Shishito peppers are a thin-walled pepper that hail from Asia and are tender and sweet. They make a great appetizer and are incredibly easy to cook!
What are shishito peppers
Shishito peppers come from Asia. They are a thin-walled, small and slender pepper. They turn from green to red when ripe, but are most commonly harvested when green.
One in every ten shishito peppers is said to be spicy. Their thin skin blisters and chars easily, which makes them easy to cook!
How do you grow shishito peppers
You can sometimes find starter plants of shishito peppers, however, they are very easy to grow from seed.
Start your seeds indoors about eight weeks before spring. The seedlings like warm soil at first. I typically give mine a seed tray with a clear lid that makes a little "greenhouse" in a sunny window.
Once they get strong enough, I do what is called "hardening off" - getting them ready for the great outdoors. I start putting them outside for short spurts at first, then longer and longer each day.
When you choose a spot to plant them, you'll want to make sure it gets full sun, about 6-8 hours a day. The shishito pepper plant is disease and pest resistant for the most part, and thrives in warm weather.
When do you harvest shishito peppers
Shishito peppers will turn from green to red, but they are most often picked while still green.
Look for them to turn a deep, dark green color before picking. I like to use scissors or shears to clip them off the plant, as the stalks that attach them can be a little tough to pinch through or snap off sometimes!
How to make roasted shishito peppers
Funny that you ask, I wrote a recipe on exactly that! You can find my recipe for Easy Roasted Shishito Peppers here.
Spoiler alert: They are one of the easiest things in the world to make. They take literally 5 minutes and 2 ingredients other than the peppers: oil and salt.
How to make shishito peppers in a pan
If you prefer to cook your shishito peppers on top of the stove, or don't have access to an oven, you can do that. The process is almost exactly the same.
You'll want the pan on medium-high heat so they will blister. Too low and you'll miss the blistering; too high and they will burn.
Use a high-heat tolerant oil or fat such as avocado oil or ghee. Heat the pan, heat the fat, add the peppers, and allow to cook, turning frequently to avoid burning.
Once they brown and blister, remove them from the pan, sprinkle with salt, and serve!
Where can you buy shishito peppers
I usually grow mine - they grow well in the summer season, and if you get the right soil, they will proliferate.
If you don't have the ability or the desire to grow them, you can usually find them at farmer's markets in the summertime. Trader Joe's also sells bags of them seasonally in their refrigerated produce section!
When are shishito peppers in season
Shishito peppers are typically in season during the summer, when peppers grow well.
They don't like it TOO hot - sometimes the temperatures here do stop them from producing for awhile, and then when it cools off in the fall they come back.
Keep in mind, I'm in Charleston, SC - "cooling off" to us is when it dips below 90 degrees!
What goes well with shishito peppers
Honestly, shishito peppers are great all on their own. They're mild and slightly sweet (as long as you don't hit the 1 in 10 fireball) and they roast up perfectly.
If you want to dip them in something to add more flavor, the sky is the limit. Here are some ideas for dip flavor combinations that would keep it paleo:
- "soy" glaze (sub coconut aminos for soy sauce)
- lemon tahini sauce
- garlic aioli
- sesame ginger