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How to Cook Shishito Peppers

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2018

You’ve probably seen these Japanese peppers on restaurant menus, and now they’re popping up at farmers’ markets and supermarkets. Here’s what to do with them.

Until recently, Japanese shishito peppers were mostly enjoyed in restaurants as a trendy bar snack or appetizer that you pick up by the stems and eat whole. But these days, they are increasingly available at farmers' markets and supermarkets, so you can prepare them at home. Slender, 3- to 4-inch-long shishitos boast thin skins, delicate flesh, and an addictive fruity, grassy flavor reminiscent of jalapeño or serrano chiles, minus the heat. Restaurants often deep-fry whole shishitos until they blister, but we have found that cooking them in a small amount of oil works just as well.

HERE'S OUR METHOD: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Add 8 ounces shishito peppers and cook, without stirring, until skins are blistered, 3 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip peppers and continue to cook until blistered on second side, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl, toss with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and serve.