during one of our trips home this summer, brian and i snacked on some shishito peppers while waiting for our burgers. you know, the healthy part of the meal. seared in hot oil, sprinkled with a little salt and served with a sweet dipping sauce, they kind of rocked my socks off. i had never had shishito peppers before, and i thought - how hard could this be? the answer - not very hard. all you need is some shishito peppers, salt and a little canola oil.
when cooking these, you want to be sure to use canola oil or another oil with a high smoking temperature - olive oil in this case would be no good. pour an inch or so of oil into your skillet and throw in some newly washed peppers, stems still on. be sure not to crowd the pan, and put a lid on the pan in order to keep the oil from splattering, and to make it easier to move the peppers around (just lift the pan off the stove and shake that sucker around while holding the lid in place). my pans have glass lids, making it easy to monitor progress. you could also do this in a large pot, say a dutch oven, with no lid - the sides would still be big enough to protect you and your stovetop from splattering oil, and make it easy to move the peppers around.
after a few minutes, the peppers should be blistering (an example of that is in the photo above, the tiny pepper to the left). let them drain on a paper towel as you start your next batch, and sprinkle with some coarse salt - sea salt or maldon would do the trick. if you'd like, you could also sprinkle a little soy sauce on all the peppers when you're done, but i would do this sparingly. the seared pepper with a little salt is really perfection in my opinion.
these peppers are not spicy, except every once in a blue moon you'll bite into a spicy one (suspenseful!) serve with a dipping sauce if you like (trader joe's soyaki sauce would be perfect) - the peppers are easy to dip and eat thanks to those sturdy stems - however they're great on they're own as well. pair it with a cold beer and you're all set for game-day - just remember to put on your colors, black and gold in this house. enjoy!