- Food: Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Writer: Lizzie Green
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Do you know what shishito peppers are? They’re thin-skinned tiny green peppers that take 10 minutes to cook on a skillet. They’re seductive once they’ve developed a little char.
Nine out of ten shishitos are mild, but once in a while, one will make your eyes wet! It’s all in good humor.
Since we returned from Spain, where we discovered the shishito’s cousins prepared the same way, I’ve been craving blistered shishitos. So I’ve started buying them at Whole Foods and cooking them at home in a skillet.
It took a few tries for me to perfect my technique. Cooking the peppers at high heat is recommended in most recipes, however, this will fill your kitchen with smoke.
I’ve learned how to make consistently superb blistering shishitos by lowering the heat. Are you ready for the simplest appetizer recipe you’ve ever seen?
Shishito Peppers: How to Cook Them
Blistered shishito peppers are so simple to prepare that you’ll memorize the recipe after your first attempt.
I’ve listed the exact amounts of peppers and oil below, but you only need enough peppers to fill the bottom of your skillet and just enough oil to gently coat the peppers.
Here are some pointers:
- Before you begin, wash and dry the peppers. When you put them in the pan, you don’t want any splatters.
Instead of heating oil in the skillet, toss the peppers in it before cooking. Because shishitos are unevenly shaped, the oil would not normally get into all of the crevices.
- This method also minimizes the amount of oil in the pan at any given time, reducing the risk of overheating. The suggestion comes from this YouTube video.
- Warm your skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates fast. Most recipes call for cooking the peppers over high heat, but olive oil doesn’t like it that hot (especially in cast iron).
- After that, toss in the greased peppers. Allow them to rest for a minute before stirring again to allow them to char. Stir the peppers every minute or so until they are soft and blistered in areas. It’s fun to make popping noises! It will take roughly ten minutes to complete this task.
- That concludes our discussion. Place everything in a serving dish and finish with a spritz of lemon juice and a hefty pinch of salt. I’ve experimented with many flavors, but plain shishitos are the finest.
Meet shishito’s cousins, who can be prepared in the same manner as shishito. Shishitos are easier to come by in the United States, which is why they’re highlighted in the title.
Shishito peppers hail from East Asia, and I’ve had them on sushi menus as an appetizer.
They’re little green peppers with wrinkled, thin-skinned skin that resemble jalapeos. Don’t worry, they’re not quite as hot as you may think (well, 90 percent are not).
Where to buy shishito peppers: Shishito peppers can be found in the refrigerated produce department at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, near the jalapeos.
When we visited Ali and Barclay in Barcelona, we discovered Padrón peppers. Padróns are thicker than shishitos, although they are extremely similar. According to reports, you’re more likely to come upon a fiery Padrón (one in five, vs. one in ten).
Guindilla peppers were discovered in San Sebastián, Spain. They’re a little thinner than shishitos and my personal favorite. They’re also available pickled in vinegar and have a spicy, crisp pepperoncini flavor.
My husband felt we wouldn’t be able to finish the entire bowl of blistering guerrillas the first time we ordered them and offered them to our neighbors for a sample.
I marveled at his generosity as I reached for another, and another, and before you knew it, I’d polished them all off.
Guindillas is a Basque specialty that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I’m so enamored with them that I’ve found seeds to sow next year.
What to Serve Them With
On their own, shishitos are a light and healthy snack. They’d go well with practically any meal, and they’re a simple way to fill off a cheese and olives appetizer spread.
Serve them with any of the Mediterranean appetizers listed below if you wish to emulate Spanish tapas:
- Easy Romesco Sauce with Raw or Grilled Vegetables
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta
- Epic Best Hummus
- Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce
- Baba Ganoush
|Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Time to cook: 10 minutes
15-minute total time
Serving: 4 servings
Blistered shishitos are simple to make and completely addictive! Shishitos, olive oil, a skillet, and this simple recipe are all you’ll need. The recipe makes 4 appetizer servings, but it may easily be doubled in a big skillet.
- 8 ounces (3 heaping cups) of shishito peppers
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Lemon wedge, optional
- Salt, preferably flaky sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- Rinse the peppers and pat them dry with a clean tea towel. Toss the peppers in a medium mixing basin with the oil and toss until they are equally coated. Remove from the equation.
- Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and evaporates fast when it comes into contact with it. Add the peppers and simmer, stirring every minute or so (but not too often), for 8 to 12 minutes, or until tender with burnt patches.
- Place the peppers on a dish to serve. If desired, spritz with a lemon wedge. Season with salt to taste (don’t be stingy). Serve the pepper stems in a small bowl on the side.
- PEPPER OPTIONS: Padrón and guindilla peppers can also be used in this dish.