What are Shishito Peppers?

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Shishito Peppers are a fun appetizer with gourmet appeal— and maybe a surprise in store!

These tasty peppers are full of flavor, and they are easy to cook up in a cast iron griddle. Try these delightful little peppers with a mostly mild flavor, but be on guard… about one in every 15 peppers packs a punch of heat!

close up of peppers with ingredients in the back to make Hot Honey Blistered Shishito Peppers

What are Shishito Peppers?

Shishito peppers originate in Japan and are traditionally used in East Asian cuisine. But now these tasty little peppers are cropping up in specialty food markets and on restaurant menus all over. Mildly spicy peppers are about two to three inches long and are generally harvested when still green.

The name shishito is shortened from the name shishi togarashi, meaning “lion chili pepper.” The name refers to the lion-headed shape of the tip.

Where to Get Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers are best eaten fresh from a farmer’s market or fresh from the grocery store. It’s well worth it to grow them in a backyard garden, too!

Fresh shishito peppers can be purchased from the refrigerator/produce section in specialty stores like Trader Joe’s, and of course, they are usually available at Asian markets and lately I’ve seen them popping up at our local grocery stores too.

Top view of crate of peppers to show What are Shishito Peppers

Are Shishito Peppers Spicy?

About one in every 10 to 15 shishito peppers will have a spicy kick that may surprise the unsuspecting gourmet, which makes them adventurous to eat! The majority of them are mild in flavor, unlike their spicy chili pepper cousins. But you never know when a sneaky hot pepper might show up to the party unannounced, which is a big part of the attraction!

How to Cook Shishito Peppers

  • These peppers can be eaten raw, but are usually cooked or “blistered.” They stand alone when prepared simply with no recipe.
  • Or, cook them with a sweet honey sauce coating like in Honey Shishito Blistered Peppers.
  • Oven-roast them, grill them, or eat them air-fried.
  • With their thin skins, the best way to cook them is to char shishito peppers in a cast-iron skillet to make blisters on the skin. It gives them a crispy crave-able texture! Simply toss them in some oil to coat them, then char them in a preheated griddle on medium-high until the skin gets blistered. Shake some salt on to taste, and serve.

What’s your favorite way to eat Shishito Peppers? Leave us a comment below! 

top view of peppers to show What are Shishito Peppers with writing
box of peppers to show What are Shishito Peppers with a title
green peppers in a box to show What are Shishito Peppers with writing
close up of peppers in a crate to show What are Shishito Peppers
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

  1. I have been growing these for a couple of years. I know them as Padron peppers. Your are right you can be surprised. My cousin from Texas calls them Russian roulette peppers as you will get a nice heat one and then the next one maybe an explosion in your mouth. They are great fried up in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and kosher salt. They are great in sandwiches or as they are. They are also great dehydrated and grounded into a powder to add into taco meat, chili, enchiladas whatever you want to add some heat.5 stars