Are you ready to embark on a culinary adventure that combines simplicity, flavor, and a touch of excitement? Look no further than my shishito peppers recipe paired with a delectable dipping sauce. These vibrant green peppers, known for their mild and slightly sweet taste, make for a delightful appetizer or side dish that will leave your taste buds craving more.
Originating from Japan, shishito peppers have gained popularity around the world for their unique flavor profile and versatile culinary uses. While they may look unassuming, these slender peppers hold a delightful surprise – a small percentage of them possess a gentle kick of heat, adding an element of surprise to every bite.
Shishito peppers are commonly served as an appetizer or side dish in Japanese cuisine. They are often pan-fried or grilled whole until they blister and char. The peppers are usually sprinkled with sea salt and served with a dipping sauce, such as soy sauce or a citrusy ponzu sauce. Eating shishito peppers is a somewhat interactive experience, as you can enjoy their flavor while occasionally encountering a spicy surprise.
- What are Shishito Peppers?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Shishito Peppers Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Shishito Peppers
- What to serve with Shishito Peppers
- Shishito Peppers Recipe Variations
- How to store Shishito Peppers
- Shishito Peppers Recipe Top tips
- Shishito Peppers Recipe
- Food safety
What are Shishito Peppers?
Shishito peppers are a type of small, thin-walled pepper that is popular in Japanese cuisine. They are typically green in color and measure about 2 to 4 inches in length. Shishito peppers have a wrinkled appearance and are often harvested while they are still green and immature.
These peppers are known for their mild to medium heat, although occasionally, one in ten peppers can be spicier than the rest. They have a unique flavor that is described as slightly sweet and smoky, with a hint of citrus. Many people enjoy the combination of the mild heat and distinct taste of shishito peppers.
Why you will love this recipe
There are several reasons why you might love this Shishito Pepper recipe:
- Simplicity: This recipe is simple and straightforward, requiring just a few ingredients and minimal preparation. It's a great option when you want a quick and easy dish.
- Unique flavor: Shishito peppers have a distinct flavor that is slightly sweet, smoky, and citrusy. When cooked and seasoned with salt, their flavor is enhanced, making them incredibly delicious.
- Mild heat with occasional surprises: Shishito peppers are known for their mild to medium heat, but every now and then, you might come across a pepper that packs a bit more spice. This element of surprise adds excitement and a touch of adventure to your meal.
- Versatility: Shishito peppers can be enjoyed as an appetizer, side dish, or even incorporated into various recipes. Their flavor pairs well with many cuisines and they can be used in stir-fries, salads, tempura, and more.
Shishito Peppers Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Shishito peppers
- Vegetable oil
- Rice vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Wasabi Paste
See recipe card for Shishito Peppers Recipe quantities.
How to make Shishito Peppers
Rinse the shishito peppers and pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.Add the vegetable oil to the hot pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom.
Carefully add the shishito peppers to the pan in a single layer. Make sure they are not overcrowded.
Sauté the peppers, stirring occasionally, until they blister and char slightly, about 5-7 minutes. The peppers should be tender and have a slight char on the outside.
Remove the pan from the heat and season the peppers with salt to taste. Transfer the cooked shishito peppers to a serving plate. In a bowl, add the mayonnaise, soy sauce, rice vinegar and wasabi paste and stir well.
Hint: Avoid overcrowding the skillet with too many peppers at once. It's important to give the peppers enough space to cook evenly and develop those desirable blistered spots.
What to serve with Shishito Peppers
- Dipping Sauces: Serve Shishito peppers with a variety of dipping sauces to add extra flavor. Some popular options include soy sauce, ponzu sauce (citrus-infused soy sauce), sesame sauce, or a spicy aioli.
- Grilled or Roasted Vegetables: Shishito peppers pair well with other grilled or roasted vegetables. You can serve them alongside grilled zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, or asparagus. The smoky flavors and textures complement each other nicely.
- Rice or Noodles: Serve Shishito peppers with steamed rice or noodles to create a more substantial dish. Japanese rice, fried rice, or soba noodles work well. You can toss the peppers and other vegetables together with the rice or noodles for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
- Shishito peppers: Padrón peppers are similar to shishito peppers in size and flavor. They have a mild to medium heat with a slightly sweet and smoky taste. Padrón peppers can be cooked and used in the same way as shishito peppers. If you prefer a milder option, you can use mini bell peppers. They are sweeter and have less heat compared to shishito peppers. While they won't have the same smoky flavor, they can still be charred and seasoned with salt for a tasty side dish. Banana peppers are another alternative that you can use. They are slightly larger and have a milder heat than shishito peppers. Banana peppers can be sliced and cooked until tender or used as a topping for various dishes.
- Mayonnaise: If you don't have mayonnaise or prefer an alternative, you can use Greek yogurt or sour cream as a substitute. They will provide a creamy base for the sauce.
- Rice Vinegar: If you don't have rice vinegar on hand, you can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar as a replacement. They will add a tangy flavor similar to rice vinegar.
- Soy Sauce: If you need a substitute for soy sauce, you can use tamari sauce or liquid aminos. These alternatives have a similar savory and salty taste to soy sauce.
- Wasabi Paste: If you don't have wasabi paste or prefer a different flavor, you can use horseradish sauce or Dijon mustard instead. Both will add a tangy and slightly spicy element to the dipping sauce.
Shishito Peppers Recipe Variations
- Garlic and Sesame Shishito Peppers: After blistering the peppers, add minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for a minute until fragrant. Sprinkle the peppers with toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving. This variation adds a nutty flavor and aromatic garlic to the dish.
- Citrus-infused Shishito Peppers: Squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice over the cooked shishito peppers for a burst of citrus flavor. The tanginess of the citrus enhances the overall taste and adds a refreshing element to the dish.
- Spicy Shishito Peppers: If you enjoy more heat, you can add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the peppers while they cook. This variation elevates the spiciness level and gives an extra kick to each bite.
- Asian-inspired Shishito Peppers: Create an Asian-inspired glaze by combining soy sauce, honey or brown sugar, minced ginger, and a splash of rice vinegar. Toss the cooked peppers in the glaze before serving to impart a sweet, savory, and tangy flavor profile.
Check out my Stuffed Anaheim Peppers Recipe.
To make my shishito peppers recipe, you don't require any specialized equipment. Here are the basic kitchen tools you'll need:
- Skillet or frying pan: A non-stick skillet or frying pan is ideal for cooking shishito peppers. Choose a size that allows the peppers to cook evenly without overcrowding.
- Spatula or tongs: You'll need a spatula or tongs to toss and flip the peppers while they cook. These tools help in ensuring that the peppers blister and char evenly.
- Cutting board and knife: A cutting board and a sharp knife are necessary for washing and preparing the peppers. You'll need to remove any stems or damaged parts before cooking.
- Mixing bowl (optional): If you're making a dipping sauce or planning to toss the cooked peppers in a sauce or seasoning, a mixing bowl will come in handy.
- Serving platter or dish: Once the peppers are cooked, you'll need a serving platter or dish to present them for serving.
How to store Shishito Peppers
To store my shishito peppers recipe and maintain their freshness, follow these steps:
- Assess the peppers: Check the peppers for any signs of damage or spoilage. Discard any peppers that are bruised, soft, or moldy.
- Refrigeration: Shishito peppers should be stored in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Place them in a perforated plastic bag or a breathable container to allow for proper air circulation.
- Unwashed and dry: It's best to store shishito peppers unwashed and dry. Moisture can lead to quicker spoilage, so avoid washing them until you are ready to use them.
- Proper temperature: Set your refrigerator to a temperature between 40°F (4°C) and 45°F (7°C). This temperature range helps maintain the quality and crispness of the peppers.
- Crisper drawer: Place the shishito peppers in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This drawer has higher humidity levels, which helps prevent the peppers from drying out.
- Use within a few days: Shishito peppers are best enjoyed within a few days of purchase or harvest. As time passes, they may start to lose their crispness and flavor.
- Freezing (optional): If you have an abundance of shishito peppers and want to extend their shelf life, you can freeze them. Wash, dry, and remove any stems or seeds. Place the peppers in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible. Frozen shishito peppers can be used directly in cooked dishes without the need for thawing.
Shishito Peppers Recipe Top tips
- Select fresh peppers: Choose shishito peppers that are firm, shiny, and vibrant green in color. Avoid peppers that are discolored, wrinkled, or have soft spots.
- Preheat the skillet: Before adding the peppers to the skillet, make sure it is properly preheated over medium-high heat. This helps in achieving the desired blistering and char on the peppers.
- Don't overcrowd the pan: Avoid overcrowding the skillet with too many peppers at once. It's important to give the peppers enough space to cook evenly and develop those desirable blistered spots.
- Toss or stir occasionally: As the peppers cook, toss or stir them occasionally to ensure even cooking and prevent them from burning. This helps in achieving an evenly charred and blistered texture.
- Be cautious of the heat level: While shishito peppers are generally mild, occasionally, one pepper can be spicier than the others. Keep this in mind and be prepared for a potential spicy surprise when eating them.
- Serve immediately: Shishito peppers are best enjoyed when they are hot and fresh off the skillet. Serve them immediately after cooking to retain their crispy texture and flavors.
- Experiment with seasonings: While simple sea salt is a traditional seasoning for shishito peppers, feel free to experiment with other seasonings to enhance their flavor. Try adding spices like paprika, garlic powder, or chili powder, or sprinkle them with furikake (a Japanese seasoning blend) for added umami.
- Explore dipping sauces: Along with the traditional mayonnaise-based dipping sauce, feel free to explore other dipping sauce options. Try a citrusy ponzu sauce, a sesame soy sauce, or even a spicy aioli to accompany the peppers.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove