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Pan Roasted (Blistered) Shishito Peppers + Dipping Sauce Ideas

I’ll get right to the point: we grow our own shishito peppers JUST to make this recipe! On repeat, all summer. We first discovered pan blistered shishito peppers a few years back, while dining at an upscale plant-based restaurant in San Diego for my birthday. I thought to myself, hot dang these are good! Never in my life would I imagine devouring an entire plate of peppers in one sitting. Just peppers. My next thought? These would be incredibly easy to make at home! Not to mention, for a fraction of the cost.

 

Follow along and learn how to make beautifully blistered, pan-roasted shishito peppers. It is so simple, I almost feel silly calling it a “recipe”. It’s nothing more than a handful of fresh shishito peppers, some oil and salt, and a little extra seasonings or sauce – if you desire. We enjoy ours , with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice upon serving!


Don’t grow your own? No problem! Thanks to the popularity of blistered shishito peppers, they are becoming increasingly easy to find. You should hopefully be able to find them at your local farmers market or grocery store. What was once a unique appetizer reserved for fancy restaurants can now be whipped up in your own kitchen in just a matter of minutes. 


But first, a quick primer on the peppers themselves…


What Are Shishito Peppers


Shishito peppers are small, thin-walled, kind of wrinkled or nobby peppers. You’ll mostly see shishitos harvested, sold and prepared green. Yet if they’re left long enough to grow on the plant, shishito peppers will eventually turn red. Like other peppers, shishitos are heat-loving summer crops – though they produce well in our climate with mild summers too! The thin delicate flesh of shishito peppers makes them perfect for fast cooking over high heat, such as pan-frying, roasting, or even grilling. 


What do shishito peppers taste like?

Shishitos are considered a mild pepper, reminiscent of fresh green peppers with a touch of sweetness. Once lightly charred, their unique flavor really comes to life! 


Are shishito peppers spicy?

No. Generally, shishito peppers are not spicy – with one caveat. It is said that about one out of every ten shishito peppers carries a surprising little kick of heat. Think of it as playing a very safe, fun game of Russian roulette when digging in to a dish of them!

It’s funny… in all our years of growing shishitos at home, they were always quite mild! Every single one. Then this year came along and gave us many hot ones! (Odd, like the rest of 2020 eh?) All in all, even the occasional “spicy” shishitos peppers are still far more mild than a jalapeño pepper. 


Pepper substitution

If you can’t get your hands on shishito peppers, try this recipe with Padrón peppers instead. They’re quite similar in texture and flavor – except that Padróns tend to turn up spicy more often than shishitos (more like 5 in 10, instead of 1 in 10).


Ready to get poppin’?


How to Cook Shishito Peppers


General tips

We love to pan roast our blistered shishito peppers in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat, which always achieves a stellar char. You can use any type of skillet for this recipe, but may want to increase the heat slightly to get the same results. Cast iron cookware gets extra hot!

High heat and fast cooking results in exceedingly fresh, crisp blistered shishito peppers. “Low and slow” cooking will result in soft, limp, overcooked peppers. Additionally, you could try to grill your peppers up outside, or toss them in the oven to broil. 


A birds eye view of a cast iron skillet full of partially blistered shishito peppers. Parts of the peppers have raised brown charred marks on them while the majority of the peppers are still vibrant green.


Instructions


  1. Wash your shishito peppers in advance. Either allow them to mostly air dry, or pat them dry if needed. We don’t want water going into the hot oily pan! Leave the stems on.
  1. Add the peppers to a mixing bowl. Next, drizzle olive oil over the peppers and toss – enough to lightly coat the peppers, but not a sopping drippy mess. You could totally add the oil right to the pan, but because shishito peppers are irregularly shaped, it can be tricky to get them coated well without also over-doing the oil. (I have also heard they’re excellent with sesame oil)
  1. Sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat evenly. Add a dash of black pepper if you desire, or use garlic salt for a fun twist. Go easy on the salt here though – you can always add more later once they’re plated. 
  1. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Get it nice and hot before adding the peppers, until it sizzles if you flick a dash of water over it. 
  1. Add the shishito peppers to the cast iron skillet. Allow them to pan-sear until they blister and brown, turning or tossing them on occasion to promote even roasting. If they begin to stick, add a small additional drizzle of oil and toss again. The peppers should pop and sizzle as they cook! Sometimes we add a couple lightly crushed garlic cloves to the pan too.

  2. It will take no more than 10 minutes to cook the peppers to perfection. We like our shishitos peppers partially softened, lightly charred, but still somewhat firm. No one likes a mushy pepper!


A close up image of the peppers inside the cast iron skillet before they begin to blister. Salt specks cling to the oiled peppers.
A close up image of the peppers as they continue to cook and blister. Parts of the chilis are turning light brown to dark brown while the green portion of the chilis turn to a more olive green as opposed to the stark dark green that they were fresh.
About halfway done!


How to Serve Shishito Peppers


Once they’re cooked, quickly plate your blistered shishito peppers and enjoy warm! I highly suggest adding a spritz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice over the top. Also, don’t be shy to add more salt if needed! Take a hold of the stem, pop a pepper in your mouth, bite down, toss the stem aside, and repeat. 

Personally, I find roasted shishitos with lemon juice totally satisfying as-is. But if you’re in the mood for a little something extra, shishito peppers go well with a number of creamy dipping sauces as well. Check out the ideas below! Speaking of creamy… goat cheese is also delectable crumbled on top.


A white ceramic plate full of pan roasted shishito peppers. There are two lemon wedges garnishing a portion of the plate, one of the wedges has been squeezed over the chilis. The peppers have turned an olive green color with patches of pan roasted and blistered brown marks amongst them.


Blistered shishito pepper dipping sauce ideas:


  • Lemon aioli: Mayonnaise, fresh minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Creamy avocado sauce: blend ripe avocados with mayo, plain yogurt or sour cream with a dash of salt, pepper, lime juice, optional red chili flakes, and fresh garlic or garlic powder.
  • Spicy aioli (for the heat lovers): mayo or sour cream, dijon mustard, lemon, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne or chili powder to taste.


DeannaCat holds a chili by the stem with here thumb and index finger. The chili has been eaten and all that remains is the shoulder of the pepper, a portion of the seed membrane is peaking out from the inside of what remains of the chili. There is a white ceramic plate with pan roasted shishito peppers below with a white ceramic bowl for the stems where there are now a handful littering the bottom of the bowl.



So dang easy, so dang tasty.


Well, that’s all there is to it! I hope you enjoy this simple blistered shishito peppers recipe as much as we love eating them. Please stop back by for a review, and spread the love by sharing this post!

Looking for ideas of what to pair these with? We often enjoy a whole plate as an appetizer, as a side, or as part of a modest snack-like meal, such as with crusty homemade sourdough bread and gourmet cheese. Roasted shishito peppers also pair incredibly well with egg dishes, like scrambled eggs or quiche.


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5 from 1 vote

Pan Roasted (Blistered) Shishito Peppers

Blistered shishito peppers are no longer just for fancy restaurants! Please enjoy this quick and easy recipe for homemade blistered shishito peppers. They're full of flavor (not spicy!), lighted salted, and pan-roasted to poppable perfection.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Party Food, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword: blackened shishito peppers, blistered shishito peppers, roasted shishito peppers, Shishito peppers

Equipment

  • Cast iron skillet (preferred) or other skillet

Ingredients

  • Fresh shishito peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh lemon, to squeeze over at serving
  • Optional: fresh garlic, garlic salt, black pepper, red chili flakes or dipping sauce

Instructions

  • Wash the shishito peppers. Allow them to mostly air dry, or pat them dry. Leave the stems on.
  • Add the peppers to a mixing bowl. Next, drizzle olive oil over the peppers and toss – enough to lightly coat the peppers, but not a sopping drippy mess.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and toss again. Add a dash of black pepper if you desire, or use garlic salt for a fun twist. (Go easy on the salt here – you can add more later once they’re plated.)
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Get it nice and hot before adding the peppers, until it sizzles if you flick a dash of water over it.
  • Add the shishito peppers to the skillet. Allow them to pan-sear until they blister and brown, turning or tossing them on occasion to promote even roasting. If they begin to stick, add a small additional drizzle of oil and toss again. The peppers should pop and sizzle as they cook! Sometimes we add a couple lightly crushed garlic cloves to the pan too.
  • It will take no more than 10 minutes to cook the peppers to perfection. We like our shishitos peppers partially softened, lightly charred, but still somewhat firm.
  • Once they’re cooked, quickly plate your blistered shishito pepper and enjoy warm! I highly suggest adding a spritz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice on top. Also, don’t be shy to add more salt if needed!
  • We love our shishitos with just lemon juice and salt (sometimes a little garlic). But if you’re in the mood for a little something extra, shishito peppers go well with a number of dipping sauces as well – such as lemon aioli, creamy avocado saucy, or a spicy aioli.



DeannaCat signature, keep on growing

3 Comments

  • Jennifer Sauer

    We’ve got a bumper crop this year! I have seen them in our local grocery store this summer – but they don’t seem to sell – probably because the locals aren’t familiar with them. Another good seasoning idea is Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning Blend. I think I picked up that idea from HipFoodieMom. hmmmm. Cheers!

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