~ Blistered Shishito Peppers are a headliner on restaurant appetizer menus these days, but they’re actually super easy to make at home! You basically need 1 ingredient and about 10 minutes – that’s it! Always a splashy, attention-grabbing appetizer … and great as a side dish, too. ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Vegan (and Vegetarian) • Gluten Free • Paleo •
Wanna up your veggie game? Feel all trendy and on-point (awwww … look at you, trendsetter!), while also serving up something you can feel great about?
Two words: shishito peppers
They’re showing up on restaurant menus everywhere, and for great reason: they’re fun to eat and shockingly, addictively delicious!
• They’re crazy-simple to make, nearly impossible to mess up.
• They basically require just one ingredient: peppers! (Plus a little oil and salt, which nobody really counts, anyway.)
• And, they’re ready in about 10 minutes flat.
They’re a no-brainer appetizer or even a unique veggie side dish.
Keep a bag of peppers on hand in the crisper (they last great for usually a week or more) … and you can whip up a batch of blistered shishito peppers at a moment’s notice. (And everyone will be so impressed with your edgy, restaurant-style cooking)!
Oh … and the extra-fun part about shishito peppers is that they’re kind of like a culinary game of Russian roulette! Here’s what I mean …
Are Shishito Peppers Hot?
These guys definitely look like they could be a bit spicy, but in general they’re actually pleasantly mild and flavorful. (Most of the time!)
As the website PepperScale explains, shishitos typically have a Scoville rating of only 50 – 200 SHU, which means they’re really not noticeably hotter than a regular bell pepper. And they’re far, far less spicy than the jalapeños so many people love.
But here’s the fun little catch that actually makes them a terrific ice breaker for an appetizer party: about 1 shishito out of every 10-20 is surprisingly somewhat hotter than the rest.
You might nibble your way through an entire batch and not score a kicky one. Or … it could be the very first one that your shishito-newbie friend grabs from the platter.
There’s absolutely no way to know.
Now before you panic, it’s important to understand that when I say “hotter,” we’re still not talking blisteringly hot. Allegedly, the “hot” shishito peppers still aren’t technically even as hot as a jalapeño. But it’s still a surprising little pop of heat, whenever you do happen to be the “lucky winner”!
No matter how many times I serve these, it never fails to be a great topic of conversation whenever somebody “scores” a “hot” one!
Great party food, for sure!
How to Cook Shishito Peppers
But, I love the speed and ease of simply blistering them in a skillet on a stove (kind of like what I do with the bell peppers in my Lightning Ravioli recipe).
No need to fire up the oven or grill. Easy as can be.
And, unlike when I roast bell peppers in the oven at high heat, so they still have a bit of firmness, I prefer a lower, medium-level cooking temp with shishitos because I want them to be both blistered outside but also really tender inside.
Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
I normally reach for my favorite nonstick skillet for this recipe, although I’ve also tested it successfully in a regular, heavy, full-clad stainless steel skillet.
Most importantly, I recommend not overcrowding the pan to the point where your peppers are piled on top of each other. You want each of your peppers to have plenty of room to get a great sear.
Cook your peppers whole. Don’t remove the stems or core them – just dump them right into your skillet. (See how super-easy this is?!?!?)
Toss the peppers (and a little salt) really, really well with the oil so the shishitos are completely coated in hot oil.
Pro Tip: It doesn’t take much oil for this to happen, but getting a complete coating of oil on each shishito is key to getting a great sear on your peppers.
Cook the shishito peppers for about 9-10 minutes, until they’re blistered and seared to your liking. (We like ours to be mostly soft and quite tender.)
Stir them frequently to be sure they blister all over.
You’ll hear them popping and sizzling merrily as they cook. They’ll also begin to change from the vibrant, bright green of raw peppers to a more translucent yellow-green. That’s a cue that they’re nearly ready.
And, as the steam builds up inside each pepper toward the end of cooking, you might notice some of them puffing up right before the moment when they collapse into a beautifully tender, blistered finish. Once most of them appear to have collapsed, that’s another handy cue that they’re probably done to perfection (again … if you like them soft and tender like I do).
Toss the finished peppers with another 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt and serve ’em up immediately!
Mmmmmmm … so yummy! Gosh, I love these!
How to Serve Your Blistered Shishito Peppers
I like to offer these peppers on a cute serving platter with a little bowl alongside for people to discard the pepper stems as they munch their way through the pile of shishitos.
And, honestly, I never bother with sauces or other condiments. This simple shishito pepper recipe is so darn flavorful just as it is – we don’t feel like we need anything else to finish it off.
If you wanna play around with options, though, you could start with just a squeeze of lime or a drizzle of soy sauce.
Of course, if you wanna get a little more complicated, you can offer your favorite Asian-style dipping sauce or dressing alongside.
To build a meal around these yummy peppers, try serving them as either an appetizer or side with Asian-inspired mains like:
- Red-Miso Salmon with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
- Super-Fast Asian Salmon Pasta
- Asian Salmon Burgers with Avocado and Hoisin
So, so good … no matter how you serve ’em! (Can you tell I’m totally in love with these?!?!)
Are Shishito Peppers Hot?
Mostly not at all. They’re sweet and tangy and far milder than common jalapeños. EXCEPT … one pepper out of every 10-20 is noticeably a bit spicier. Not HOT exactly, but definitely hotter than the rest – a bit like a fun game of veggie roulette!
Are Shishito Peppers Japanese?
Yep! Shishito Peppers originally hail from Japan (and, as PepperScale explains, may have roots leading back to the Spanish Padrón pepper). But these days, they’re common on restaurant menus across America, and are becoming more and more easy to find in supermarkets nearly year-round, as well.
Do You Remove the Stems and Seeds from Shishito Peppers?
Nope! Typically, you’ll see shishito peppers prepared whole (as I do in this recipe).
You don’t need to remove the stems for cooking.
The stems are actually like perfect little handles for picking up the peppers – and you can simply discard them (like you would the tail on a cocktail shrimp) after eating the rest of the pepper, including the seeds.
Should Blistered Shishito Peppers Still Be Firm, or Are They Soft?
Although some shishito pepper recipes suggest cooking them only to a point where they’re still somewhat firm, we prefer ours a bit softer. Not mushy, of course – but a little more tender and silky. By cooking shishitos on the stovetop as I do in my version, you can easily control this – simply keep an eye on your peppers as you stir them, and add or subtract a couple of minutes from the cook time so they’re precisely how you like them.
This shishito pepper recipe is deliciously on-trend … and couldn’t be easier to make!
Keep some raw shishitos in your fridge at all times, and you can whip up a beautifully simple, surprisingly addictive, ready-to-impress dish in mere moments!
And pssssst … did you win “Pepper Roulette”????
Love the Recipe? • Were My Tips Helpful?
Please leave a star-rating in the recipe card below – I truly appreciate all your wonderful feedback!
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces shishito peppers
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add peppers whole (do not remove stems or seeds), and toss to coat completely in hot oil. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Cook peppers, stirring frequently to be sure peppers are seared and blistered all over, for 9-10 minutes (or until peppers are done to your liking). You will see the peppers change from a rich, bright green to a more yellow-ish green and may notice some of them puff up with internal pressure before they deflate and are beautifully tender.
- Toss with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt (or to taste), and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.