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ATK Kids

Make Restaurant-Style Blistered Shishito Peppers at Home

It’s surprisingly easy to make this flashy app in your own kitchen.
By Published Oct. 21, 2022

If you’ve dined at a trendy restaurant in the past few years, chances are you’ve ordered blistered shishito peppers.

It’s easy to see why the fried Japanese peppers—a favorite appetizer at Japanese bars called izakayas—have become so popular on all sorts of menus across the country.

They’re fun to mindlessly pop in your mouth, are endlessly customizable, and each bite comes with a bit of thrill—while most shishito peppers are mild, one in every 10 or so packs enough heat to make you reach for a sip of water.

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Shishitos’ growing popularity at restaurants means they’re now more widely available at supermarkets—and for a fraction of the cost on an app menu. So why aren’t you making them at home?

This daring dish is surprisingly easy to make in your own kitchen with a few hacks. Cook’s Illustrated developed a fantastic recipe for blistered shishitos that the ATK Kids team tweaked for The Complete Cookbook for Teen Chefs.

To keep oil splatter at bay for younger chefs, the Kids team found that they could cook the peppers in just 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (versus 2 tablespoons). Partially covering the skillet as the shishitos cook further prevents splatter while still leaving plenty of leopard-like blistered spots on the shishitos.

And just as restaurants flavor shishitos in a multitude of ways, you can do the same in your own kitchen. While we recommend a sprinkle of salt before serving—flake, kosher, and any flavored salt work equally well—the sky (er, the pantry?) is the limit. Try spices, citrus zest, and more, or go a step further and pair them with a creamy dipping sauce.

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Serves 4 to 6

  1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add 8 ounces shishito peppers and place lid on skillet, leaving lid slightly ajar. Cook peppers, without stirring, until skins are blistered, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner. Remove lid and flip peppers; replace lid, leaving lid slightly ajar. Continue to cook over medium-high heat until blistered on second side, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer peppers to serving bowl. Season with flake sea salt, kosher salt, or flavored salt. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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