CARE Recipe: Quick-fried Shishito Peppers (Japanese Pub Food)

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CARE Recipe: Quick-fried Shishito Peppers (Japanese Pub Food)

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5 from 1 review

Shishito peppers are a staple in Japan, where they’re often grilled and skewered, or tempura-battered and fried. In Korea, I lived in an attic apartment with no air conditioning, and I’d sweat at the stove in the summertime just for a pan of these babies. Luckily, they cook in less than ten minutes. When stir-fried, the peppers melt down and mellow out, with blistered, smoky spots, so that all they really need is a sprinkling of salt and a squeeze of lemon. They look spicy because they’re small and green, but they’re actually closer to a green bell pepper than a jalapeno. About one out of every ten peppers packs some heat, which makes eating them fun. The hot ones are noticeably spicier, but still not unbearably so. Shishito peppers, until recently, were hard to find in markets. However, today they can be found in most grocery stores including recent sightings at Costco.

  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 6 cups shishito pepper
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (avocado or peanut oil may also be used)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, (juice of 1 lemon)
  • pinch salt, (to taste)


  1. Wash peppers with time to allow them to dry thoroughly before adding to hot oil.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  3. Note: Before adding peppers to hot oil, take care to protect bare arms from any oil that could splatter as peppers “pop” during cooking.
  4. Once oil is shimmering (but not smoking) add shishito peppers. Allow them to blister in parts, stirring a few times so that they can get color on all sides. This takes anywhere from 5-7 minutes, and even less time with a hot wok.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Squeeze lemon directly over the peppers and sprinkle with salt. Stir again to coat all peppers.
  7. Transfer peppers to a plate. Eat whole peppers (except the stem); tastes best when eaten fresh and hot out of the pan.


Additional serving notes from Teri: These pair wonderfully with extra-lean grilled proteins and grilled fruits (like pineapple and peaches). These pairings allow the peppers to use the full amount of oil which gives them the “pub” part and feels indulgent though is still balanced. I often enjoy this recipe when I’m craving “fried” foods, it always satisfies it.


  • Calories: 203
  • Sodium: 76mg
  • Fat: 14g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg


  1. Teri Rose, OblSB, Program Director Post author

    Jim- I love these as a starter when I am having an Asian soup or veggie wontons. You just hold them by the stem and enjoy in one bite! Have fun exploring how you like them! (and they do go really well with beer!)

  2. James Farino

    This is a good idea! I’m going to look for shishito’s this week for sure. I wonder if it would be good over brown rice or white beans. I could see this being a weekly meal to have with beer! Thanks for the recipe.

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