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Whenever I see blistered shishito peppers on a restaurant menu, I jump on it. So after all these years, I decided it was about time to learn how to make a shishito peppers recipe at home. It turns out, it’s super easy and takes just 5 minutes! (Why didn’t I do this sooner?) And with their slight smoky flavor and delicate texture, they stand out from the crowd of other pepper-based recipes, like jalapeno poppers or stuffed mini peppers.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for blistered shishito peppers recipe what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Shishito Peppers – Shishito peppers are small, sweet peppers from Japan, known for their mild and slightly sweet flavor. They are similar to Spanish padron peppers and look like wrinkled jalapeños with thin skin, but they are nowhere near as spicy as those. You can buy shishito peppers in most major grocery stores, specialty markets, or even your local farmers’ market. They are usually available year-round, but their peak season is summer and early fall.
- Olive Oil – Adds flavor, prevents sticking, and helps with browning. You could also use other heat-safe oils, like coconut oil or avocado oil.
- Flaky Sea Salt – Unlike regular table salt or kosher salt, flaky sea salt has a coarse texture that adds a subtle crunch and burst of flavor to the peppers. This is my favorite brand and I put it on, like, everything! You can add black pepper if you like, too.
- Lemon Wedges – Lemon juice adds a tangy flavor when serving. You can also use fresh squeezed lime juice instead.
VARIATION: Add soy sauce (or a substitute).
For more flavor, toss the peppers in soy sauce (or a soy sauce alternative — my fave is coconut aminos) and a sprinkle of garlic powder before placing them in the pan.
How To Cook Shishito Peppers
This section shows how to make shishito peppers, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Heat the oil. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. (A drop of water dropped on the skillet should sizzle.)
- Cook the shishito peppers. Add the peppers to the pan in a single layer. Sear on one side until blistered and browned. Use tongs to flip, then brown on the other side.
FYI: You will hear the peppers “pop” and sizzle.
This is normal and means they are cooking at the proper temperature.
- Finish. Remove from heat and sprinkle with flaky salt. Serve with lemon wedges and squeeze lemon juice on top.
Are Shishito Peppers Hot?
Most shishito peppers are not hot, but about one in ten can be spicy.
Other Ways To Cook Shishito Peppers
I think the best way to cook blistered shishito peppers is on the stovetop, but you can also cook them in these other ways:
- Roast – Roasted shishito peppers work best under the broiler. Place a sheet pan in the oven and preheat to Broil on High (500 degrees F). Toss the peppers with olive oil, arrange on the sheet pan, and return to the oven to broil for 5 minutes, until blistered.
- Grill – Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Toss the peppers with olive oil and arrange on a grill pan or in a grill basket. Place on the grill over direct heat and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until the grilled shishito peppers are blistered.
- Air Fryer – Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Arrange the peppers in the basket in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Cook for 6 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through, until blistered.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat: Warm over medium heat on the stove for a few minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- Freeze: You can freeze shishito peppers, but for optimal texture it’s best to do this after cooking. Arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a zip lock bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months. You can also freeze raw shishito peppers whole, but due to the enzymes in the veggies, the texture will degrade.
What To Serve With Shishito Peppers
You will often find these peppers served as an appetizer for Japanese cuisine, but shishito peppers recipes can also pair with stir fries, soups, salads, and other dishes. Here are some ways to serve them:
- Dipping Sauce – My fave is dunking blistered shishito peppers into creamy lemon garlic aioli (shown above) or spicy mayo. You can also make an Asian-style dipping sauce by mixing together mayonnaise, soy sauce or coconut aminos, garlic powder, and a drizzle of sriracha.
- Stir Fry – Serve on the side (or as a starter) with chicken stir fry, mouthwatering hibachi chicken, or teriyaki chicken.
- Grilled Mains – If you prefer to eat these as a side dish, pair them with perfectly grilled salmon, a grilled sirloin steak, or tender grilled shrimp.
- Other Appetizers – Make an appetizer spread with fried zucchini, crispy baked chicken wings, or one of the ideas below.
More Finger Food Appetizer Recipes
Looking for more finger food appetizer ideas? Here are some of my favorites:
- Cast Iron Skillet – One of my favorite choices for the perfect sear. Blistered shishitos won’t turn out well in a nonstick pan.
Shishito Peppers Recipe
Shishito Peppers Recipe (Blistered In 5 Minutes)
For a flavorful, healthy appetizer, try this blistered shishito peppers recipe! They are lightly sweet, smoky, and take just 5 minutes.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering. (A drop of water dropped on the skillet should sizzle.)
Add the shishito peppers to the skillet. Sear for 2 minutes on one side, until blistered and browned. (Note: You will hear the peppers “pop” — this is normal and means they are being cooked at the proper heat.)
Flip using tongs, then continue to sear for 2-3 minutes, until peppers are blistered on both sides.
Remove from heat and sprinkle with flaky salt. Serve warm, with fresh squeezed lemon wedges, if desired.
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Serving size: 7-8 peppers, or 1/4 of entire recipe
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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