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17 September 2018

These garden grown shishito peppers are blistered and charred in a hot pan with just a bit of oil, then tossed with flaky sea salt and tart lime juice. Serve them up with a simple lime-cream sauce for dipping. The perfect appetizer or party starter.

Have you ever had blistered shishito peppers? The first time I tried them, they were on a restaurant menu as a special appetizer. We gave them a try and the waiter brought them out, still steaming from the searing hot pan.

They were dusted with a good amount of sea salt and a bit of cream of some sort, and I basically fell in love with them after the first bite.


What I love about them is how incredibly easy they are to make. We just had a friendly pool party and I toted out my induction cook top and cooked them up pool side in a screaming hot cast iron pan.

Here’s me, cooking by the pool on my fancy cooler.

Blistering Shishito peppers by the pool in my induction cook top.

Everyone loved them.

Blistered Shishito Peppers - in a hot pan, ready to serve

About Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers aren’t very hot. They measure in at only 50-200 Scoville Heat Units, most of them at the lower end. However, it is fun to eat them because about one in every 10 or so shishito peppers is somewhat hot and will hit that 200 mark, offering a little surprise to the diner.

So fun! 200 SHU still isn’t very hot, but it’s nice to get the tiny jolt when you find one.

I grew them in my garden this year and the plant is SUPER productive. I’ve been making recipes like this all summer with them. The peppers are often confused for pimento de padron peppers, which look and taste quite similar.

Check this out. This is just from today.

Shishito Peppers - So Many of Them!

Interestingly, the name, “Shishito”, derives from the Japanese words “shishi”, which means “lion”, and “togarashi”, which translates to “chili pepper”. Hence, in Japan, it is known as the “Lion Head pepper”. Shishitos are quite popular in Japan, where the food is not known for being spicy, though they are increasingly appearing on American menus. 

The flavor of the shishito is interesting with a peppery finish, and a hint of sweetness, but it is that tiny jolt of heat that many people look for.

Learn more about Shishito Peppers here.

Let’s talk about how we make these, shall we?

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Flaky Sea Salt and Lime – The Recipe Method

  1. First, heat a large cast iron skillet or heavy skillet to medium-high heat. You want it to be nice and HOT for this so the peppers blister nicely.
  2. Add olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat the pan.
  3. Next, add the peppers in a single layer and sear them about 5 minutes per side, until the skins char and blister up. Flip them occasionally.
  4. Remove the peppers from the heat and toss with about a teaspoon of flaky sea salt and spicy chili flakes, if you’d like. You can add more if you’d like.
  5. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice over them and serve. You can also use fresh lemon juice.

I like to serve them out of the pan. I’ll carry it around and let my guests pick out the peppers of their choice, along with a bit of the dipping sauce. Or, set the pan down somewhere with pair of tongs and let them serve themselves. To me, they’re rather casual, even though I’m starting to see them appear in fancier restaurants.

For the Lime-Cream Dipping Sauce

Whisk together a quarter cup of Mexican crema (or sour cream) with a teaspoon of lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. Place it into a dipping cup.

Serve the up! They’re super delicious. A great appetizer!

Recipe Tips

  • Use a Hot Pan. You really want to make sure the pan is good and hot to get a nice sear on your shishito peppers. If you cook them in a pan that is not hot enough, the peppers can get oily and won’t char up. That charring brings a lot of flavor. 
  • Salt and Citrus are Key. Adding just a touch of salt and a fresh squeeze of either lemon or lime juice in the end greatly accentuates the flavor of your blistered shishitos. Don’t forget those steps.
  • Cream Sauce is So Good. I enjoy my blistered shishito peppers straight out of the pan with only salt and lime, but don’t understand the addition of a simple cream sauce. Leave it up to your guests to choose whether or not they want to use it.

Check Out Some of My Other Popular Appetizer Recipes

Blistered Shishito Peppers - Dusted with flaky sea salt, lime juice and chili flakes
Blistered Shishito Peppers – Dusted with flaky sea salt, lime juice and chili flakes

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Blistered Shishito Peppers - Recipe
Print Recipe
4.84 from 6 votes

Blistered Shishito Peppers Recipe with Flaky Sea Salt and Lime

A recipe for blistered shishito peppers seared in a skillet, tossed with flaky sea salt and tart lime juice. Served with lime-cream sauce. The perfect appetizer or party starter.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: appetizer, game day, shishito
Servings: 2
Calories: 226kcal


  • 12 shishito peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 small lime for serving


  • ¼ cup crema or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Pinch of salt


  • Heat a large cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
  • Add the shishito peppers and cook them about 5 minutes per side, until the skins char and blister up. Flip them occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and toss with about a teaspoon of flaky sea salt. You can add more if you’d like.
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice over them and serve.


  • Whisk all of the ingredients together and place it into a dipping cup.


Serves 2 Heat Factor: Low, but you may get a slightly spicy shishito every now and then. Heat them up with some spicy chili flakes.


Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 1309mg | Potassium: 869mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 2705IU | Vitamin C: 393.3mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2.8mg
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Flaky Sea Salt and Lime


  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this before and plan on doing it again tonight with some I purchased the other day. Grab them when you can find them or even better, grow your own!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yes! I LOVE these. So good! I’m jealous. =)

  2. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipes and techniques! Have been munching on these since discovery around 7 years ago in San Diego. Now live in Kansas (don’t ask!) and have grown some, but am looking to grow many more, maybe to cook up and freeze for the winters?? Anyway, bookmarked! Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      Sorry! I am also HUGELY allergic or something to the hot peppers. Have been my entire life, despite my Great Grandfather stewing many hard core peppers in a giant glass jar for decades on end, and munching them at will. 😀 These? These I can do… 🙂

    2. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Glad to help, Kim! I freeze my peppers all the time to use through the winter. Essential! Thanks for visiting!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Cooked up a quick batch for some football food! Goes great with a Bloody Mary!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious! I grabbed some shishito peppers from the local farmers’ market after experiencing their deliciousness at a potluck. Just now all I wanted was a quick and delicious non-potato chip snack; this seriously hit the spot.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Aunnie. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I do love shishito peppers. Great snack!

  5. 4 stars
    Sounds delicious. I’ll have to try. I’m concerned though. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of sodium here but the sodium levels are crazy high in the nutrition facts. Is that truly accurate?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Randall, there is a lot of sodium in 1 teaspoon of sea salt. You can easily reduce the amount used, or use a salt substitute. Let me know how it turns out for you.

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