Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe

Blistered Shishito Peppers | Pamela Salzman
Photography by Laney Schwartz

Whenever I go out for Japanese food, if there are shishito peppers on the menu, I order them. Shishitos are the perfect appetizer since they are light (they’re just vegetables) and pretty healthful.  Most Japanese restaurants serve them very simply with a dousing of soy sauce or ponzu sauce.

Blistered Shishito Peppers | Pamela Salzman

A Shishito pepper is a small pepper, about the size of a jalapeno, but light green and sort of crinkly looking. They are slightly sweet, but every once in a while (apparently every 1 out of 10 peppers) you get a hot one!  I love hot peppers, so it’s a welcome surprise, but not everyone agrees.

Blistered Shishito Peppers | Pamela Salzman

What these peppers remind me of are something that my parents called “Italian frying peppers.”  My father grew them every year in the garden, and still does.  We ate them at least once a week as a side dish in the summer.  My mother cooked them in olive oil in a skillet and seasoned them with a bit of salt and that was it.  My sisters and I ate them with our hands, picking up a pepper by the stem and dangling it in our mouths.  These peppers were always sweet and never hot, but they are much larger than shishitos.

Blistered Shishito Peppers | Pamela Salzman

I have discovered shishito peppers at Trader Joe’s and some local farmers markets.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found them organic, so let’s just say I am not making them every day.  My kids flip over shishito peppers and so do my friends, so I recently added them to my cheeseboards.  They take minutes to prepare, so it’s an easy snack to make if you’re entertaining, and much healthier than chips or cheese ;).

4.7 from 3 reviews
Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe
Serves: 4
  • 1 6-ounce bag shishito peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
  • sea salt to taste (I like to use flaky salt here)
  • juice of half of a lemon (optional)
  1. Heat a large skillet (preferable cast iron) over medium heat until hot. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the shishito peppers. Spread out into one layer and allow to cook for 2 ½ minutes or until completely blackened and blistered on the underside. Flip the peppers and repeat on the other side, another 2 ½ minutes. If the peppers are sufficiently blistered, but not soft, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low and cook another minute or two. I personally prefer the peppers to be completely soft and not crunchy.
  2. Remove the peppers from the heat and sprinkle with salt (and lemon juice if using). Serve immediately.
Other suggestions: sesame seeds, gomasio, tamari, cooking in a combo of sesame oil and avocado oil


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  1. I love this recipe! It has family approval with 2 thumbs up from all 3 of my kids. My eldest even asked for a second helping! Seriously!!! I made this recipe after receiving shishito peppers in a produce bundle. This is now my stock recipe for shishitos. Thank you!!

    • How awesome! I’ve had them in restaurants with a dipping sauce, but I don’t even think they need it.

  2. Does one eat seeds & all (not the stem, of course!)? I roasted mine in the oven tonight (used a little olive oil & sea salt in the pan) along with a couple dozen mini-bell peppers that all the stores are having sales on lately. I found that, unlike even mini bell peppers, which have thicker flesh like their larger cousins, the skin of shishitos does not peel off – there is not much to these peppers BUT skin! I liked them, though.

    • I eat the whole thing, except the stem, yes. They are pretty small.

  3. Try frying them and when you take them out, put them in a big bowl and toss them with sea salt and fresh chopped mint. It is unbelievable. Another option, though adding a bit to the calories, is to fry them with a little bit of diced pancetta (and still toss with the mint at the end). Yummmmm! Been making that for family and friends for years.

    • I don’t know why I never thought to add fresh mint since I love jalapeno and mint together! Thanks for the great suggestions.

  4. These were so great! I feel like I dont have to get them at the restaurant anymore.

    • Exactly!

  5. I just made these tonight – such a yummy summer snack. I never thought to add sea salt but our favorite go-with is hummus. Thank you for the reminder to pick these up at TJ’s!

    • Mmmm, hummus would definitely make this a complete snack – yum!

    • Never a single pepper is left!

  6. Hi,
    I would like to make these for a big party. I see the note to serve immediately. Can I make them in advance and keep them on a roasting pan to reheat? Thank you!

    • Someone on my Facebook page said she likes to cook them in the oven at super high heat, so that might be easier if you want to cook a lot. And I heard they re-heat well in the microwave. That’s all I’ve got!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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