Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pan Seared Shishito Peppers

I fell in love with grilled Padron Peppers in Tapas bars and I have had trouble finding them.  So, I decided one day to try to use the Japanese cousin of those peppers instead.  They were much easier to find in my local Uwajimaya store.  And they were wonderful! I make them pretty regularly now. In Tapas bars, they cook the Padron peppers very simply - they are usually placed on the grill until they are blistered and then they are sprinkled with salt.  Padron Peppers are not very hot, but once in a while you get a really hot one.  In contrast, the Shishito peppers are almost always mild, which is better for me as I love the pepper flavor but not the heat.

Since I wasn't in the mood to start up the barbecue, I used my cast iron skillet instead and turned the vent over my oven on high. I put some olive oil in the pan and heated it so the peppers hit the very hot pan. Then I let them cook until they started to brown before beginning to toss them.  I cooked them until they were blistered on at least one side and salted them.  They were amazing! I may like them even better than the Padrons.  

It's such a simple recipe that I almost didn't post it, but thought there might be enough of you to enjoy making these. They are a great addition to a Tapas assortment or can be served as an appetizer or a lovely side to grilled meats. I hope you try them!

Pan Seared Shishito Peppers

1 pound Shishito Peppers

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt to taste

Heat a large cast iron skillet or carbon steel wok on high heat on the stove. Turn on the vent and add the peppers. Let sear on one side until they brown. Turn over until the other side browns.  Start tossing until the peppers begin to soften and they start to blacken on at least one side.  Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve.

Five Element Analysis

Pepper of all kinds belong to the Fire Element and blackening them adds even more fire. The Olive Oil adds a hint of the Wood Element. As this is a one ingredient dish that is basically Fiery, it is good to add it to a meal that has the other elements present. So, it is wonderful for Tapas when there is also an assortment of Spanish ham or sausages, good bread, olives, potatoes and more.  

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