We Grow Shishito Peppers
Sold by the one pint
Shishitos, a Japanese frying pepper, have been getting a lot of attention recently, popping up in restaurants and popular culture. The pepper is small and finger-long, slender, and thin-walled. Although it turns from green to red upon ripening, it is usually harvested while green. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper (tōgarashi) looks like the head of a lion (shishi); in Japanese it is often abbreviated as shishitō.
Our resources indicate that about one out of every eight peppers is spicy, but this past season we found this to be closer to 1 in every 25. The occurrence of pungent fruit is induced by such factors as exposure to sunlight and other environmental stresses.
Our absolute favorite way to prepare shishito peppers is blistered in a cast iron pan, lightly sea salted and served as an appetizer or side dish on Mexican night. For cooking, a hole is poked in the pepper beforehand to keep expanding hot air from bursting the pepper. They may also be skewered then broiled (grilled), or pan-fried in oil, stewed in a soy sauce or simply eaten raw in a salad or as a condiment. It is thin-skinned and will blister and char easily compared with thicker-skinned varieties of peppers. Eben tastier served alongside homemade aioli sauce.