When Matt and I first started dating (100 years ago) we used to LOVE going to this local restaurant in Omaha called Blue Sushi and Sake Grill. For being a Midwestern Sushi joint, they always had delicious sushi, fun sharables, and THE BEST happy hours. (Plug: Blue now has a location here in KC and all day Sunday happy hour – 12-8pm – YUSSSS).
Our order was always pretty predictable. We would get the hot popper roll, crunchy blue roll, blue balls, edamame, chicken satay skewers, and shishito peppers. It’s been awhile since we have been back to Blue (we still haven’t been to the KC location!) but I was craving those delicious shishito peppers and thought I could try my hand at recreating them at home.
It turns out that shishito peppers aren’t exactly the easiest item to find here in the Midwest, but I was able to find them at good ol’ Trader Joes. They always have the unique items that I need when I can’t find them anywhere else. If you’re not familiar with this pepper, shishitos are a pretty mild pepper that isn’t usually spicy. However! About one in every 10 to 20 shishitos will be substantially hotter than their mild counterparts. It’s like a little game of pepper roulette. I don’t think I’ve ever got a spicy pepper – but just thought I would issue a fair warning to the kind readers of my blog!
To make these shishitos, I first blistered them in a hot pan with a bit of olive oil and kosher salt until they began to brown. Once warm and blistered to my preference, I removed them from the heat and tossed them in a soy sauce combination which included: soy sauce, minced garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, a squeeze of fresh orange juice, a drop of sesame oil, a bit of crushed red pepper, and salt. The beauty of this sauce is you can really add as much of each ingredient that you like. Want more sweetness? Add in more OJ or a squeeze of honey. More heat? Add more crushed red pepper. Salt fiend? Throw in some extra salt pinches. You can really make these peppers your own – they are delicious any way you make them.
For blistering the peppers
- 1 bag of shishito peppers (about ½ – 1 pound)
- ½ tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of kosher salt
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 clove minced garlic,
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Juice from ½ an orange (or ¼ cup orange juice)
- 1-2 drops of sesame oil (a little goes a long way)
- ½ tsp of crushed red pepper
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- For the sauce: combine soy sauce, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, orange juice, sesame oil, crushed red pepper and salt in a jar or dish. Stir or shake together.
- In a large pan or Dutch oven, drizzle in about ½ tbsp of olive oil. Dump in the bag of shishito peppers in whole form and toss in salt (you can poke a hole in each pepper to keep them from bursting if you’d like, but I don’t mind the bursted peppers).
- Stir the peppers in the pan until they begin to get charred and blistered. Flipping over occasionally for even blistering.
- Once peppers are soft and blistered (to preference), remove from heat and add in sauce – tossing all peppers until covered with sauce.
- Transfer peppers to a serving dish of your choice. Serve immediately.
- You can eat as finger food or eat with chopsticks!
Food Gal Al