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Shishito peppers are best when they’re blistered! Cook these mild peppers in a hot skillet, then sprinkle with salt. Bet you can’t eat just one!

How to cook shishito peppers
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Got a load of shishito peppers? Here’s the best way to cook them: blistered! These little peppers have quite a cult following. Because here’s the thing: they’re just as irresistible as French fries. Cook them at high heat until they’re tender and their skin is blackened, then sprinkle with salt. Each bite is a mini-explosion of sweet, salty and charred flavor! Alex and I grew these peppers in our garden this year, and my did they make the perfect snack: we scarfed them down in minutes. Here’s exactly how to cook them!

You can also roast these peppers! Go to Roasted Shishito Peppers.

What are shishito peppers, exactly?

Shishito peppers are a thin, bright green peppers with wrinkly skin. They originate from Asia and are used in Asian cuisine; shishito means “lion head pepper” in Japanese. More recently, this pepper has become a popular as an appetizer here in the US and around the world. Why? Because they’re just that good. You’ve got to taste them to become a believer!

Where to find these babies? You can find them at grocery stores and farmers markets in the summer months. They’re easy to grow at home, too; the ones in the photo are from our garden. You can also cook Padron peppers in the same way if you’re able to find that variety. They are a Spanish variety that looks similar to the shishito and are often served as tapas.

Shishito peppers
Shishito peppers from our garden

Are shishito peppers hot?

Here’s the thing: most shishito peppers are quite mild, but approximately 1 in 10 is spicy! We haven’t found this to be true with our garden variety shishito peppers, but we have had this happen at restaurants. So it can depend on the source!

Master method: how to cook shishito peppers

Shishito peppers are very easy to cook: you can cook them on the stovetop or roasted. Here we’ll cover the stovetop method. If you’re looking for roasted, head to Roasted Shishito Peppers. There are just a few tips to know before you go to the recipe below:

  • Use a cast iron skillet, or any heavy-duty skillet. You’ll want something that can hold heat well.
  • Heat over medium high heat. Many cooks like to use high heat, but that can result in smoking oil. Medium high blackens the outsides and makes the insides tender: without the fuss.
  • Don’t stir! This is what gets the nice black char marks. You’ll cook 3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook another 2 minutes.
Shishito peppers

How to season shishito peppers

The best way to season shishito peppers? Simply with salt! Our favorite way to eat them is with just kosher salt or flaky sea salt. You’ll be surprised at the savory sweet flavor that comes through with this basic preparation. To get a little more intriguing, you can add Asian-style or fusion flavors:

  • Sprinkle with soy sauce (or smoked shoyu)
  • Lightly drizzle with toasted sesame oil
  • Sprinkle with Blackened seasoning for a fusion Cajun flair
  • Add a touch of Old Bay Seasoning…why not?
Shishito peppers

A few dipping sauces for serving

You can also vary this shishito peppers appetizer by serving with a dipping sauce! Again, Asian-style flavors go well, but out of the box flavors and fusion mixes go well too. Some restaurants serve shishito peppers with Mediterranean-style aiolis (typically used with French fries). So really anything goes! Here are some ideas:

This shishito pepper recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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How to cook shishito peppers

Easy Blistered Shishito Peppers

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
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Shishito peppers are best when they’re blistered! Cook these mild peppers in a hot skillet, then sprinkle with salt. Bet you can’t eat just one!


  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces shishito peppers
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt


  1. Heat the olive oil in heavy saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers in a single layer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes without stirring, until blistered.
  2. Use tongs to flip the peppers and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Remove the peppers from the pan and sprinkle several pinches of kosher salt or flaky sea salt, to taste.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

More great appetizer recipes

Love entertaining? Here are a few more appetizer recipes and vegan appetizers to serve before the main event:

  • Buffalo Cauliflower Wings They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.
  • Dill Pickle Dip Creamy and tangy, the flavor is like biting into a dill pickle spear.
  • Easy Pinwheels This pinwheel recipe is the ultimate finger food! They’re perfect for entertaining and endlessly customizable.
  • Baked Brie One of the best easy appetizers around! It requires very little hands on time and is always a hit.
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip Irresistibly creamy and tangy! Everyone will park themselves in front of the bowl, then ask you for the recipe.
  • Goat Cheese Crostini An easy finger food idea for a party! Simply make homemade toasts and top with goat cheese, honey and fresh herbs.
  • Easy Edamame An easy snack or side dish! This irresistible edamame recipe is flavored with garlic, sesame oil and salt.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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