If you haven't tried Japanese Blistered Shishito Peppers, you're in for a treat! Tossed with lemon and sprinkled with flaky salt, or served with Miso Aioli Dip, these will be devoured at your next party. A fun-to-eat appetizer that takes less than 15 minutes! Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian.
Japanese Blistered Shishito Peppers with Miso Aioli Dip, all ready for your next appetizer party, game-day snack, or happy hour. Here's a finger food that has taken over menus all across the continent this year. And understandably!
The first time Denis and I had these roasted shishito peppers was in a beach bar in Spain on the Mediterranean Coast. The menu was completely in Spanish. While we could figure out what most items on the menu were, it seemed they would all have gluten. When we asked the server about the last item on the list, he thought for a minute, searching for an English translation, but all he could come up with was "vegetables."
We ordered the "vegetables," looked at each other when this plate of wrinkly chili peppers arrived, thinking that our mouths were soon to be on fire.
But no. We LOVED them! We've since discovered that they're easy to make at home.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
They're fun to eat! Not only is their slightly smoky flavour incredibly delicious, but they're also fun to eat. Whether you call them Blistered Shishito Peppers or Charred Shishito Peppers, and if you serve them plain or with a dipping sauce, you'll love them!
Shishito peppers are easy to make. All you need is a skillet and a little olive oil.
Easy. Think of shish kabob, then Shish - ee - toe.
They're small green peppers, a little longer than a jalapeño, but wrinkly. You'll find them called Japanese Shishito Peppers or Padron Peppers on some menus. Even though they're a chili pepper, they're mild-tasting, much milder than a jalapeño. However, a label on the bag warns that 1 in 10 can be extra spicy, so beware! Take your chances!
It makes eating these little peppers exciting--who will get the hot one?
I sometimes have a hard time finding them in local grocery stores, as they get snapped up quickly, but Costco carries them when in season. You'll also find them at Whole Foods.
They're available year-round in some areas, but in North America they are usually harvested in late summer or early fall.
Padron peppers from Spain are very similar, and the two are interchangeable in this recipe. You may find, however, that more than 1 in 10 will be hot ones. Even more exciting 🙂
Look for peppers that are bright green, about 2 - 5 inches long, unblemished and firm. They will keep well for a few days in the fridge.
Pick them up by the stem, and pop them in your mouth (except the stem.) Or dunk them first in a sauce for shishitos or Miso Aioli Dip, then devour.
Now that we've covered all the basics, I hope I've convinced you to try them!
Ready to get started? Here's all you'll need.
shishito peppers: allow 6 to 8 peppers per person at a minimum. You'll find it's hard to stop eating them, and at only a few calories each, there's no worries about overeating!
olive oil: to toss the peppers in before cooking
sea salt: flaky sea salt or kosher salt
for the dip: white miso, mayonnaise, lemon juice, tamari soy sauce, shallots, black pepper
🔪 How to make Japanese blistered shishito peppers
Shishito peppers can be grilled, roasted in the oven or skillet roasted. I like to roast them in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, so I can keep an eye on them, turning when needed to get the perfect blistering.
- Prepare the Miso Aioli Dip first. In a small bowl, combine white miso, mayonnaise, finely chopped shallots, lemon juice, tamari soy sauce, and pepper. Set aside while you cook the peppers.
- Rinse the peppers in cool water, then pat dry completely to avoid splattering when you add them to the skillet.
- Toss with a little olive oil in a small bowl. Adding the oil to the peppers first instead of adding oil to the skillet insures that you'll get oil in all the little wrinkly crevices.
- Add the peppers to a preheated hot skillet (not non-stick). Make sure you're using no more peppers than what will cover the surface of the pan. You want them to cook by blistering, not by steaming. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, turning often until the peppers are blistered on all sides. A little char is okay, but watch carefully. Remove from heat.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice over all, then sprinkle with coarse or flaky sea salt and serve immediately with miso aioli dipping sauce on the side.
🔁 Possible Variations
- Serve them right from the skillet with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt.
- Provide Miso Aioli Dip or Lemon Aioli for dunking.
- Season with half olive oil and half toasted sesame oil before skillet roasting, then toss with Togarashi seasoning for a Japanese flair.
- For even easier clean-up, cook these in an air fryer! See my recipe for Air Fryer Shishito Peppers with Lemon Aioli.
🍽 What to serve with Shishito peppers
Are they Japanese or Spanish? As I mentioned above, Padron peppers from Spain are very similar to Japanese Shishitos, so feel free to mix cultures and enjoy them as a Japanese appetizer or as Spanish tapas!
These charred shishito peppers make a great game-day or happy hour snack. You can serve them on their own, or alongside a variety of other small bites or finger foods appetizers. Try them with these traditional Spanish tapas:
- Tortilla Espagñola
- Spanish Spiced Almonds Tapa (Almendras Fritas)
- How to Make Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates
- Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates with Walnuts and Mint
- Make-Ahead Spicy Stuffed Mini Peppers
- 5 Tips for Making Crostini - Ultimate Guide
We also love them served as a side dish with these Easy Japanese Chicken Yakitori Skewers.
This recipe was originally posted in 2020. It has been updated with extra information to make it more helpful. The recipe remains the same.
🗒 More fun-to-eat appetizer recipes
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📖 Recipe Card
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Miso Aioli Dip
- 24 shishito peppers, or Spanish Padron peppers
- 2 teaspoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 medium lemon
- sea salt, to taste
Miso Aioli Dip
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise, vegan
- 2 teaspoon tamari soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon shallots, finely minced
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- Prepare the Miso Aioli Dip first. In a small bowl, combine white miso, mayonnaise, finely chopped shallots, lemon juice, tamari soy sauce and pepper. Set aside while you cook the peppers.
- Rinse the peppers in cool water, then pat dry completely.Toss with a little olive oil.
- Add the peppers to a preheated hot skillet (not non-stick). Make sure you're using no more than what will cover the surface of the pan. You want them to cook by blistering, not by steaming.Reduce heat to medium, and heat, turning often until peppers are blistered on all sides. A little char is okay, but watch carefully.
- Remove from heat.Squeeze a little lemon juice over all, then sprinkle with salt and serve immediately with dip on the side.