Blistered Shishito peppers are a simple treat and great appetizer for any occasion. Served slightly charred with crunchy bits of coarse sea salt, these peppers–like many of the best cocktail hour appetizers–somehow make your drink taste better.
A Simple & Tasty Appetizer
What’s great about these peppers is that they’re a snap to prepare, and once cooked, you can season them to your liking: plain sea salt, drizzled with a good aged balsamic vinegar, or drizzled with a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice mixed with honey.
What’s more, Shishito peppers have become a lot more mainstream, which means that the price has also become a bit more reasonable! I remember seeing these for $7.95/pound a few years ago, but I recently bought an 18-ounce bag for $4.99!
These blistered Shishito peppers are generally a hit, but for anyone who can’t take the heat, they’ll have to roll the dice when eating these. Most of the time, Shishito peppers are quite mild, but a couple of them in your average batch can get uncomfortably spicy, even for seasoned spice-heads, so make sure you warn folks when you put these down on the table.
Enjoy these blistered Shishito peppers with friends this New Year’s Eve!
Blistered Shishito Peppers: Recipe Instructions
Put the garlic and oil in a mortar and pestle, and crush the garlic. You don’t want to create a paste––you are just infusing the oil in this step.
Heat a saute pan or wok over medium-high heat, and spread the garlic-infused oil evenly in the pan. Do not put the crushed garlic in the pan, or it will burn.
Add the Shishito peppers to the pan in one layer, so all of the peppers are touching the pan. Sear for 20 to 30 seconds, or until the peppers get golden brown. Turn the peppers over to brown the other side. Continue this process of tossing and turning until all of the peppers are golden brown and the peppers are blistered and begin to wilt.
I like the Shishito peppers to be slightly more charred; if you want to do this, turn up the heat for the last 30 seconds to really blister the peppers. This entire frying and blistering process should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
Once the peppers are cooked, sprinkle a large pinch of coarse sea salt over the peppers. Give them a good toss, and transfer them to a plate. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar over the peppers, and garnish with another small pinch of sea salt.
If you don’t like balsamic vinegar or want to change up the flavors, then mix 2 teaspoons of lemon juice with ½ teaspoon of honey and drizzle over the peppers. Grate a little bit of lemon zest over the top for garnish. You could also simply use lemon zest and skip the juice and honey altogether. It’s your party!
If you like these peppers, try our Chinese Tiger Skin Hot Peppers recipe, which uses the spicier, long hot green peppers and Zhejiang black vinegar.
Another great holiday-worthy appetizer involving blistering peppers is our Trio of Pinchos recipe, inspired by classic Spanish tapas!