Although I read about these peppers a few years ago, it took some friends cooking a batch of them as an appetizer to remind me that I ought to do the same thing. Thanks, guys!
Shishito peppers are 3 to 4 inches long, thin-skinned, slender and mostly quite mild. Occasionally one pepper will be a bit more powerful, though after eating a few bagfuls of them myself I haven’t blown my head off… you have been warned. You can eat the pepper, seeds and all, but don’t eat the stem.
Every recipe I’ve seen calls for the peppers to be cooked very quickly over high heat so they blister. That’s what I did, a little differently than the recipe below: in a pre-heated non-stick fry pan, on top of the stove instead of under the broiler, flipping the pan instead of using a spatula or tongs (gasp). A squeeze of lemon juice after the peppers are plated is good.
Only two pictures today, one so you’ll know what to shop for and one to know what they should look like when they’re done. Give these a try, they’re great.
Get the shishito peppers.
Cook them in a pan until they’re blistered, sprinkle them with salt and serve them.
Blistered Shishito Peppers.
How To Roast Shishito Peppers
Serves 4 to 6
2 dry pints shishito or padron peppers
1 tablespoon cooking oil (see Recipe Notes)
Coarse kosher salt or sea salt
10-inch or larger cast iron or stainless steel skillet (do not use nonstick)
Heatproof spatula or tongs
Heat the skillet: Place a large skillet under the broiler or on the stovetop over high heat to warm.
Oil the peppers: Place the peppers in a mixing bowl. Drizzle them with cooking oil and a healthy sprinkle of salt. Use your hands or a spatula to toss the peppers until evenly coated.
Transfer the peppers to the skillet: When the skillet is hot enough that a flick of water evaporates instantly, pour the peppers into the skillet. Be careful — the pan is very hot! The peppers should start to sizzle immediately.
Cook the peppers until blistered: Transfer the skillet with peppers back beneath the broiler, or continue cooking over medium-high heat on the stovetop. (If cooking on the stovetop, turn on a vent fan.) Cook the peppers without moving them for a few minutes so they char on the bottom, then stir with a spatula. Continue cooking and stirring every minute or two until the peppers are blistered and darkened all over, 5 to 6 minutes total.
Transfer the peppers to a plate and sprinkle with extra salt: The peppers are best when eaten within minutes of coming off the heat.
Cooking oil: I prefer to use olive oil for this dish, though technically olive oil isn’t ideal for this kind of high-heat cooking. I just love its rich, savoury flavour with the salty peppers. If you’d prefer to use something else, I’d go for grapeseed oil or even peanut oil.