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Blistered and Charred…and Delicious!

Have you heard of shishito peppers?

What about Padron peppers?

Would you believe me if I told you these little peppers are life-changing, with only 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to prepare?

It's true!  And now is the perfect time to get them at many local farmers' markets!

Check out our video to see why we love these summer peppers and how simple it is to prepare them!



Our introduction to shishito peppers!

In 2012, my husband and I were in Portland, Oregon and ate at a local Peruvian restaurant.  One of the appetizer specials was "Blistered Padron Peppers."  At this point in our REAL food journey, we were still trying to get out of our comfort zone and try new things.  With a little encouragement from our waiter, we added them to our order.  We were both secretly scared they were going to be super-hot and blow our faces off.  When they arrived, we asked the waiter how we should eat them.  He said, "just eat the whole thing."  All at once?  "Absolutely!"  We cautiously took our first bite and let's just say we were blown away - in a good way!  They were slightly sweet, slightly smoky, and melt-in-our mouth tender.


We were immediately addicted!

So much so that when we couldn't find any at home in Wichita, KS, we found a chef who served them at his Kansas City restaurant - although his were called shishito peppers (instead of Padron peppers).  We contacted him and asked if he could order some extras for us.  He agreed and we have been enjoying them ever since!


What are they?

Padron and shishito peppers are kind of like cousins...Padron peppers originated in Spain and shishito peppers came from Japan.  Both types of peppers are about 2 to 4 inches in length and slightly wrinkled (almost like a little shriveled jalapeno).  Their skins are a little shiny and thinner than a jalapeno.  Nutritionally, they are loaded with Vitamin C and are also a good source of Vitamin A and fiber.



What about the heat?

Shishitos are very mild, coming in between 50 and 200 on the Scoville Heat Scale.  Compare this to a jalapeno, which typically registers anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 in spiciness.  So, a mild jalapeno is still more than 10 times as hot as the spiciest shishitos.  Padrons tend to have a little more kick than the shishitos, typically coming in between 500 and 2,500 on the heat scale.


Russian Roulette?

One thing to know is that 1 out of every 10 or 20 shishito or Padron peppers is likely to have noticeably more kick than the average pepper.  Even the "hotter" ones don't have a "blow your face off" kick, but they can get your attention if you're not expecting it.  Honestly, it's just part of the fun when enjoying these delicious peppers!


How do you prepare them?

This is the best part!  Our absolute favorite way to enjoy them is as simple as cooking them in a hot, dry skillet for about 10 minutes, and then toss with some olive oil and salt.  That's it!  They will be perfectly blistered and tender and will definitely tantalize your taste buds!

We have also cooked them on the grill, and they were fantastic, although our "go-to" is preparing them indoors in a hot, dry skillet.  We love eating them whole (just like the Portland waiter recommended), and you can also slice them up and serve them with meats, veggies and even fruits, like in the Watermelon & Shishito Salad.


Buying and storing them...

  • By far, the best shishitos we have had were from the farmers' market.  You just can't beat freshly harvested veggies!
  • As they have increased in popularity the last couple of years, you can now find them in some grocery stores and wholesale clubs.  We have had friends tell us they are "ok" but not as good as the farmers' market varieties.  Also, be mindful of the seasoning packets that may be included with these, as they can contain refined vegetable oils, added sugar and other ingredients.
  • When we buy them from the farmers' market, the fresh peppers typically last for at least a week (or two!) in the fridge.  We have frozen them before, and they just weren't quite the same as enjoying them cooked from fresh.
  • After you have cooked them, are they good leftover?  We have no idea...we have never had any leftovers!


Check out your local farmers' markets and try to find some shishito or Padron peppers within the next few weeks.

And, if you see them on the menu when you are eating out, definitely add them to your order (maybe even a double order?!).

And then please let us know what you think!


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4 Responses to Blistered and Charred…and Delicious!

  1. Krista, you’re absolutely right…these shishito peppers are wonderful. I found some at my local farmers market and after eating them, I decided I would grow my own, which I did…I now have 6 pepper plants and they are just starting to come in so I can’t wait! Yummy!!!!

    • Do you have any idea how jealous we are of your 6 pepper plants?! We have one plant that has not produced too many, we leave the green thumb to the farmers at our local market! We hope you are still enjoying peppers even now!

  2. You got us started on shishito peppers a couple of years ago! We will be looking for them this week at the Farmers Market 🙂

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