Shishito Peppers

 

These peppers (about 2 inches long) from Japan are now more available at the green market of Union Square in the summer.  I grow these in planters on our fire escape. I entered these peppers at the Harvest Contest of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden one year and won the second place in category of hot peppers.  Mistakenly they were placed in the hot pepper category.  In fact they are not hot until toward the end of harvest season.  At the end of its season when they were left on the tree long enough, they can grow to be quite hot.  Otherwise they are most wonderful grilled, sautéed, deep fried or added to meat stew.  If you BBQ in the summer, I highly recommend that you should grill those peppers along with your meats.

 

 

 

Shishito Peppers with Feta Cheese

(Difficulty:  Very easy)
(Cooking time: 30 minutes)

 

I use fresh herbs from our fire escape garden. This is one example of herb combination usually grown in our garden, but you can use any combination of fresh herbs available to make this dish.  I prefer French Feta to Greek Feta because of low sodium.  If French Feta is not available, feel free to use Greek Feta.

 

1 lb of shishito peppers

¼ lbs of French Feta cheese

2 sprigs of rosemary

3 sprigs of thyme

1 sprig of sage

¼ bunch of Italian parsley

¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil

 

Grill shishito over open fire or broil them.  Put all the herbs and oil into a mixing bowl.  Use your hands to rub herbs and oil to infuse the flavor of herbs.  Slice feta cheese into ½ inch cubes.  Add peppers and cheese into the oil and stir.  Taste and add salt if you need.  Serve at room temperature.

 

Serves 4 appetizers

 

                                                            

 

 

 

Shishito Peppers in Miso Sauce

(Difficulty:  Very easy)
(Cooking time: 20 minutes)

 

This recipe is a very popular dish in Japan.  But you won’t find it in any Japanese restaurants in New York.  Now you can try this at your home.  Originally miso should be sweet white type called Saikyo miso, but when you cannot find this type use smooth miso with low sodium.  This is supposed to be a sweet and salty dish.  You might need adjusting the amount of sweetener to your liking.  Taste the sauce after mixing and adjust it if you need.  It’s best to accompany other Japanese cooking, but please do not limit your imagination.  Also this can be very good at room temperature, and this will make a good picnic.

 

½ lb of shishito peppers

2 tablespoons of Saikyo miso

1 tablespoon of white sugar

1 tablespoon of dry Sake

1 tablespoon of Mirin

1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil

 

Wash peppers and cut off the stems.  You can make a small slit into peppers with a paring knife to avoid explosions when you cook. Or you can leave them alone and just be careful when you fry them.   In a small mixing bowl add miso and all the other seasonings to make a smooth sauce.  Heat a non-stick frying pan and add oil.  Stir-fry the peppers in a pan with high heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the sauce to them and stir them well, then turn off the heat right away.  High temperature will cause miso to loose its flavor.  Just watch out when you add the sauce, this will splash a lot.

 

Serves 2 side dishes

 

Other variation:  Use thinly-sliced eggplants instead of peppers.