Bright, flavorful, sweet, and occasionally spicy, these Blistered Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers are absolutely addicting, especially when accompanied by a spicy margarita. They’re insanely easy to prepare — all you need are a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes!

Blistered Shishito Peppers with sea salt in a cast iron skillet.

I often order blistered shishito peppers whenever I’m at a Japanese restaurant. You might think it’s crazy to eat a big bowlful of chiles as an appetizer, but they are so darn addicting. You seriously can’t have just one! Their flavor reminds me of Cebollitas Asadas (Grilled Green Onions), but with a spicy kick.

What are Shishito Peppers?

These thin-skinned, finger-sized, wrinkly green East Asian peppers have popped up on menus everywhere in the last decade or so, from your favorite tapas spot to that trendy bar downtown. It’s not hard to see why — they are perfect for when you want to add a touch of adventure to your meal without going overboard. 

For the most part, these gorgeous green goddesses are sweet, bright, and slightly smoky (especially when blistered to perfection), but every once in a while you get a spicy one in the bunch. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your tastebuds!

In short, these blistered peppers are a real crowd-pleaser and a fun way to spice up your dinner – literally! Next time you see these delicious little guys at the market, give them a try. They might just become your new favorite snack.

Why You’ll Love This Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe

  • This recipe is simple — all you need are 6 ingredients, a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet, and about 10 minutes to make a batch of these babies.
  • Nutritious: Aside from being easy to make, these tasty pan-roasted peppers are also quite nourishing. 
fresh Shishito Peppers on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients & Substitutions 

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

As promised, you don’t need much to make this simple shishito pepper recipe. Here’s your ingredient list:

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – No need to bust out the expensive finishing oil here. Your regular cooking oil will do just fine! You can also swap in the neutral oil of your choice (e.g. avocado).
  • Shishito Peppers – You can also use Padrón chiles, banana peppers, or mini bell peppers.
  • Low Sodium Soy Sauce – Only have regular soy sauce? Simply use a 50/50 split of soy and water. You can also use full-strength regular soy sauce, but you’ll want to cut back on the salt you add at the end. 
  • Maggi Seasoning – If you’ve yet to try the delightful umami bomb that is Maggi Seasoning, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. That said, feel free to swap in a 50/50 split of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Kitchen Bouquet is also a good swap. Alternatively, omit it and just use extra soy sauce.
  • Lime – Make sure to use fresh lime here for the best flavor. You can also use lemon if you prefer!
  • Sea Salt – A little extra seasoning at the end makes these shishitos truly irresistible.

How to Make Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to pan-roast shishito peppers. When I cook them at home, I blister them similarly to chiles toreados, traditionally made with jalapeños or Padron peppers. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Heat Oil in a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.

Step 2: Add Peppers and Liquids. When the oil is shimmering, carefully add the peppers in a single layer. Drizzle with soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, and lime juice. Watch out for spatters!

Step 3: Cook Peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides.

Step 4: Sprinkle & Serve. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Enjoy!

raw shishito peppers in a blue oval bowl and blistered shishito peppers in a cast iron skillet.

Optional Variations 

As much as I love this shishito pepper appetizer recipe just the way it is written, there are plenty of ways for you to tweak it. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Add-Ons: This recipe for blistered peppers is simple and delicious. That said, you’re welcome to jazz it up with any of your favorite flavors. Try adding a:
    • Drizzle of sesame oil.
    • Spoonful of minced ginger, added in the last minute of cooking
    • Few shakes of toasted white or black sesame seeds..
    • Squeeze fresh lemon juice and/or a few rasps of lemon zest.
  • Grilled Shishito Peppers – Don’t want to be inside? Take your cast iron skillet out to the grill! (Note: you should not use non-cast iron pans directly on grill surfaces.)

Serving & Topping Suggestions 

While I’ll happily gobble up a whole bowl of these roasted shishitos all by themselves, they also play nicely with others. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • After washing the peppers, be sure to pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. You don’t want the oil to spatter when you add them to the pan!
  • Don’t be tempted to crank the heat too high, especially if you’re using olive oil. Olive oil will begin to smoke and burn at about 374-405F, which will make the kitchen far less fun to be in. If you’re using high heat, swap in a high smoke point oil like avocado, grapeseed, or peanut.
  • Don’t stir too frequently. You want to give them time to blister, so cook shishito peppers undisturbed for about a minute or two per side.

Storage & Heating Instructions 

  • Refrigerate: While I think they’re best served straight from the pan, you can save any leftovers in a clean, airtight container or zip-top bag in the fridge. They should keep well for up to 5 days. 
  • Freeze: You can also freeze roasted shishito peppers for up to 3 months. I recommend using freezer-safe zip-top bags and using the water-displacement method for removing as much air as possible to prevent them from getting freezer burn.
  • To serve, allow them to defrost, then reheat in a skillet on the stovetop, or using the oven or toaster oven set to about 300F.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to buy shishito peppers?

I have seen shishito peppers at chile stands, farmers markets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and guess where else…Amazon! If you are unable to buy locally, try Amazon for super fresh Shishito Peppers.

What do blistered shishito peppers taste like? Are they spicy?

Shishito peppers are bright, flavorful, a tad sweet, and, for the most part, very mild. But once in a while, about 1 out of 10 peppers, you’ll find a spicy one that’ll light your mouth up like fireworks on the 4th of July. It’s actually quite fun playing pepper roulette, especially if you’re a fan of moderately spicy flavors.

Why is only 1 out of 10 shishito peppers hot?

While I’m not really sure what causes only some peppers on a single plant to be hot, the amount of capsaicin in the peppers is directly affected by growing conditions. The more a pepper plant (shishito or otherwise) has to “struggle,” the spicier it gets. Dry, hot conditions cause the plant to produce more capsaicin as a stress response, whereas mild, wet conditions result in less spicy peppers. That said, if you see a red shishito in the mix, it’s likely to have stayed on the plant longer, which also means it’s more likely to be spicy.  

What is the best way to eat shishito peppers?

The first time I tried blistered shishitos, they were served as pepper appetizers at my favorite Japanese restaurant. Ever since then, it’s been my favorite way to make them! In terms of the actual mechanics of eating the roasted chiles, I recommend grabbing them by the stem and munching on them.

Can shishito peppers be eaten raw?

Absolutely! When eaten raw, shishitos have a hint of sweetness and their texture is crisp like a green bell pepper, but with slightly tougher skin.

What should I serve with blistered shishitos?

This recipe is delightful as is, with no accompaniments. Jump up a few sections to get more serving suggestions!

How do you reheat shishito peppers?

Since we start by pan-frying shishito peppers, I think it makes the most sense to reheat them the same way. Simply warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add the leftovers, and cook until they’re heated through. You’re also welcome to use the oven, toaster oven, air fryer, or microwave.

More Easy Mexican Appetizers 

If you tried these Blistered, Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers, let me know how they turned out by rating and reviewing it below. You can also always feel free to tag me in your social media posts — I love seeing your creations and cheering you on!

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Blistered Shishito Peppers with sea salt in a cast iron skillet.

Blistered Japanese Shishito Peppers

5 (4 ratings)
Blistered Japanese shishito peppers are absolutely addicting accompanied with a spicy margarita. They’re insanely easy to prepare pan-fried in oil, soy sauce, maggi seasoning, and lime juice — just add a sprinkle of salt and enjoy. They are a quick-to-cook appetizer or side.



  • Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place peppers and drizzle with soy sauce, Maggi seasoning, and lime juice.
  • Cook peppers, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides.
  • Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.



Shishito peppers are bright, flavorful, and a tad sweet and for the most part very mild, but once in a while you’ll find a spicy one in the bunch.
Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 375mg, Potassium: 13mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin C: 12mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: October 2019.