Grilled Shishito Peppers

Grilled Shishito Peppers platingsandpairings.com

Grilled Shishito Peppers platingsandpairings.comAnyone up for a game of Russian roulette? Shishito peppers aren’t hot – except for when they are! It’s said that about one in 10 shishito peppers is a devil child spicy – Well, not really THAT hot, but a lot hotter than it’s siblings. Those peppers that get extra light or heat while growing are said to be a bit hotter than the others. You’ll know when you get one…

My boyfriend and I were out to eat at one of our favorite local restaurants, Radar. As is typical for us, we ordered several small plates so that we could sample it all – Oysters, Pork Shoulder, Bluefish Pate, Chicken Under a Brick, and of course, the peppers. The BF took one bite and his eyes watered up – “I’m not sure if I can eat this babe”. In the meantime, I had eaten three already and had to give him the look – “Are you crazy?” That’s when our waitress stepped up and asked – “How is everything? Did you get a hot one yet?” REDEMPTION.

Grilled Shishito Peppers platingsandpairings.com

Shishito peppers are slender and wrinkly with thin-skins and a bright green color. Slightly sweet in taste with a delicate texture, they’re like potato chips, you can’t eat just one! You can find these peppers in your local Asian market, farmers markets, and many grocery stores. My local Trader Joe’s just started carrying them as well *bonus* – Shishitos AND cheap wine!!! They’re a cinch to prepare. Just rub them with a little oil and toss them onto a hot grill or skillet to get them charred and blistered. Then sprinkle them with a bit of salt, plus any extra seasonings you might desire, and you’ve got the perfect finger food! Shishitos are great to share at summer parties and barbeques. Grab the stem, pop the pepper into your mouth and enjoy!

Grilled Shishito Peppers platingsandpairings.com

In this version, I give the shishitos a sprinkling of togarashi. Togarashi is a Japanese red pepper blend. The exact spices used vary slightly by maker but usually include powdered/flaked red chili pepper, black pepper, sesame seeds, dried mandarin orange peel, nori seaweed flakes, hemp seeds and poppy seeds. It’s available in most Asian markets or online. It’s got a great unique flavor and is typically used to spice up Asian noodle and yakitori dishes. I also sprinkle on some lemon juice on the peppers for some added brightness.

So, are you up for it? I dare you!

Grilled Shishito Peppers platingsandpairings.com

Grilled Shishito Peppers

Course: Vegetable
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Erin @ Platings & Pairings
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound shishito peppers washed and thoroughly dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon togarashi
  • Coarse sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Heat an indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat (375°F to 425°F).
  2. Place the peppers in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil; set aside.
  3. When the grill is ready, arrange the peppers in a single layer; reserve the bowl they were in.
  4. Grill the peppers uncovered, turning occasionally, until they charred and blistered, about 6 to 8 minutes total.
  5. Return the peppers to the bowl, and toss with togarashi and salt. Squeeze lemon over peppers, to taste. Serve immediately.

ERIN’s TIPS:

  • Puncture each pepper with a small hole before cooking — a fork tine will work just fine. This will allow steam to vent from the peppers as they cook and keep them from splitting.
  • Looking for a main course to go along with these ‘lil guys? Try this Sriracha Glazed Salmon.

Chicken Piccata platingsandpairings.com

ERIN’s PAIRINGS:

  • White: A crisp, clean Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy notes is an excellent companion for these nibbles.
  • Red: A Spanish Rioja is an easy drinking, food-friendly wine, perfect with pairing with tapas.Shishito Pin

9 comments

  1. Kristina

    THANK YOU!! I had something similar at a hotel in L.A. a couple years back, and I think of them often… I love these peppers, I cannot wait to try your recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Kristina – I’ve recently seen them popping up on happy hour menus all over town. It’s fun that they’re so easy to make at home!

      Reply

  2. Cyrus

    Erin I love grilled shishito peppers! Your recipe is such a nice take on it, but I can totally recommend this awesomeness to anyone that hasn’t tried it yet!

    Reply

  3. susan @ the wimpy vegetarian

    I love shishito peppers and you’re so right – eating them is a little like Russian roulette. But worth every bite. I love your simple preparation with togarashi. I’ve not grilled them, and need to try that. I always pan fry in a little olive oil.

    Reply

  4. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    Ohmygosh I loooove shishitos and didn’t know Trader Joe’s is carrying them – now the word is out! Yours looks delicious!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t it great that you can find them more mainstream now?! I LOVE Trader Joe’s!

      Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Nalesniki – I believe that the texture of the peppers would be quite modified by freezing them. I wouldn’t freeze them.

      Reply

  5. Todd

    OMG – that opening story cracked me up! I had a similar situation once with some friends and I. I enjoyed bragging I could handle hotter food than they – it was just I didn’t have the same dish like they though I did. 😛 I’ll have to try some of these out though. They look great. I’ve never had them before, but my brother I’m sure would love them.

    Reply

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