Are you acquainted with shishito peppers? They are thin-skinned little green peppers that you can cook up in a skillet in ten minutes. Once they have a little char on them, they’re so irresistible.
Nine out of ten shishitos are quite mild, but then you’ll come across one that makes your eyes water! That’s part of the fun.
I’ve been craving blistered shishitos since we returned from Spain, where we found the shishito’s cousins cooked the same way. So, I’ve been scooping them up at Whole Foods, and tossing them in a skillet at home.
It took me a few tries to get my technique down. Most recipes will tell you to cook the peppers over high heat, but that will fill your kitchen with smoke. I’ve dialed down the heat and figured out how to make consistently great blistered shishitos. Ready for the easiest appetizer recipe ever?
How to Cook Shishito Peppers
Blistered shishito peppers are so easy to cook that you’ll know this recipe by heart after your first try. I offer exact amounts of peppers and oil below, but you really just need enough peppers to cover the base of your skillet and enough oil to lightly coat the peppers.
Here are a few tips:
- Wash and pat the peppers dry before starting. You don’t want any splatters when you add them to the pan.
- Toss the peppers in oil before cooking, rather than heating oil in the skillet. Shishitos are irregularly shaped, so there’s no way the oil will get into all the crevices otherwise.
- This trick also reduces the amount of oil on the pan at any given time, which means there’s less oil to overheat. Props to this YouTube video for the suggestion.
- Warm your skillet over medium until it’s so hot that a drop of water sizzles and quickly evaporates. Most recipes will tell you to cook the peppers over high heat, but that’s too hot for olive oil (especially in cast iron).
- Then, add the oiled peppers. Let them rest for a minute at a time before stirring, so they get a chance to char. Stir every minute until the peppers are tender and blistered in spots. Popping sounds are good! This will take about ten minutes.
That’s it! Transfer them all to a serving dish, and finish them off with a spritz of lemon juice and a generous sprinkle of salt. I’ve tried other flavorings, but shishitos are really best when they’re simply dressed.
Watch How to Cook Shishitos
Meet shishito’s cousins, which you can cook up the same way. Shishitos are easier to find in the States, so that’s why they’re featured in the title of this post.
Shishito peppers hale from East Asia, and I’ve ordered them as an appetizer from sushi menus. They are small green peppers that look like wrinkled, thin-skinned jalapeños. Don’t worry, they aren’t nearly as spicy (well, 90 percent are not).
Where to buy shishito peppers: You can generally find shishitos for sale at Whole Foods, by the jalapeños, and Trader Joe’s, packaged in the refrigerated produce section.
We found Padrón peppers in Barcelona when we visited Ali and Barclay. Padróns are a little thicker than shishitos, but very closely related. Apparently you’re more likely to come across a spicy Padrón (one in five, vs. one in ten).
We found guindilla peppers in San Sebastián in Northern Spain. They’re skinnier than shishitos, and my favorite variety. You’ll also find them pickled in vinegar, and they taste like spicy, firm pepperoncini peppers.
The first time we ordered blistered guindillas, my husband assumed we couldn’t possibly finish off the full bowl and offered them to our neighbors for a taste. I admired his generosity while I reached for another, and another, and before you knew it, I polished them off myself.
Guindillas are a Basque specialty, and I’ve never seen them elsewhere. I love them so much I’ve found seeds to plant next year.
What to Serve with Shishito Peppers
Shishitos are a light and healthy snack on their own. They would be welcome with almost any meal, and they’re an easy way to round out an appetizer spread of cheese and olives.
If you want to take a cue from Spanish tapas, serve them with any of the following Mediterranean appetizers:
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta
- Easy Romesco Sauce with raw or grilled veggies
- Best Hummus
- Epic Baba Ganoush
- Baked Goat Cheese with Tomato Sauce
Please let me know how your peppers turn out in the comments! They really are so fun to make and eat.
Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Asian
Blistered shishitos are easy to make and totally irresistible! You’ll just need shishitos, olive oil, a skillet, and this simple recipe. Recipe yields 4 appetizer servings; you can double the recipe in a large skillet.
- 8 ounces (3 heaping cups) shishito peppers
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Lemon wedge, optional
- Salt, preferably flaky sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
- Rinse and pat the peppers dry on a clean tea towel. Transfer the peppers to a medium bowl, drizzle in the oil, and toss until the peppers are evenly coated. Set aside.
- Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat until it’s hot enough that a drop of water sizzles and evaporates quickly on contact. Add the peppers and let them cook, stirring every minute or so (not too often), until they are tender with charred spots, about 8 to 12 minutes.
- Transfer the peppers to a serving plate. Spritz with a lemon wedge, if desired. Sprinkle with salt, to taste (don’t skimp). Serve with a little bowl on the side for the pepper stems.
Pepper options: This recipe will also work with Padrón peppers and guindilla peppers.
These are my absolute favorite. I only discovered them a couple of years ago myself. I’d love to know how to pick peppers…sometimes I see patches of color and wonder if that’s better than an all green pepper? I am growing some peppers for the first time and it’s silly but I keep watching them get bigger and I hope I won’t go too far and let them rot on the vine! LOL.
Hi Heide! I’m so happy I discovered them, too! I can’t get enough. I appreciate your review.
Finished these with some truffle salt in addition to fine-ground pink Hymalian salt and the result was UNBELIEVABLE. The truffle salt added a truly exceptional undertone that really woke these little peppers from amazing, into stupid ridiculousness. I can’t believe a little truffle made that big a difference.
Thanks for the common sense recipe for Shishito peppers. I was given a bag of them and had no idea what to do. Cooked them your way and they were delicious!
I’m glad you enjoyed them, Claudine!
Heide, we grow jalapeños and have grown serranos in the past. Hoping to try something new next year! Whether you pick them green or some other color is a personal preference. We let some of our peppers turn red. They become a bit spicier and sweeter (and from what I’ve read, nutrients increase slightly too). They don’t sell red jalapeños where I live, so it feels like a special treat when we have them :) I imagine it’s similar for other peppers too!
I am growing peppers here in Germany, right now I have lots of blossoms and fruit on my ” White Habanero” I seeded out last year! From last year I have ” Arbol” and ” Jalapeno” as well, but they remain quite small! I sure hope they will bear fruit!
Sorry, but me and the people I had the pleasure to cook with really adore my ” Peanut Sauce” – so I will stick to it!
Thanks for sharing, Stefan.
What are those peppers?
They are a type of pepper. You should be able to find them near the other peppers in the grocery store.
Thanks for this! I was introduced to these peppers through our CSA. They are yummy but I was putting the oil and this sounds like a much better option!
And on another note, the romesco recipe that you published is so easy and yummy and good for so many things. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Carol!
This is one of my top five favorite appetizers of all time!! We make them exactly as you say. A perfect addition to a simple cheese plate. We always made a dipping sauce with plain Greek yogurt, spicy mustard and siracha. It’s amazing. Since we went vegan we eat them plain. I miss the sauce but they are still quite lovely on their own.
I love it!
I haven’t made this yet but quick Q. Do you think this would work on the BBQ?
Hey Jackie, I haven’t tried, but I think so! The peppers are small (could fall through the grates) so you might have better luck with a grill pan or even threading them onto skewers. Please report back if you give them a try.
They are perfect grilled on the BBQ as well )
Paige Cassandra Flamm
I totally need to try these, they look amazing!
Let me know what you think, Paige!
J J Laurenzi
Great stuff. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for an added flavor after cooking.
We love sesame seeds too! And use part olive oil and part sesame oil for the coating on the peppers before cooking. So so good!
That sounds like a great idea!
I grow Padrons every summer here in Vermont, started indoors from seed in early spring, then moved outdoors when temps warm up. Very easy to grow in the ground or one plant per large pot in a sunny spot. Just a couple plants give you plenty of peppers to enjoy. Seeds are pretty readily available at garden centers that carry more than the standard brands of seeds.I char them same as this recipe, and they are always a big hit. Great with cocktails.
Thanks for sharing, Judy!
Never heard about those peppers, but your way of treating them very closely resembles my way of treating the chilies I grow on my windowsill! I have a ” White Habanero” – plant which is explodung with blossons and fruit – yep, 1 ” Arbol” and some ” Jalapenos”! You could do a ” Special” about ” Chili Cuisine”!? Sorry, but I like it hot!
My ” Peanut – Sauce ” is legendary here in Frankfurt!
If you like hot, I say go for it! Thank you for your review, Stefan.
This just makes me sad that my Shishitos never produced any peppers this year. :( They were so prolific the previous year. I’m not sure what happened. Oh well. I’ll get it right next year!
I’ve never cooked with shishito peppers but picked some up this past weekend at the market. Love how delicious and easy these are to make!
Absolutely perfect since it’s super hot here and this is just ideal for our lunches and dinners ! Thank you and enjoy your day :-)
Thank you for your review!
Just made these the last 2 nights from our Farm Share this week!
Can’t say enough how simple yet tasty they were!!!
I’m happy to hear that, Jane!
Great recipe. I’ve made these twice this past week. They taste just like the peppers we had in Spain.
If only I could get my hands on the Spain variety! I loved those too. :)
This was a wonderful recipe – as are all of your recipes that I’ve ever tried, BTW. I’d never heard of these peppers but when I read the recipe it sounded perfect as an appetizer for a meal I was cooking for friends who are currently doing a round of Whole30. As always, things worked out exactly as you described. Boy, were they a hit! None of us is shy of hot peppers, so we kept tabs on who got the hot ones. The reward for “winning?” An extra pepper! Thanks for all you share; I think you make the world a better place with your friendly, accessible offerings! Also, I’m glad you enjoyed Santa Fe. I live to the east of SF, over the mountains in an area called the Northeast Highlands. All of Northern NM is wonderful; on your next visit, I hope you’ll get the chance to spend a night at Ojo Caliente. The environment and springs are terrific!
I saw this recipe in my inbox months ago and it stuck with me. I just came across some shishito peppers this week. I finally got to try this recipe and it’s amazing! Also I recently saw that you’re originally from OK and I got excited. I was born here but grew up in Phoenix. I’ve been in Tulsa for a couple of years now finding my Okie roots. :)
This was delicious and super easy. I followed Kate’s directions exactly as written and the whole lot of peppers were consumed.
Wonderful, Shoba! Thanks for sharing.
I rarely see Shishito peppers here in Edmonton, but I lucked out today at an Italian market and made these following your recipe/suggestions. I am obsessed!!! These things are so addictive!
Hooray! Thanks for letting me know, Christine.
We toss with salt and olive oil, then roast on a sheet pan in a 425 oven. Easier to cook many at a time! Yummy!!!!
Exactly as you described. Never had them before and I thought I had cooked way too many. Needless to say we polished them ALL off and I only found 2 out of the whole batch that were spicy. delicious snack.
BTW – I found them at Costco.
Thank you for sharing, Kelly! I’m glad you loved them.
I’ve cooked small Shishitos and large using your method. The smalls are just amazingly good! The large are very disappointing. Thx
This was super simple and yet very tasty! I used garlic olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic salt on shishito peppers I got at Trader Joe’s. Definitely was reminiscing about padron peppers I had in Spain.
My first time hearing of shishitos was just this week, so I searched recipes and found yours. Mine turned out GREAT! Your best tip was how to avoid the smoke by cooking on a lower temperature. Whew, almost reviewed that tip too late! Next best tip: tossing in oil before adding to med. heat pan. BONUS: YOU INCLUDED THE “WHY”s on those tips, ty! ….
Delicious with olive oil, salt, & lemon juice. We also tried other seasonings with a few, just to see: curry, ground fennel, ground coriander, Penzey’s Justice mix, and even cinnamon! All good, but none significantly better than just salt & lemon.
We had these as a third vegetable with fried flounder fillets, summer slaw, and corn.
BTW, another tip I’d add is that if you want to avoid splatters from the peppers popping, puncture the tips with a knife point.
Thanks for the recipe, and for asking for our feedback!
You’re welcome! I appreciate getting feedback so I know what it working well for you. Thank you, Betsy!
I suggest using vinegar instead of lemon juice. Except for that, this recipe is amazing.
Thanks for this simple recipe. My CSA bag last week contained a couple handfuls of Shishito peppers and I was grateful to find your recipe. It was easy to do, took very little time, and made a delicious snack. Thank you, Kate!
You are so correct! I will remember. I did cook up some pepperoni and sliced onions when the peppers were almost done. I love these! Great recipe and so easy!
I made this recipe and the peppers turned out delicious! Very detailed and accurate instructions. I was very pleased as it was the first time I had cooked Shishito Peppers. We are going to make them again, tonight. Thank you Kate!
I’m glad you liked these as much as I did! Thanks for making them and taking the time to provide feedback.
Made these last week and couldn’t wait to pick up more at the market this weekend. I’ve made 4 or 5 of your recipes and love that you’re very “spot on” with the tips and simple flavors. Thank you!
Absolute perfection. Took me back to my honeymoon in Spain. Thank you!
Delicious! Cooking them this way really cuts down on the amount of oil you need.
Another tip is to put them into a big bowl with a lid and shake around with the oil. Easy to coat them evenly and no greasy hands!
I find these peppers at Sprouts.
This recipe was perfect! I had never had shishito peppers,but they arrived from my CSA and then I found your recipe. So fast and so delicious. Thank you!
They’re so good! I’m glad you discovered them in your CSA. Thank you for your review, Jessica!
First time trying these, I got them from a local farm and gave this recipe a shot.
These were the best peppers I’ve ever had by far, delicious, subtly sweet, tender, almost melted in my mouth, my first one had a nice big kick, But they were usually smooth, creamy, soft, and slightly sweet.
Finally gave this a shot when I saw the peppers at my local grocery store – delicious! Seal of approval from both me and my husband :)
This was perfection! I love shishito peppers and order them at any restaurant that offers it, didn’t realize it was so easy to make. But your adjustment for the high heat and smokiness was just what I needed for my small nyc studio! Loved it!!
So easy and amazing! I actually picked the peppers up on a whim at a 99¢ store. I figured “why not?” since they they were only 99¢, right? I used pure olive oil instead of evoo and the first batch went amazing well. I did 2 batches to ensure the pan wasn’t too crowded and the peppers had enough surface time. The second batch… well, things got a little smokey! Next time ill use the avo oil. So good!
Wonderful, Martha! Thank you for your review.
These are so delicious and easy! Thank you for sharing! I made an aioli dipping sauce to go with it, so good!
Oh that sounds delicious, Sonja! Thank you for your review.
Great quick recipe for Shishito peppers! Sorry, no pics! Ate them all up? Hey, I’m half Japanese (!)…”Oishso!” (Delicious!)
Just cooked these. Awesome.
We did as in the recipe and then served with a small dish on the side with honey and lightly dredged some of them before eating. yum!
Thank you for sharing, Kirby! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
These were delicious! And I got the 10th pepper…first
Can you roast these peppers in the oven ?
Possibly, although I found this worked the best. I hope you try them!
Another amazing recipe by Kate!
Omg…glad I didn’t taste these before serving them at dinner. There would have been none left to serve!!! My husband commented that he could have made a meal out of just the peppers. Delicious!!!
These are so great! One thing we loved to do whisk together the juice from one lime and a teaspoon of sesame oil and toss the peppers in that when they’re done cooking and still hot. It’s delicious!
That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing, Matt.
You don’t know this, but your website is a staple in our household. Your minestrone soup is made weekly lol. We have been trying to incorporate veggies into our diet more and more and your recipes are perfect for that! Thank you so much!
I’m not a fan of peppers in general but I got some of these in a crop share and decided to give it a try. This is delicious!
Wonderful, Emmy! Thank you for your review.
Hi. You cut the stems off before you eat them, right? You don’t eat the stems as well, I’m thinking.
Or you can eat up to the stems. That’s up to your preference. I hope you enjoy them!
We received a batch of these peppers in our CSA share, and had no idea what to do with them. We followed your suggestions, using a cast iron pan, and they were absolutely delicious! Ours only took about 5 minutes to reach perfection. The lemon juice and salt were the perfect seasonings. I only wish I had another batch to enjoy them again!
I’m glad you loved them, Lauren! Thank you for your review.
Laurie C. O'Neill
Your directions worked perfectly! This turned out to be an easy dish, thanks to tossing the peppers in oil and using medium heat. Will be making again!
That’s great to hear, Laurie! Thank you for your review.
Thanks so much for the delish recipe!
I made these recently for guests and served them with a cilantro aioli for dip (similar to the aji verde you make), and they were SO good!
I’m glad you loved it, Elena! I appreciate your review.
Easier to roast them in the oven
I have made these several times now and they are so good. Followed the recipe as is. Will make these for next family get-together for sure!
Love to hear that, Kim! Thank you for your review.
Nice article,some of my showgirl peppers have cried red, what can I do with them?
Great! I mixed in a few Serrano peppers for a little heat. The fresh lemon juice is a must to finish them off.
Thank you for sharing how you changed it up, Jenn! I appreciate your review.
Thank you for sharing this simple prep method. I hadn’t thought to toss the peppers in the oil first. Works great! Delicious with a little spritz of lime and some sea salt
You’re welcome, Bethany! Thank you for your review.
We just loved these! I’d had blistered shishito peppers at a restaurant one time before, and happened upon some shishitos at our farmer’s market. I made them according to your recipe, and the technique was perfect. The only thing I added at the end was some fresh ground pepper and some toasted sesame oil, for added flavor. Yum. Getting some more at the market tomorrow!
I’m excited you enjoy these peppers, Paula!
Thank you, Maggie! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Absolutely WOW !!! I had never tried (or even heard) of these little gems until yesterday when I received a bag full in my CSA box.
I followed recipe exactly …. so easy … and sooooo GOOD !
I finished mine off with garlic salt, a few drops of sesame oil, and a quick drizzle of rice vinegar (since I didn’t have a lemon on hand).
I have now purchased a package seeds so I can grow my own! THANK YOU!
Wonderful to hear, Kristin! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
Yep. Just as good as promised! Thank you!
You’re welcome, KJ!
I look for recipes occasionally based on odd vegetables I have acquired. Your site has come through with excellent recipes on many occasions. Now when I see your site come up, I go there first. Thank you for making Farmers Market days an adventure and not a frustration or wasted food day!
First time trying these as I could not resist them at Durham NC farmer’s market. Simple and delicious way to serve. Next will try with cheese and olives. Thanks for a great recipe!
You’re welcome, Ellen! I appreciate your review.
I added mushroom bits and pieces and two slices of microwave bacon. Sautéed in olive oil and a little butter. All good.
One of my all-time faves from tapas bars. I do the same thing but for a variation I love a sprinkling of aged Sherry vinegar rather than lemon at the end. Good instruction on the oil-tossed peppers first!
One of my all-time faves from tapas bars. I do the same thing but for a variation I love a sprinkling of aged Sherry vinegar rather than lemon at the end. Good instruction on the oil-tossed peppers first rather than oil in the pan.
Thank you for sharing how you make these peppers, Natalie!
I grow them but picked up a bag at my local Japanese mkt. and while perusing cooking them (memory of a mayfly) ran into this site… oiled them with coconut oil (nuked to liquid) and broiled in my toaster oven. The best tip was lemon juice and salt. Very tasty. I ordered some Guindilla Pepper seeds to set up some starts for the season so that will be fun.
Appreciate the concept of coating the peppers with oil vs adding them to hot oil and having it splatter everywhere. I prepare Shishitos mostly every week. My addition to enjoying them is coating in a Ponzu Aioli sauce after cooking. The recent is included below. Try it!
2 tablespoon ponzu sauce
2 large egg yolk
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
– Place ingredients into blender and mix on med-high speed to mix.
– Por over the peppers and enjoy
They had these peppers at Aldi, of all places. I looked them up in the store and ran across your article and recipe. We played shishito pepper roulette with dinner tonight. Ha! I look so forward to making them again. What a delicious little pepper!