10-Minute Japanse Style Sautéed Shishito Peppers

October 1, 2018
Whenever I’m introduced to a new food on a menu that I’ve probably looked through over 50 times in all the passed times I’ve visited that restaurant, it makes me realize that perhaps I should be more open to try new things on the menu than what I'm accustomed to ordering. I mean, can you honestly say you’ve ordered every single item from the menu at your favorite restaurant? I know I haven’t. Take for instance, my favorite sushi place close to home. I’ve been going there for the past 5 years, and wasn’t aware until recently, that they carried other appetizer items besides their regular edamame and garlic edamame dish. To me, having that small white round bowl of hot and steamed edamame arrive to my table minutes after sitting down was all the appetizer I needed, and nothing else under the appetizer section of that menu mattered. Little did I know that by sticking to my usual “comfort zone” food, I was being abstained from other delicious dishes available to me, just a “Can I try this?” question away. Over the summer, while a cousin of mine was visiting from out of town, looking over the sushi menu, she suggested that we order shishito peppers as an appetizer. I was skeptical at first, thinking eating a whole pepper would be too spicy for me (strangely, since I love hot spicy food), yet it still looked intimidating, but we ordered them anyway. After trying the first one, I soon regretted never giving them a shot before. They were sautéed in what I believed to be garlic, soy sauce, and other hot spices, similar to my recipe below. They were a bit charred but didn’t taste burnt, and the texture of the pepper and the seeds was soft and light that as I was taking the first bite of a food, it dissolved in my mouth quickly before I could fully savor the flavor. I felt like my palate was saying, “Hey, where’s the rest of it?” So, obviously, I continued to eat more. Also, that concern I had before about it being too spicy quickly went away when I realized how sweet and unique its flavor was. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest) I’d give it a 1. I almost wish it had a bit more heat to it, but nonetheless, I still enjoyed its pleasant sweet taste with the garlic sauce it was dipped in.

10-Minute Japanse Style Sautéed Shishito Peppers

Recipe Type: Allergen Free Appetizers
utensils YIELDS 2 - 4 servings
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  • 1 bag shishito peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 Tbs. agave nectar syrup
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
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1. Heat olive oil at med-heat setting. Add onion and garlic. Toss until light brown and change heat to med-low setting. 2. Poke small holes in peppers with fork. 3. Toss shishito peppers into skillet and stir. 4. Add remainder of ingredients. Stir until peppers are a lightly charred. __ Photo: Cristina Nidome

Cristina is a food enthusiast and chef at heart, always on the hunt for the best vegan foods and hottest restaurants in southern California. Follow her on Instagram @ckhealthybites.


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