We have no idea if you can get these little peppers at the store or a farmers’ market, but, if you happen to see them, pick up some to try. We find them to be one of the best peppers around; not spicy hot — although every once in a while you might get a hot pepper — just a really nice-tasting pepper. Plus, these peppers are about the easiest thing to cook on the planet. Really. Five minutes of almost no work and you’ll have one of the best-tasting sides (or appetizers) around.
Last year, we showed our favorite way of having shishito peppers, in a light tempura batter, which is really easy to make, but, today, we’ll go with something even easier, and nearly as tasty: Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers. So, let’s get scratchin’, cause reading this takes longer than making these peppers.
Shishito peppers are thin-walled peppers with a lot of flavor, so you’ll have a hard time finding a good substitute; if you can’t get shishito peppers, just wait until you can. The oil can be any neutral oil; we just happened to have canola oil. Salt and pepper, of course, adjust to your taste.
Procedure in detail:
Wash and pierce peppers. Wash the peppers. No need to remove the stems, as these form perfect little handles for picking up and eating the peppers once cooked. But you do want to take the time to pierce each pepper near the stem end with a sharp knife to let the steam escape while they cook. Without this release valve, some of the peppers will pop open while cooking, spattering hot seeds and oil. Not the best when it lands on your hands or arms. Let the peppers dry, or dry them in a towel to prevent spattering, too.
Heat oil. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. We use a cast-iron skillet, which hold the heat nicely, and we heat the oil until it ripples and shimmers. Not so hot that the oil smokes, but close.
Cook peppers. Toss the peppers in the oil and give the pan a good shake to spread the peppers into a single layer. Let fry for a few minutes so one side will get charred a bit, then shake the pan around to flip over the peppers. Continue shaking and frying until the peppers are soft, with some nice charred spots here and there, about 8 minutes total.
Season. Sprinkle with kosher salt; we like using kosher because the large granules give the dish some texture, and some freshly ground black pepper. Give everything a nice shake, and serve immediately.
Easy, easy, easy. Just wash, dry, and fry, nothing could be simpler. And yet they taste so good. Every time we have shishito peppers and we finish off our serving, we wonder if we should just make up another batch. After all the pan is right there, just need a bit more oil, and in a few minutes, more peppers to snack on. We don’t do it, but we really think about it. And, to our minds, that makes a five-star dish. Not from anything we did, but because these peppers are the best.