Learn how to roast Shishito flavors to bring out their delicious flavors. Pan roasted shishito peppers are a quick and delicious appetizer that pair perfectly with tacos and quesadillas and are perfect for a fiesta food or for game nights.
Table of Contents
What Are Shishito Peppers
Shishito peppers are small, green peppers that are native to Japan (but also grown across East Asia), though they are believed to a cultivar of Spanish Padron peppers. Much like their Spanish relatives, shishito peppers are also pan fried and served as an appetizer in Japanese restaurant.
Part of the fun of eating these little green peppers is because thought they’re not all heat like some hot peppers, occasionally some do have a little bit of heat to them.
Shishito peppers are perfect for those who enjoy the thrill of a little spice without setting their taste buds on fire. It’s like playing a game of culinary Russian roulette; most are mild, but every once in a while, you’ll encounter a spicy surprise. The joy of this “sometimes spicy” experience is part of what makes Shishito peppers such a delightful snack.
Whether you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine or simply looking to add mix in some flair to your regular appetizers, this easy pan-roasted Shishito peppers recipe is a must-try. So, grab your cast iron skillet and let’s get started!
Where Can I Find Shishito Peppers
You can typically find Shishito peppers at your local farmer’s market, Asian markets, or find them in the refrigerated produce section of your grocery store. Places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe typically carry them. During the late summer and early autumn, you will definitely spot them at your local farmers market.
Pan Roasted Shishito Peppers
Just like Mexican Poblano peppers, shishitos peppers too benefit greatly from roasting them.
Roasting enhances and brings out the best flavor in so many types of green pepper. Shishitos are delicate peppers that have a thin skin that when roasted blisters and separates away from the pepper’s flesh. I don’t know the whole science behind it but what I do know is that it transforms their flavors to a whole new lever.
So roasting Shishito peppers is all about that blistered perfection. You want to cook them until the skin gets charred and blistered. The peppers should soft but still retain some of their crunch. They make such a delicious snack and finger food.
What do Shishito Peppers Taste Like
Shishitos are generally mild sweet peppers that when raw, and just like other green peppers, tastes a little earthy and fresh and crisp. Not quite like green bell peppers though, they have more flavor.
Once roasted these little peppers have smoky tones that are quite delicious. Since they’re an occasionally spicy pepper you never know what you’re going to get when you pick one up.
To elevate the flavors, or in my opinion the best way to eat Shishitos is with a sprinkle of salt. This simple touch adds a delightful contrast to the mild peppers. Shishito peppers are truly such a treat!
This is one of those delightful recipes with such simple ingredients that it doesn’t actually feel like much of a recipe.
- Fresh Shishito peppers
For the oil you can use a vegetable oil with a high smoke point. Anything rom avocado oil, canola oil, soybean oil, or sesame oil or peanut oil would work well.
As for the salt you can use something like sea salt or kosher salt or a flaky salt, or just the best salt you have in your kitchen. I’ve also tried it with pink Himalayan pink salt and it tasted delicious.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even experiment with a drizzle of soy sauce or sriracha sauce.
How to Roast Shishito Peppers
My favorite way to make blistered shishito peppers is to pan roast them on a cast iron pan. This type of pan works best because it can tolerate high temperatures without a problem, and that’s what works best when roasting peppers. Another method would be roasting them on a baking sheet in the oven under the broiler setting.
Step 1: Thoroughly rinse and dry all of the peppers. Make sure there’s no water left on them if you’re pan roasting – once the water hits the oil it can splash and burn you. If you’d like you can poke a small hole in each pepper to prevent it from inflating, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Step 2: Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat and once hot turn the flame to medium-high heat. Pour in the oil then arrange the peppers in a single layer across the skillet.
Step 3: Allow to the peppers to blister and turn golden before flipping over and cooking on the other side until blistered and golden.
Step 4: Remove from the skillet and place on a bowl then sprinkle with salt, try to evenly coat all of the peppers. Repeat until you have cooked all of the peppers.
How to Oven Roast Shishitos
If you are oven roasting then lay the peppers in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Drizzle some oil over them and use your hands to rub in the oil (you could also do the use a mixing bowl to coat the peppers with the oil then lay on the baking sheet).
Place under the broiler until blistered, flip over and blister on the other side for another minute or two. Once you remove from the oven sprinkle with salt.
How to Serve
Shishito peppers are can be served once they’ve cooled. You can serve them as a side dish or appetizer on their own or with a creamy dipping sauce that complements their mild heat and smoky flavor.
A classic dipping sauce can be made with soy sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also add a dash of sesame seeds for a subtle crunch.
To eat the whole peppers are eaten with the seeds, the only thing you don’t eat is the stem.
These make such a delicious and great snack. When I serve them for game night I like to sprinkle with salt and every one I grab I drizzle with a little bit of lime juice – it’s a mouthwatering combination. A nice mild beer, like Pacifico, pairs extremely well with the smoky peppers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Shishito Peppers the Same as Padrón Peppers?
Shishito and Padrón peppers are similar, but they have distinct differences in flavor and origin. While both can be prepared in the same way, Padrón peppers are often associated with Spanish cuisine and tend to be spicier.
Can I Roast Shishito Peppers in an Air Fryer?
Yes, you can! Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C), toss the Shishito peppers in a little oil, and air fry for about 6-8 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through.
What Makes Shishito Peppers the Perfect Appetizer?
Shishito peppers are the perfect appetizer because they’re easy to prepare, have a mild flavor with occasional spicy surprises, and pair wonderfully with dipping sauces.
Roasted Shishito Peppers Recipe
Roasting Shishito peppers is not only a flavorful adventure but also a fun one. The mild heat, the smoky char, and the thrill of the occasional spicy pepper make it an excellent addition to your culinary repertoire.
So amigos, whether you serve them as an appetizer or a side dish, you and your guests will be impressed by the deliciousness of these little green peppers.
How to Pan Roast Shishito Peppers
- 1 lb Shishito peppers
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- Thoroughly rinse and dry the Shishito peppers. Make sure they are completely dry before proceeding.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat then once hot turn heat down to medium and add oil, heat the oil for a minute or two.
- Place a single layer of the peppers in the pan and roast until blistered and sligthly golden, then flip over and repeat.
- Remove from the pan and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle with as mush salt as desired. Repeat until you’ve roasted all of the peppers.
- Serve as an appetizer or as a snack.
(Please notice that this article contains Amazon affiliate links, which may earn us a small commission if you make a purchase through them. Your support helps us continue to provide valuable content.)
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…