: Use just a light coating of oil. Too much oil can make the peppers greasy.

Seasoning: Season the peppers immediately after cooking while they are still hot. This helps the seasoning stick to the peppers better.

Use Coarse Salt: Coarse salt like sea salt or kosher salt adds a nice texture and enhances the flavor of the blistered peppers.

Add Acid: A squeeze of lemon or lime juice right before serving brightens up the flavors and balances the dish.

Serve Immediately: Blistered shishito peppers are best enjoyed fresh out of the pan when they are still warm and have a nice char.

Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces on the side for guests to enjoy. Soy sauce, ponzu, or a spicy mayo can add an extra layer of flavor.

Garnishes: Garnish with additional ingredients like shaved bonito flakes, sesame seeds, or chopped herbs for added texture and flavor.

Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to experiment with different seasonings and flavors. Try tossing the peppers in a miso glaze or sprinkling them with togarashi for a different twist.

Spice Level: Remember that about one in every ten shishito peppers will be significantly spicier than the others. It’s part of the fun, but it’s something to be mindful of, especially for those who are sensitive to heat.

Cooking Alternatives: While pan-blistering is the most common method, you can also grill, broil, or roast shishito peppers for a different flavor profile.

Serving Size: Account for about 6-8 shishito peppers per person if serving as an appetizer.

Pairing: Consider the other dishes you are serving and pair the peppers accordingly. They work well with Asian-inspired dishes, grilled meats, and light salads.

Storing Leftovers: If you have leftover blistered shishito peppers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat them gently in a pan over low heat to retain their texture.

Enjoy the Surprise: Embrace the unpredictable nature of shishito peppers and enjoy the occasional spicy one!

FAQs

Do you need to remove the seeds from shishito peppers?

No, you do not need to remove the seeds from shishito peppers before cooking or eating them. The seeds are small and not very noticeable when eating.

Are shishito peppers supposed to be spicy?

Shishito peppers are typically mild, but there is a chance that one in every ten peppers will be significantly spicier. This is part of their appeal for many people.

Can you eat the skin of shishito peppers?

Yes, the skin of shishito peppers is thin and edible. The blistering process makes the skin char and develop flavor, making it a delicious part of the pepper.

How do you know when blistered shishito peppers are done cooking?

Blistered shishito peppers are done when they have charred, blistered spots on all sides and have softened slightly. They should still retain some crispness.

Can I make blistered shishito peppers ahead of time?

Blistered shishito peppers are best served fresh, but if necessary, you can make them ahead of time and reheat them gently in a skillet before serving.

How do I store leftover blistered shishito peppers?

Store leftover blistered shishito peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Are shishito peppers healthy?

Yes, shishito peppers are low in calories and contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and other nutrients. However, they are usually cooked with oil and salt, which adds to their calorie and sodium content.

green peppers blackened

What to Enjoy with your Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers are a popular appetizer or side dish, and they pair well with a variety of foods. Here’s a list of ideas for what to serve with shishito peppers:

Grilled Meat or Seafood: Shishito peppers have a mild, sweet flavor with a slight smokiness when grilled or charred, making them a great accompaniment to grilled chicken, beef, pork, or seafood.

Rice or Grain Dishes: Serve the peppers alongside a bowl of steamed rice, fried rice, or a grain salad such as quinoa or farro salad.

Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces like soy sauce, ponzu sauce, or a garlic aioli for an extra kick of flavor.

Noodles: Pair shishito peppers with a bowl of soba noodles, udon, or any other Asian-style noodle dish.

Tempura: Include shishito peppers as part of a tempura platter with other vegetables and seafood.

Cheese: Try serving blistered shishito peppers with a soft cheese like burrata or goat cheese.

Tacos: Add grilled shishito peppers to tacos for a unique twist.

Salads: Toss grilled or sautéed shishito peppers into a salad for a burst of flavor.

Pizza: Top your pizza with shishito peppers for a sweet and smoky flavor.

Sushi: Serve shishito peppers as a side to sushi or sashimi.

Crostini: Top crostini with a spread like ricotta or goat cheese and add sautéed shishito peppers.

Dips: Mix sautéed or grilled shishito peppers into dips like hummus or guacamole.

Pickles: Serve pickled shishito peppers as a tangy and spicy side.

Sandwiches or Burgers: Add grilled shishito peppers to sandwiches or burgers for an extra layer of flavor.

Eggs: Incorporate sautéed shishito peppers into omelets, scrambles, or frittatas.

Stir-Fries: Include shishito peppers in stir-fries with other vegetables and your choice of protein.

Skewers: Thread shishito peppers onto skewers with other vegetables and meat or seafood, and grill them.

Flatbreads: Use shishito peppers as a topping on flatbreads or focaccia.

Pasta: Add sautéed shishito peppers to pasta dishes for a sweet and mild heat.

Ceviche: Serve blistered shishito peppers alongside ceviche for a unique combination of flavors.

Try these other favorite texmex recipes:

Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe

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Blistered Shishito Peppers

Just 10 minutes and four ingredients to the most delicious blistered shishito peppers ever – just like at a restaurant!
Course Grilled Vegetables
Cuisine Asian
Keyword grilled vegetables, mexican, spicy, texmex, vegetables
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 177kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a heavy pan on medium high heat.
  • Add shishito peppers to oil (be careful, they will "spit" a bit)
  • Flip shishitos after 2-3 minutes when blistered.
  • Rotate shishitos as they cook on all sides, rotating until blistered on all sides.
  • Remove peppers from pan and toss with salt or optional spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 2545mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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