Every year, I try to get some locally-grown, organic peppers from Alvarez organic farms. On Sundays between June and September, Alvarez sets up a stall at the Lake Forest Park Farmer’s Market. With COVID-19 going around this year, the farmer’s market shopping experience was a little different. There’s a crowd limit, social distancing, and getting in line to be served. There’s no more picking the produce by yourself like before. You tell them what you want, and they get it for you. The vendor told me hot peppers still need another month but today, they had shishito peppers. Since I love to blister and eat them as a tapas snack or appetizer, I got some. Today was also the first time my 19-month old darling boy tried shishitos, and he absolutely loved it!
WHAT ARE SHISHITO PEPPERS
Shishito peppers are a sweet, East Asian variety of peppers more commonly used in Japanese and Korean cuisine (kkwari-gochu). It is native to Japan, and is believed to be derived from the popular Spanish padron pepper. The skin is thin, adn they blister easily. According to Wikipedia, one in eight shishito peppers are spicy. Although I don’t really keep track, I’ve definitely hit a spicy one here and there.
WHERE TO BUY
Shishito peppers are available at most specialty, and Japanese grocery markets in the U.S. In the West Coast, they can be found at Fred Meyer, and Trader Joe’s. They go for under $6 a box or bag.
HOW TO ENJOY BLISTERED SHISHITOS
Just pop the blistered peppers in your mouth, and discard the stem. They are great on their own as a tapas treat, with creamy dips/sauces, or paired with a main like a juicy steak.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Cast-iron pan
- 1/4 lb shishito peppers rinsed & pat-dried
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or any high smoking point neutral veg oil
- flaky salt (Maldon salt, or Jacobsen) to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Heat a cast-iron pan on high. When the pan is hot, add the avocado oil.
- Then add the shishito peppers into the pan, and saute evenly, turning the peppers frequently using tongs. This process takes about 5-7 minutes.
- When the peppers look evenly blistered and brown, they're done. Remove the peppers onto a serving dish.
- Finish the peppers with flaky salt and black pepper to taste.