Shishito Peppers are a delicious frying pepper with mild heat. Char them in a pan with a tiny bit of oil until the skin blisters and pops. Or, cook the in the air fryer! I have both stovetop and air fryer instructions.
Take off the heat, add a little bit of balsamic vinegar and sea salt. You will not be disappointed.
If you haven’t tried these, you’re missing out. These Peppers are an amazing vegan appetizer or side dish, that I picked up up at the farm, and they came with simple but elegant cooking instructions.
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But what is a Shishito Peppers?
These peppers are an East Asian variety also called Shishitōgarashi, kkwari-gochu, or groundcherry pepper, that are closely related to the Spanish Padron pepper. They are cute little mildly spicy, thin-skinned, wrinkly, green peppers.
When are they in season?
These peppers are available year-round, but they’re in peak season during the summer and early fall, and the farmer’s markets, produce stands, and farms are filled with them right now! Grab some now while they’re at their peak.
You may even be able to find these year-round if you have an international market or Asian market near you.
How to pick a pepper
These peppers are typically green in color, though they do ripen to a red color. If you see a bit of the red color, don’t worry it doesn’t mean they are bad. In fact, they may be a little sweeter.
They are small peppers, usually about 2 to 5 inches in length.
Look for peppers that are firm. If they feel flexible and soft, they are not as fresh.
What do shishito peppers taste like?
Shishito peppers have a bit more flavor than a bell pepper, slightly smoky with peppery and grassy notes. They are lightly sweet, and take well to a nice char, which deepens their flavor. And, really, you should give them a try. Besides being delicious, they are lots of fun to eat!
Are they spicy hot?
No, they are considered a mild chili, and are great to eat straight. In fact, they can be used in place of bell peppers in many recipes (so that gives you an idea of how mildly spicy they are).
You can even eat shishito peppers raw. They are very much like green bell peppers when eaten raw. And they’re completely edible, including the membranes and seeds.
All that being said, occasionally you’ll come across one of these babies that’s got some serious kick, so do be aware!
Health benefits of Shishito Peppers
Peppers are very nutritious vegetables, packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I love combining peppers, which are high in vitamin C, with spinach for more iron absorption in my body.
And these shishito peppers may help prevent cancer and help lower the chance of heart disease by lowering the risk of blood clotting, which can lead to heart attacks, cardiac arrest, and strokes.
What are shishito peppers good for?
They are a delicious and healthy pepper which makes a great snack, side dish, or addition to a tapas night spread.
You can also substitute them for green or red bell peppers in many recipes.
How do I store them?
Pop the peppers into the fridge maximize freshness. Better yet, into the produce drawer of the fridge to keep them dry and crisp. They should last a week or two in the fridge, depending on how fresh they were when you got them.
Can I freeze shishito peppers?
If you want to keep them for longer, place the peppers in an airtight container or freezer bag and into the freezer. They should last about 10-12 months. Frozen peppers are great as ingredients in soups, casseroles, and other recipes. Their texture will change and soften a bit and I don’t recommend them for simple pan frying and eating straight after being frozen.
Pro tips for these pan-fried blackened peppers
Rinse off peppers, and make sure to dry them before frying them. Dry them so they don’t make the oil splatter when you add them to the pan.
You don’t have to remove the stem before cooking them. In fact, the stem makes a nice handle when you go to eat them.
Use a cast-iron or heavy skillet to fry them in.
Heat the oil in the skillet until it’s so hot that a drop of water sizzles when dropped in. Then you know the pan is ready for the peppers and they will char rather than steam.
Make sure the peppers are in a single layer in the skillet so that they all get in contact with the bottom of the skillet and that gets you the charring you want.
Add the peppers to the skillet and let them rest for a minute before stirring, so they get a chance to char and pop.
Air Fryer Shishito Peppers
These peppers are great when cooked in the air fryer, and it’s so easy.
Simply preheat the air fryer to 400° F. In a medium bowl, toss the peppers with the oil, coating them all over. Once the air fryer is hot, pop the peppers into the basket, and make sure they are in a single layer. Air fry at 400° F for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking.
Once done, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. So good and so easy!
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Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe
- 4 ounces shishito peppers
- 1 teaspoon high heat oil like grapeseed or avocado oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt preferably fluer de sel
- Add the oil to a skillet, and preheat over medium heat until the oil is nice and hot. Toss the peppers into the hot skillet, give them a stir, and let them cook, stirring occasionally (the longer they are in one place the more char they will get), about 10 minutes, until the skin blisters and pops.
- Take off the heat, place the peppers on a serving plate, and add a little bit of balsamic vinegar and sea salt.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° F.
- In a medium bowl, toss the peppers with the oil, coating them all over. Once the air fryer is hot, pop the peppers into the basket, and make sure they are in a single layer. Air fry at 400° F for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking.
- Once done, place the peppers on a serving plate, and add a little bit of balsamic vinegar and sea salt.