Learn everything you need to know about shishito peppers in this informative guide, including nutrition benefits, how to grow them, and gain access to 17 of the best shishito peppers recipes!

Shishito peppers on a white plate

Summer is coming to a close, so I’m savoring every bit of produce that I harvest from my garden until it’s gone.  My plants are still producing well, but I’m getting much smaller quantities now than I was a few weeks ago.

Shishito peppers will be one of the things I miss the most when summer is over.  My plant has been producing so many, and I simply can’t get enough of these delicious peppers!

If you love them as much as I do, be sure to access the shishito peppers recipes at the bottom of this post.

Shishito peppers piled on a plate
What are shishito peppers?

Shishito peppers are Japanese chile peppers.  The peppers received the name shishi, abbreviated shishito, because the tip of the pepper was thought to resemble the head of a lion.

The peppers are a popular snack in the Japanese culture. They’ve become popular in the United States over the past few years, and are offered at restaurants and are sold at farmers markets across the country.

The peppers are about about 2-3 inches long, slender in width, and have thin, delicate walls. They’re also wrinkled and curvy.

They’re typically harvested when bright green, but if they’re left to ripen longer they will turn bright red.

Are shishito peppers hot?

Normally they have a mild, sweet flavor, but about one out of every 10 peppers is very spicy. This can be due to exposure to the sun or other environmental factors.

I never knew this before, so I’m going to take a little taste test before I pop a whole pepper in my mouth from now on!

When are shishito peppers in season?

Shishito peppers are available year round, but they’re in peak season during the summer and early fall.Shishito pepper hanging from plant

How to grow

I planted a shishito pepper plant in my garden for the first time this year in a raised bed in full sunlight in May, and was harvesting peppers 4-6 weeks later.

I have a drip system set up to water my garden for 10 minutes every morning, and other than that there was no maintenance involved.

The plant grew to about 2 feet high and 2 feet wide. I worried that it may become top-heavy like my jalapeño plant, but it didn’t as shishito peppers are very light in weight.

My plant has been quite productive. I gave away quite a few peppers to friends as I couldn’t keep up with all of them due to traveling, etc. There were still plenty for me!

My family isn’t into chili peppers which meant that I’ve eaten the bulk of my peppers. I’m not complaining one bit because I can easily eat 1/2 lb. in one sitting….they’re that addictive. 🙂

Shishito peppers health benefits

Shishito peppers are very low in calories, carbohydrates and contain no fat. They’re high in Vitamins A and C and rich in antioxidants.
Shishito peppers hanging from the plant

Choosing and storing 

Shishito peppers should be firm with no bruises or discoloration.

Store the peppers in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week depending on how fresh they were when you purchased them.

I typically use the peppers within 3-5 days of harvesting. At times they became a bit soft, but they still cooked up perfectly.

How to prepare shishito peppers

The most popular way to prepare these peppers is blistering or charring them. The peppers cook over higher heat in minutes due to their thin, delicate skin, and works well on the grill, in the oven or on the stove top.

They’re also wonderful sautéed and may even be eaten raw. Those are the two most popular methods for cooking shishito peppers.

Plate of shishito peppers with leaves attached

If you love produce, be sure to check out the following recipe round ups:

17 best shishito pepper recipes

If you’re unsure how to prepare shishito peppers, try one of the following recipes. From soups to pizzas to stir-fries, there are so many ways to enjoy them!

Creamed Shishito Peppers Recipe

Creamed shishitos are perfect as a stand-alone side dish, a pizza topping, a taco filling, and so much more.
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Grilled shishito peppers on serving board with lemon and sea salt

Grilled Shishito Peppers with Lemon and Sea Salt

Grilled Shishito Peppers with Lemon and Sea Salt are grilled to smoky, charred perfection and finished with fresh lemon juice and flaky sea salt. They're an easy summer appetizer that always pleases a crowd, and recipe includes a number of alternatives to make blistered shishito peppers!
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Shishito pepper bisque in a white bowl

Easy Shishito Sweet Red Pepper Soup

This creamy red shishito pepper soup is the perfect soup for fall. You won’t believe that this flavorful soup is ready in under 30 minutes!
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Black Garlic Shishito Verde Chicken

A new and unique chicken dish to bring to the dinner table. Gluten-Free and paleo, this chicken is baked and smothered in black garlic, shishito peppers, and salsa verde.
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Shishito Peppers with Soy Ginger Sauce

Blistered Shishito Peppers sauteed in Soy Ginger Sauce are an Asian restaurant favorite that you easily make at home with this 20 minute recipe! Serve these tasty peppers as an easy appetizer or side dish!
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Japanese Grilled Chicken Skewers (Yakitori) with Shishito Peppers | The Japantry

Japanese Grilled Chicken Skewers (Yakitori) with Shishito Peppers | The Japantry

Yakitori, Japanese grilled chicken skewers with a new twist! Try making them with shishito peppers for an added burst of flavor!
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Overhead view of corn shishito pepper pizza sliced

Roasted Corn and Shishito Pepper Pizza

Pesto, mozzarella, and shishito peppers top an easy homemade pizza crust.
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A blistered shishito pepper resting in a bowl of aioli. Two more peppers rest nearby.

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Smoky Paprika Aioli

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Smoky Paprika Aioli make a tasty appetizer that is pretty much the easiest thing I’ve made lately. It’s fun to put them out in front of a group of people and watch the addiction begin.
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Chicken with shishito pepper sauce over polenta

Sauted Chicken with Shishito Pepper Sauce over Cheesy Polenta

If you like shishito peppers, this sautéd chicken with shishito pepper sauce over cheesy polenta will be a great dish for you to try.
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Blistered Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers are an extraordinary Asian-style appetizer. With only a touch of seasoning and oil, you’ll learn how to cook shishito peppers in this most delicious way!
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Overhead view of shishito shirmp stir fry in a white bowl with chopsticks.

Shishito Shrimp Stir Fry

In only 15 minutes, with just 8 ingredients, you can make this super simple and delicious Shrimp Stir Fry recipe with Shishito Peppers!
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Sauteed shishito peppers in a cast iron skillet.

Easy Sautéd Shishito Peppers with Soy Ginger Vinaigrette

Shishito peppers are sautéed until slightly blistered then drizzled with a ginger-soy vinaigrette to create this easy, 10-minute appetizer recipe.
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Two shishito tostadas on a blue plate.

Charred Shishito Pepper Refried Bean Tostadas

Charred shishito peppers, onions and refried beans drizzled with a cumin and lime yogurt sauce make a quick but delicious meal.
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Grilled shishito peppers topped with black sesame seeds.

Grilled Shishito Peppers

Grilled Shishito Peppers are possibly the fastest and most interesting appetizer out there.
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Skillet of shishito peppers and sausage

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Sausage and Creamy Sriracha Sauce

This 20-minute meal features pork sausage and blistered shishito peppers over a bed of rice.
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Citrus carrot salad on white plate

Citrus Carrot Salad

Citrus Carrot Salad Recipe is as delicious as it is stunning. It’s like an edible painting. A little bit sweet, and a little bit spicy, every bite is an explosion of flavor!
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