Blistered Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers

When I first moved to New York City over ten years ago, I discovered what would come to be my absolute favorite restaurant in the city. It was where I found my favorite type of wine: Albarino, along with my favorite type of food: Spanish tapas. These two things alone are probably what led me to travel to Spain last year. The restaurant, Boqueria, is where I take anyone that comes for a visit, simply because it never disappoints (and yes, whenever I tell said visitors I’m taking them to a “tapas” place, it inevitably leads to me explaining, “No people will not be there with their shirts off. T-A-P-A-S. Not T-O-P-L-E-S-S.”)

They serve paella, stuffed dates, lamb meatballs with goat cheese. Ugh—I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. One of the more interesting things they have though, is their shishito peppers. Anytime I see “peppers” I know I need to question the capsaicin content (hint: culinary term for is this gonna make me breath fire?).

When I asked the server if these shishito peppers were spicy and he responded, “about 1 in 10 is,” I knew he had me.

I had to know what that meant!

For whatever reason I was surprised to learn that he had meant exactly what he said. As I tasted the delicious peppers (okay—inhaled), I noticed that it was a bit like Russian roulette. Most, although very flavorful, were not spicy. However, every so often I’d get one that’d make me grab for my water. It was very interesting.

They all look the same, so you can’t tell when you’re gonna get that extra kick. Some people think the more mature the pepper is, the hotter it will be. Others say that if they’re grown in a drier climate it effects the spiciness. This is because the later in the season they’re harvested, the ratio of spiciness to -non, increases. I’m usually not a gambler, but ever since I first tried this dish, I’ve found myself immensely enjoying the guessing game that comes along with it. So much so, that I started making them at home.

Bonus: They’re so easy to make!

Yields: 4 cups 

Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 10 minutes


4 cups shishito peppers

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp kosher salt

dash maldon salt

  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Toss peppers, oil, and kosher salt together. 
  3. Broil on baking sheet X 10 minutes or until blistered and slightly browned, flipping halfway through. 
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle with maldon salt. 

Nutrition Facts: 

Serving Size: 1 cup

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Calories: 110            Fat: 3g             Sodium: 102mg          Carbs: 16g                   Fiber: 0g          Sugar: 0g                     Protein: 4g