This barely spicy grilled shishito peppers recipe will brighten up your menu all summer long. These peppers are healthy, easy to eat, and VERY easy to make. All you need is lemon, salt, and a heat source.
These peppers work best on a hot grill but can also use a very hot frying pan with a bit of oil. Shishito peppers are native to Japan and are prized for their mild flavor. Unlike other sweet pepper varieties like bells, shishito peppers are small and delicate. They resemble a jalapeño pepper in size but are much lighter in color and have an almost shriveled appearance. Because the actual walls of the body are so thin, shishitos are very light. It's best to cook them whole with the stems on and instruct your guests to each pepper in two bites, seeds and all, right down to the stem. Make sure you have bamboo skewers on hand and that you have pre-soaked them.
You can often find organic shishito peppers at farmers markets and at Japanese markets. They are delicious charred on their own or dipped in a citrusy soy sauce called ponzu (which you can find in most health food stores or a Japanese market).
Grilled Shishito Peppers Recipe
Serves 6 as an appetizer
- 1 lb. shishito peppers about 20 peppers
- 1 lemon sliced
- 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 5 bamboo skewers
- 1/4 cup ponzu sauce optional
- Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a charcoal or gas grill.
- Pierce each pepper through the center with the skewer so that 5-6 peppers stack on each skewer.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until charred.
- Squeeze lemon on top and add a pinch of salt. Serve with ponzu sauce.
- Alternate method if you don't have a grill: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
- Add the peppers in a single layer to the skillet and fry for about 3 minutes, then stir so the peppers char on all sides.
- Cook for a total of 8-10 minutes, remove from pan, squeeze lemon juice on top and add a hearty pinch of salt.
- Repeat until all peppers are cooked.