Seared Shishito Peppers

I figured I’d try something a bit different tonight…

Sauteed shishito peppers are getting pretty popular in LA as an appetizer at Japanese restaurants. Here’s my shot at it:

  1. Drop some shishito peppers in a skillet. Nonstick = bad, the reason for which is obvious in second.
  2. Drizzle them a bit with olive or sesame seed oil (I used a dark toasted sesame seed oil).
  3. Sear peppers with a propane torch. Rotate them as necessary to get all of the angles. (A smaller “creme brulee” torch might not produce enough heat… plumber’s torches from Home Depot are the tool for this job…)
  4. Place on a serving plate and top with shaved bonito flakes, yuzu (or lemon) juice, and sea salt.
  5. Serve immediately.
Why sear them with a propane torch? Apparently home stoves don’t produce enough heat to quickly sauté these little buggers, so they lose a lot of their color in the process. Searing them cooks them quickly with plenty of heat, so they retain their lovely color.
Trying just one for the taste… it’s a winner! 🙂
2014-03-02T18:35:34+00:00 February 7th, 2009|3 Comments


  1. mom February 28, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    chris are the peppers spicy hot?
    delighted to see you using the heavey skillet.
    enjoyed talking with you thanks for the call remember to rest and always have fun
    love mom and shaggy

  2. Chris Gagne April 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Most of the peppers are mild (like green bell peppers). However, about one in a dozen will be quite spicy (I read 20 times hotter than a jalapeño, but I don’t think they’re all that hot).

  3. Andrew B February 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I recently tried “wok fired shishito peppers” at Sunda in Chicago and found your recipe while trying to figure out how to copy them. After doing it a couple times I’ve realized I can sear them just as well in a really hot cast iron skillet, which is less work than the blow torch.

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