We Heart Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers with bonito sand. Photo by Food & Wine

 

August is the time for peppers and this week we want to focus on the little shishito. This Japanese pepper is incredible on the grill and swept North American restaurant menus like wildfire back in 2018. Now they can be found in the produce aisle, ready for you to take home and cook up yourself.

This pepper goes well with strong flavours and there are so many unique recipes out there. We’ve rounded up a few standouts to get you started. Have you ever tasted bonito sand?

Chrissy Teigen serves her shishitos with Caesar dressing

 

Bonito sand is simply bonito flakes ground up with almonds, sugar and butter. This recipe from Food & Wine also uses tofu mustard – a blend of Dijon and silken tofu – that makes for a remarkable flavour combination on the plate.

“Like all sweet and hot chile peppers, shishitos (Capsicum annuum) are descended from South or Central American plants. It’s likely that Portuguese explorers brought chiles to Japan several centuries ago, and some were bred into mild shishitos. One in every 10 or so is as hot as a mild jalapeño (there’s no way to know until you taste them).” – Fine Cooking

 

While these peppers are perfectly suited to grilling, they are often forgotten on the crudité platter. You’ll be delighted at their crisp fresh taste, and their size makes them ideal for stuffing. Remember when Martha Stewart stuffed snow peas with Boursin? Make your life easier and use her ingenious idea for these peppers instead. Simply halve lengthwise and top with softened Boursin, or make your own herbed cream cheese or puréed bean dip.

 

 

Raw they have the taste of a mild green bell pepper with the occasional frisson of heat.

 

topped with panko, photo from The Japanese Kitchen

 

Back on the grill here’s a few more delightful ways to serve them:

 



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