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A recipe for Blistered Shishito Peppers.

Shishito Peppers for a delicious appetizer recipe.

Blistered Shishito Peppers recipe.

A recipe for Blistered Shishito Peppers.

Hi Guys! So two nights ago I was lucky enough to see Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi speak at the Pantages in LA. Did anyone else go? and did anyone else have the best time listening to the ever articulate and brilliant Tony Bourdain and totally awesome and badass Chef Choi?! I loved it! It’s always so refreshing to see and hear two people you look up to so much, pretty much just shooting the shit for 2 hours on stage. Even the audience q&a (which normally I HATE bc man, people can ask some really mundane and self-involved questions and it really sucks sometimes) was really fun and interesting…some people asked really great questions! It was also no matter that I was on a shoot earlier that day that ended up over 50 miles away from the theater! Luckily, the boyfriend was meeting me at the theater bc of the time, bc he probably would’ve had a heart attack in the car with me. I may have been dangerously weaving through cars and I may have been blazing down the freeway much faster than I should be going….but absolutely nothing was going to keep me from attending an event with my boyfriend…. to watch my other two boyfriends, Tony and Roy, speak. :)

Some of you may know this, some of you may not, but Roy Choi is my current favorite chef. Yes, I’m a little bias because part of my love, for both him (and David Chang for that matter) does stem from the fact that he is an outstanding and creative Korean-American chef, but more so because of the way Chef Choi looks at food and different places he finds his day to day inspiration. I love that he once wrote in an interview how he had an epiphany about how his whole culinary career is based off his obsession with milkshakes! “It’s my nostalgia, but I like blending shit up….. All the Kogi stuff, the sauces and marinades, are all blended. We blend it in a bucket. All my sauces at A-frame. I’m tripping out, man. I’m starting to see how everything I do is blended. It has to go back to milkshakes.” (quote source from How awesome is that?!?!

In the recent (well for the last year) Chef Choi has gone vegetarian in a sense (still eats meat in dishes offered to him, presented to him, but hasn’t ordered a meat dish in about a year) and when it first came out he was highly criticized for turning him back on something that made him oober successful “kogi”, which translates to “meat”. You know what I say to the nay sayers? Get off his back! (see my creepy obsession starting to build?) He’s not turning his back on meat or his successful food trucks as well as his booming restaurants; he’s simply made a personal decision for himself and i’m excited. Why? In my mind, a true chef isn’t measured by the best savory, rich meat dish he/she can make (bc lets be serious, if we all used bacon fat, duck fat, etc in our cooking, everyone’s food would taste amazing), but by the best salad/side dish they can make. No joke. I think it’s much more difficult to push a salad than it is to push roasted bone marrow with buttery toast points or a pappardelle and short rib ragu.

So in honor of Chef Choi and his new found love of veggies we have not a salad for you today, lol, but simple and delicious blistered shishito peppers. I love these things and I love them blistered. I’ve started to see them as small appetizers around a few LA restaurants and that’s exciting. Shishito peppers are a sweeter variety of Japanese peppers with a neat “twisted-like” shape. When you blister them, (either on a grill or in a cast iron skillet), they get a really nice smokey aroma to them and soften just the right amount. For these peppers, I like keeping things super simple and let the peppers speak for themselves. Nothing but a little sesame oil, salt and pepper. Yum-town. Not only is this snack delicious and easily transportable (mid afternoon work snack? Yes, please), but it’s seriously a 10 minute recipe from start to finish. I’m pretty sure these are going to be my new go to healthy snack and hopefully they’re Roy Choi approved. :) Enjoy! xx, Jenny

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Blistered Shishito Peppers
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil (plus more for drizzling at the end)
1/2 lb. shishito peppers, cleaned
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
toasted sesame seeds

1. Place cast iron skillet over high heat. Once skillet is hot add oils.
2. Carefully add peppers to pan and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, moving them around the pan frequently. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Once peppers have charred/blistered all around and have begun to wilt remove from heat. Adjust seasonings.
4. Drizzle peppers with sesame oil and top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve.

*If using a grill, toss peppers in oils and season with salt and pepper before placing on the grill. It may also be helpful to use a grill basket, to ensure none of the little peppers fall through the grill grates.

  1. Michelle Not Specified Not Specified

    How awesome that you were able to see them. Sounds like an amazing time!

  2. talisa tossell Not Specified Not Specified


  3. Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) Not Specified Not Specified

    I love shishito peppers, especially prepared so simply this way! This makes me miss Japan…

  4. tara Not Specified Not Specified

    Awesome!! I love shishito peppers!! And David Chang!! He is amazeballs! I will have to check out Roy Choi. And I TOTALLY agree with you on the salad front. Of course you can make anything delicious with bacon or duck fat. But salads? You have to be creative and skilled.

    I’m sad I missed the talk-I live in LA! How’d you find out about it?

    Thanks for the recipe! :)

  5. Belinda Not Specified Not Specified

    My grandmother used to prepare veggies like this too. It was not only chillies, She a use numerous asian root veg in order to make a spicy roasted pickle. I would love to give this a go when I visit the farmers market next.

  6. LTE Not Specified Not Specified

    These peppers have been popping up on a number of appetizer and happy hour menus around Sacramento in the past many months and they are really good just blistered and sprinkled with salt. Some are spicy and some are not so you never know what you are going to get with each bite. Our local Japanese food store was selling Shishito Pepper plants so I bought a couple and will grow my own this summer. Will definitely try your recipe. Thanks!

  7. Donna Not Specified Not Specified

    Mmm never had these. I’ll have to give it a try!

  8. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious Not Specified Not Specified

    I had these in a seared ahi salad recently and they really kicked it up a notch, loved the flavor :)

  9. Ellen Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m so jealous you went to that talk! And I love shishito peppers, these look terrific.

    Will there be a love-dish for Tony too?

  10. Gail {A Stack of Dishes} Not Specified Not Specified

    I LOVE these! I’ve never tried them before, but they look incredible. Also love your support of Chef Choi. I’m all for letting people live their lives the way they choose- well, maybe not it it’s a 6 dorito bag a day habit- jus’ sayin’

  11. Jeff Parker Not Specified Not Specified

    I wish I had seen you there!!! It was an awesome evening – Bourdain, of course, very charming, funny, insightful, and articulate. The surprise was Choi! I don’t necessarily think it was the best venue to get out his ideas, but man, he has a lot of great things going through his head! His food is amazing and he has really been the epicenter of LA’s new counter-culture food revolution – very inspirational!!! SF and Brooklyn lookout… LA food is on it’s way (FINALLY)!!

    • Jenny Park Not Specified Not Specified

      Jeff! I’m so sad I didn’t see you there! Yes I totally agree with you, maybe not the best platform for chef choi (as he’s not the most articulate of chefs) but still so amazing. I’d love to peek into his brain. :)…and Anothony Bourdain?! Who couldn’t listen to that man talk for hours and hours?! Love him :) hope you’re doing well!! xx

  12. Heather @ A Sweet Simple Life Not Specified Not Specified

    Yum! I think I’ll be serving this as an appetizer soon… Simple but delicious. Love it!

  13. Holly Botner Not Specified Not Specified

    Sounds delish. Very clever as an appetizer. Just had Korean food for lunch and loved it. I’m a vegetable freak but still eat meat whenever. Love your blog. Love, love love.

  14. Iris (Cookie Chanel) Not Specified Not Specified

    Wow, these look awesome! Can you find these shishito peppers anywhere? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them.

  15. Linda Not Specified Not Specified

    I’m not a vegetarian but love vegetables. Love shishito peppers (and their Spanish “cousin”, the padron too). I recently read this quote, which resonated with me:
    “The reason we should eat our vegetables isn’t because they’re better for us. We should be plucking and roasting our friends from the plant kingdom, first and foremost, because they are damned delicious.” – Chef René Redzepi, The Vegetable Butcher

  16. Amy Not Specified Not Specified

    mmmmm they look so moreish

  17. El Cajón de las Especias Not Specified Not Specified

    Your blog is delicious!! The recipes, the photographs…look so incredible! Congratulations!!

  18. Lisa Not Specified Not Specified

    My husband and I first tasted Shishito peppers last summer at Earth restaurant in Kennebunk, Maine. We were instantly enamored with them. The one’s we had were from a local organic farm and they were small and tender. Most of them were mild but occasionally we would bite into one that was fiercely hot. Apparently they are unpredictable that way. I’ve been looking around for them ever since. We even mail-ordered some but they were tough – not like the little tender ones we loved so much. Any suggestions on where to find good one? Thanks for the beautiful post.


  19. ileana Not Specified Not Specified

    Love these little peppers!

  20. Lis Not Specified Not Specified

    We just made these this weekend, love them…added a little bonito flakes on top as well, but will have to dry the sesame oil next time

  21. Christina Terwilliger Not Specified Not Specified

    I had these at a sushi restaurant in Arizona and I have not seen them since, I am so glad you posted this!

    • Christina Terwilliger Not Specified Not Specified

      And I wanted to tell you that I love Anthony Bourdain for a couple reasons, but one thing he said in his first book…the reason why he wanted to become a chef was because they were the ones that got all the girls and good drugs, I thought that he was so honest and amazing. I have loved his crass attitude ever since.

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