These flavorful blistered shishito peppers are simply charred and then flavored with lemon and flaky salt for the perfect bite-sized summer appetizer, side, or snack.
I could eat these blistered shishito peppers like popcorn, they’re so good. Like my Parmesan zucchini, and my easy broccoli with feta, these shishito peppers come together in just 5 minutes, making them a prime candidate for a weeknight dinner side dish, easy appetizer, or snack. Originating from Japan, shishito peppers are petite, green, resembling jalapeños. They have a sweet and subtly smokey flavor and most are mild, though you’ll occasionally get a hot one. Since their wrinkly skin is quite tender, a quick sear in a hot pan is all that’s needed for cooking, and my trusty cast iron skillet gets a perfect char on these poppable peppers. I add lemon slices to the skillet because I am a big fan of the caramelization that happens from searing them. Finally, there are three different flavored salts I love for flavoring the peppers: Natural Crystal Flakes with Wild Garlic, Smoked Applewood Salt, and Truffle Salt. But plain sea salt or kosher salt works just great as well.
What’s in These Shishito Peppers
Only 4 ingredients (including olive oil) are required to make these shishito peppers. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Shishito peppers
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt or flavored salt
Tip: If you can’t find shishitos at your local farmers market or grocery store, many Asian grocery stores carry them and Trader Joe’s may have them bagged and ready to go.
How to Make These Shishito Peppers
The key to this simple shishito peppers recipe is blistering the peppers in a dry skillet. Many recipes call for adding a little oil to the pan before adding the shishito peppers but when I’ve done this in the past, the smoke from the oil is pretty heavy, and I’m not too fond of a smoky kitchen. Plus, I’ve found you can get a perfect char without the oil (I like tossing them with olive oil after cooking).
Sear the peppers in a dry skillet. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until the pan is hot. Add the peppers to the hot skillet in a single layer and cook, turning them occasionally (use tongs), then add a few slices of lemon. Cook until the peppers become fragrant and begin to blister, and then nudge the lemons so they don’t stick—about 5 minutes.
Season and serve. Transfer the shishito peppers to a serving dish and drizzle with a little olive oil plus a squeeze of lemon juice, then sprinkle with flavored salt.
Shishito Peppers Recipe Variations
- Soy sauce in place of or in addition to the lemon would be so yummy (you won’t need as much salt)
- Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds before serving
- Try toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil
- Drizzle with chili garlic crunch, or top with red pepper flakes or your favorite Asian hot sauce if you want a kick
Are Shishito Peppers Spicier Than Jalapeños?
Shishito peppers are not spicier than jalapeños. They score 100-1,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit scale, whereas jalapeños are between 2,500-8000 SHUS (Scoville Heat Units).
Commonly Asked Questions
Why are shishito peppers so popular?
Shishito peppers are popular for their mild flavor and thin skin (which allows them to absorb more flavor and also cook more quickly).
How do you store shishito peppers?
While you can store them on your kitchen counter, these peppers will keep longer if stored in the fridge.
What if I can’t find shishito peppers?
Padrón peppers are the closest relative to shishitos. These Spanish peppers are very similar in appearance and flavor to shishitos and are also mostly mild (though about 2 out of 10 will be spicy).
What to Serve with Shishito Peppers
Shishito peppers are so delicious on their own, enjoyed as a snack or appetizer, but they’d also be delicious as a side with any of these recipes:
- Broiled Miso Cod With Vegetables
- Slow Cooker Sriracha Meatballs
- Soba Noodles with Shrimp and Mushrooms
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken
- Marinated Flank Steak With Asian Chimichurri Sauce
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe
- 8 ounces shisito peppers
- ½ lemon , sliced
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher or flavored salts
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until the pan is hot. Add the peppers to the hot skillet and cook the peppers, turning occasionally then add a few slices of lemon. Cook until the peppers become fragrant and begin to blister, and then nudge the lemons so they don't stick—about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil plus a squeeze more lemon then sprinkle with flavored salts. Serve immediately.
More Asian-ish Side Dishes You’ll Love
- The BEST Sesame Soba Noodles
- How to Make the BEST Fried Rice
- Asian Broccolini with Sesame and Ginger
- Sweet and Sour Asian Pickled Cucumbers
- Crunchy Asian Cucumber Watermelon Salad
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