Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

Food Monster - Features

Ingredient Spotlight: Shishito Peppers, a Sweet, Citrus-y Chili Pepper That Isn’t Too Spicy

LIKE OGP ON FACEBOOK :

Love peppers, but hate the heat? Maybe it’s time you gave shishito peppers a try. Although these little green peppers look like they would pack heat that would rival jalapeños, they are actually quite mild … except when they’re not. Even though shishito peppers rank low in terms of spiciness, every now and then, you might bite into a hot pepper. Intrigued? Then, let’s learn more about this unique Japanese pepper.

What is a Shishito Pepper?

shutterstock_501870808kps123/Shutterstock

Shishito peppers are small, green, finger-length chili peppers with thin, slightly wrinkly skin that are native to Japan. Their name comes from a mashup of two Japanese words: shishi, for “lion,” because the tip of the pepper resembles a Japanese lion’s head and togarashi, for “chili pepper.” They are part of the family Capsicum annuum, which includes bell peppers and all chili peppers and are close relatives of padrón chilis. Although shishito peppers look like they’re spicy, they are actually quite mild.

On the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the spiciness of peppers from a range of 50 to 200, shishito peppers consistently rank just slightly above bell peppers, meaning that they are not spicy at all. Rather, their heat has been described as slightly warm and very under the radar … most of the time. A typical shishito pepper has a sweet, grassy, citrusy, and slightly sweet flavor, but one out of every 10 to 20 shishito peppers might be spicy. However, they never reach the levels of heat that you would find in a mild jalapeño, so those who are heat-adverse may still want to take their chances with trying shishito peppers.

As far as nutrition goes, shishito peppers are high in vitamin K, vitamin B6, and vitamin C.

How to Cook With Shishito PeppersBlistered Sesame Garlic Shishito Peppers

Unlike bell peppers and chili peppers such as habaneros and jalapeños, the thin walls of shishito peppers are not ideal for stuffing. They are, however, great for grilling, adding to stir-frys, or making tempura.

Try these Blistered Sesame Garlic Shishito Peppers, where the peppers are sautéed with fresh garlic in sesame oil until they are blistered.

Because shishitos are so mild, try substituting them for other mild chili peppers in your favorite recipes. Or, try something like these Breakfast Enchiladas With Poblano Cream, where sautéed poblanos are puréed into a creamy sauce. Or, make this Poblano and Veggie Bacon Green Bean Skillet Casserole with shishito peppers instead of poblanos. You can even replace the sweet chilis in this Puerto Rican Cooking Stock with shishitos and then use it to add flavor to rice-based dishes.

Try shishito peppers instead of bell peppers in this Char Siu Pizza or these Bell Pepper and Lentil Sloppy Joes or incorporate them into this Japanese Curry. For more ideas on what you can try with shishito peppers, see our vegan bell pepper recipes page — just remember, they have thin walls, so they most likely won’t make good stuffed peppers.

To grill shishito peppers, simply rub them with a little bit of olive oil and salt, then grill them until they are slightly charred. This makes a great appetizer or side. You can also replace the bell peppers in this Grilled Vegetable, Olive Flatbread, and Hummus Plate with shishitos.

For tempura, try using shishito as one of the veggies to make this Indian Tempura, which is naturally gluten-free because it uses a blend of chickpea flour and rice flour.

Last, but not least, have fun adding shishito to your favorite stir-fry recipe! If you’re not sure what kind of stir-fry you want to make, read How to Master the Art of Making Amazing Stir-Fries or simply replace the peppers in this Chinese Long Bean Stir-Fry, this Szechuan Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, these Japanese Pan Noodles, or this Sweet Chili Peanut Tofu, Vegetable, and Grilled Pineapple Stir-Fry with shishitos. Check out our vegan stir-fry recipes page for even more ideas!

Where to Buyshishito

Luckily, shishito peppers have become very popular in recent years, so it’s very likely that you might find them in your local grocery store or stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. If you live near an Asian supermarket, try there as well. You might even find them at the farmer’s market. Otherwise, you can grow your own because shishito peppers can be grown all year long. These Organic Shishito Seeds by Sandia Seed Co. come from heirloom, non-GMO peppers. One packet of 10 seeds costs $2.49.

Recommendation: Download the Food Monster Applentil sloppy joes

If you enjoy articles like this and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.

The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!

Lead image source: kps123/Shutterstock

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Krazy for Kebabs: Innovative Ways to Upgrade this Grilling Classic Without Meat

Krazy for Kebabs: Classic Ways to Use This Grilling Classic ... Without the Meat!

5 Easy Vegan Meal Ideas for Lazy Cooks

Easy Peanut Noodles 1

15 Must-Make Vegan Desserts Featuring Strawberries

Lemon and Strawberry Jam Cake

How to Make Perfect Seitan

How to Make Perfect Seitan

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

0 comments on “Ingredient Spotlight: Shishito Peppers, a Sweet, Citrus-y Chili Pepper That Isn’t Too Spicy”

Click to add comment


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×