How To Roast Shishito Peppers: A Smoking Hot Guide

Are you ready to embark on a fiery culinary expedition and elevate your cooking game? How about roasting shishito peppers with this smoking hot guide?

Easiest way to roast shishito peppers: First, wash the peppers thoroughly and pat them dry with a towel. Next, toss the peppers in a thin layer of oil and a sprinkle of salt for even seasoning. Finally, cook the coated peppers on a preheated grill, cast iron skillet, or broiler for 5-7 minutes, turning them frequently to achieve uniform blistering.

In this comprehensive and engaging guide, we will delve into the world of shishito peppers, providing step-by-step instructions on roasting them to perfection, exploring various cooking methods, and offering serving ideas and tips to create delectable dishes that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Why Roast Shishito Peppers?

As a home cook who started a popular restaurant in the Bahamas a few years back, I’ve always had a passion for fusion foods and unique flavors. Generally measuring about 2 to 4 inches in length, they pack a unique flavor profile that’s a delightful blend of sweet, mildly spicy, and subtly smoky.

Now, the fun part about shishito peppers is that they have a surprising heat factor. About one in every ten peppers may hit you with an unexpected zing. It’s like a tasty game of Russian roulette for your taste buds! Although their Scoville rating ranges from 50 to 200, they are relatively mild in comparison to other fiery peppers like jalapeños or habaneros. So, don’t worry, you won’t be reaching for a glass of milk anytime soon!

Shishito peppers are perfect for a wide array of dishes, from appetizers to sides, and they’re particularly popular in Asian cuisine. When you roast them, the flavors become even more concentrated and enticing. Not to mention, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to your culinary adventures.

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easy roasted shishito peppers recipe

Easy Roasted Shishito Peppers Recipe

This easy roasted shishito peppers recipe delivers deliciously blistered peppers with a hint of smokiness and a touch of heat, perfect for appetizers or snacking.

  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 lb shishito peppers
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional seasonings: garlic powder, smoked paprika, or sesame seeds


  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).
  2. Wash and dry the shishito peppers, ensuring they’re completely dry.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the peppers with olive oil and salt. Add optional seasonings if desired.
  4. Spread the peppers evenly on a baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd them.
  5. Roast for 5-7 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the peppers are evenly blistered and slightly softened.
  6. Remove the peppers from the oven, transfer to a serving dish, and enjoy!


  • You can also cook the peppers using a grill or stovetop cast iron skillet for a smokier flavor.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or sprinkle with additional seasonings for added flavor.
  • Author: Jay Whyms
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Asian Fusion
  • Diet: Vegan


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 78 kcal
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 6 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: shishito peppers, easy roasted shishito peppers, appetizer, vegan, gluten-free

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Choosing Your Cooking Method

When it comes to roasting shishito peppers, you have a few different options, each with its own unique benefits. Let’s explore three popular cooking methods that will bring out the best in these tasty peppers.

Grilling Shishito Peppers

Grilling shishito peppers is an excellent way to infuse them with a delectable smoky flavor.

Step 1: Preheat the grill Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, ensuring it’s ready for roasting those shishito peppers.

Step 2: Thread the peppers onto skewers Thread the shishito peppers onto skewers, making them easier to handle on the grill and preventing them from falling through the grates.

Step 3: Grill the peppers Place the skewered peppers onto the grill, and cook them for 5-7 minutes. Be sure to turn them frequently, ensuring even blistering on all sides.

Step 4: Check for doneness Keep an eye on the peppers during the grilling process. They’re ready when they’re nicely charred, tender, and blistered all over.

Step 5: Remove from skewers and serve Carefully remove the grilled shishito peppers from the skewers, and serve them immediately while they’re still warm and bursting with that enticing smoky aroma. Enjoy!

Stovetop Roasting with a Cast Iron Skillet

If you don’t have access to a grill or the weather isn’t cooperating, fear not – you can still get superbly roasted shishito peppers using a trusty cast iron skillet.

Step 1: Heat the cast iron skillet Place your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, allowing it to heat up before adding the shishito peppers.

Step 2: Prepare the peppers Toss the shishito peppers in oil and your choice of seasonings, ensuring they’re well-coated.

Step 3: Add peppers to the skillet Once the skillet is hot, carefully add the seasoned shishito peppers in a single layer, giving them enough space to properly blister and char.

Step 4: Cook the peppers Cook the shishito peppers for about 5 minutes, flipping them occasionally to ensure even charring and tenderness.

Step 5: Check for doneness The peppers are ready when they’re beautifully charred, tender, and blistered all over.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy Transfer the stovetop-roasted shishito peppers to a serving dish and enjoy their delicious flavor, along with the satisfaction of having cooked them like a true culinary master!

Oven Roasting or Broiling

Another fantastic option for roasting shishito peppers is to use your oven’s broiler or the standard roasting setting.

Step 1: Preheat the oven or broiler Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C) or set your broiler to high. This will ensure the peppers get a nice roast or broil.

Step 2: Prepare the peppers Toss the shishito peppers in oil and your choice of seasonings, making sure they’re well-coated.

Step 3: Arrange peppers on a baking sheet Spread the seasoned shishito peppers evenly on a baking sheet, avoiding overcrowding to ensure even cooking. If using the broiler, place the peppers about 6 inches away from the heat source.

Step 4: Broil or roast the peppers Place the baking sheet in the oven or under the broiler. Cook the peppers for 5-7 minutes, turning them once halfway through the cooking process to ensure even blistering and softening.

Step 5: Monitor the peppers Keep an eye on the peppers during cooking, as oven and broiler temperatures may vary. Adjust the cooking time if necessary.

Step 6: Remove and serve Once the shishito peppers are evenly blistered and slightly softened, remove them from the oven or broiler. Transfer the roasted or broiled peppers to a serving dish and enjoy the delicious results of your culinary prowess!

Preparing and Seasoning Shishito Peppers

Before you embark on your shishito roasting adventure, let’s discuss how to properly prepare and season these delightful peppers. With the right seasonings and techniques, your shishito peppers will be the star of any dish!


Using skewers to grill shishito peppers is not only practical but also adds a fun twist to the cooking process. Skewering the peppers makes it easier to handle them on the grill and prevents any escape artists from slipping through the grates. You can use either metal or wooden skewers, just be sure to soak wooden skewers in water for 20-30 minutes beforehand to avoid burning. Thread the peppers onto the skewers, leaving a little space between each one for even cooking.

Oil, salt, and additional seasoning options

When it comes to seasoning, simplicity is key for shishito peppers. Toss the peppers in a light coating of oil – olive oil or avocado oil work well – and a pinch of salt to enhance their natural flavors. Feel free to get creative with additional seasonings, like garlic powder, smoked paprika, or even a touch of soy sauce for an Asian twist. Just remember that the shishito peppers themselves are the star, so don’t go overboard with the seasonings!

How To Roast Shishito Peppers: A Smoking Hot Guide

Blistering technique

Achieving that perfect blister on your shishito peppers is crucial for unlocking their full flavor potential. Regardless of your chosen cooking method – grilling, stovetop roasting, or oven broiling – even heat distribution is key. Make sure to frequently rotate or flip the peppers during the cooking process. This will ensure they blister uniformly, leading to a fantastic combination of tender, slightly charred skin and a succulent interior. Trust me, once you master the blistering technique, your shishito peppers will be the envy of every foodie!

Serving Ideas and Dipping Sauces

Now that your shishito peppers are beautifully roasted, let’s talk about how to serve them and what delectable dipping sauces to pair them with. Trust me, these ideas will take your shishito pepper game to the next level!

Dipping sauce suggestions

A tasty dipping sauce can truly elevate your roasted shishito peppers. Here are some delightful options:

  1. Soy sauce and sesame: Mix equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar, add a splash of toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for an Asian-inspired dipping sauce.
  2. Creamy garlic aioli: Combine mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper for a rich and creamy dipping sauce that pairs perfectly with shishito peppers.
  3. Spicy sriracha mayo: Mix mayonnaise with sriracha sauce (adjust to taste) for a deliciously spicy dipping sauce with a kick.
How To Roast Shishito Peppers: A Smoking Hot Guide


Adding a garnish to your roasted shishito peppers not only makes them look more appetizing but can also add extra flavor. Consider sprinkling some flaky sea salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, or a dusting of smoky paprika on top for a mouthwatering finish.

Serving suggestions and pairings

Shishito peppers are versatile and can be served in numerous ways. Here are a few serving suggestions and pairings to inspire you:

  1. Appetizer: Serve the peppers as a tasty appetizer or finger food at a party, alongside other small bites like olives, cheese, and charcuterie.
  2. Side dish: Pair the roasted shishito peppers with grilled meats, fish, or tofu for a satisfying and flavorful side dish.
  3. Salad: Toss the peppers with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette for a light and refreshing salad.
  4. Topping: Add the peppers as a topping for tacos, flatbreads, or pizzas, infusing your meal with their unique flavor.

With these serving ideas and dipping sauces in mind, your shishito peppers are sure to be a crowd-pleaser every time!

Alternatives to Shishito Peppers

If you can’t find shishito peppers or are interested in trying something new, there are some alternative peppers with similar characteristics that you can use in your culinary adventures. Let’s explore a couple of options:

Padron peppers

Padron peppers are a fantastic alternative to shishito peppers, as they share a similar size and shape, as well as a comparable mild and sweet flavor. Originating from Spain, Padron peppers are often served as tapas, fried with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. Keep in mind that Padron peppers can occasionally be a bit spicier than shishito peppers, but this unpredictability adds to their charm!

Other pepper variations

There are several other pepper variations you can use as a substitute for shishito peppers:

  1. Anaheim peppers: Mild and slightly sweet, Anaheim peppers have a thicker skin than shishito peppers, but they can still be roasted, grilled, or stuffed.
  2. Sweet banana peppers: With a mild, sweet flavor and thin skin, sweet banana peppers can be used in place of shishito peppers. They’re great for roasting or adding to salads and sandwiches.
  3. Cubanelle peppers: Another mild pepper, Cubanelle peppers have a thin skin and a sweet, slightly tangy flavor, making them a suitable alternative for roasting, grilling, or using in recipes that call for shishito peppers.

These alternatives to shishito peppers will provide a fresh twist to your favorite recipes, adding new and exciting flavors to your culinary creations!

Shishito peppers vs Serrano

Shishito peppers and serrano peppers are both popular in various cuisines, but they differ significantly in terms of taste, heat, and usage. Let’s dive into the world of shishito and serrano peppers with a detailed comparison to help you decide which pepper best suits your taste buds and cooking needs.

How To Roast Shishito Peppers: A Smoking Hot Guide
AspectShishito PeppersSerrano Peppers
Heat (Scoville)100-1,000 SHU (Mild)10,000-23,000 SHU (Moderately Hot)
Flavor ProfileDelicate, slightly sweet, and savoryBright, fresh, and slightly grassy
Size & AppearanceSmall, slender, and slightly wrinkledSlightly larger, smooth, and tapered
ColorGreen when immature, red when matureGreen when immature, red when mature
Culinary UsesRoasting, grilling, sautéing, stir-fryingSalsas, hot sauces, pickling, grilling
Best PairingsDipping sauces, skewers, saladsTacos, enchiladas, salsa verde

They are ideal for those who prefer milder heat levels, while serrano peppers pack a moderately hot punch. Shishitos boast a delicate, sweet, and savory flavor, making them perfect for roasting and serving with dipping sauces. On the other hand, serrano peppers are characterized by a bright, fresh taste that lends itself well to salsas, hot sauces, and Mexican dishes. So whether you’re a fan of milder or spicier peppers, there’s a variety to suit your taste buds and elevate your culinary creations.


Got questions about shishito peppers? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers! Here are some frequently asked questions to help you become a shishito pepper aficionado in no time.

How do I get the perfect char on my shishito peppers?

To achieve that sought-after perfect char on your shishito peppers, follow these simple tips:

  1. Make sure the peppers are thoroughly dry before oiling and seasoning.
  2. Ensure your cooking surface (grill, skillet, or oven) is preheated to the right temperature.
  3. Turn the peppers frequently for even cooking and blistering.
  4. Be patient – let the peppers cook until they’re beautifully blistered and tender.

Can I store roasted shishito peppers for later use?

You sure can! Roasted shishito peppers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, simply warm them in a skillet or pop them in the oven for a few minutes until heated through. They may lose some of their crispiness, but they’ll still be delicious!

How can I enhance the smoky flavor of my roasted shishito peppers?

Absolutely! To enhance the smoky flavor of your shishito peppers, you can:

  1. Grill them over charcoal or wood chips for a deeper smoky taste.
  2. Smoke the peppers in a smoker or a grill set up for smoking, using wood chips or pellets for extra smokiness.
  3. Finish the peppers with a dusting of smoked paprika or a drizzle of smoky hot sauce.

What is the Scoville scale for shishito peppers?

Shishito peppers typically have a Scoville rating of 100-1,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), placing them on the milder end of the scale. However, about one in ten shishito peppers can be spicier, so expect an occasional surprise!

Are shishito peppers hot when they turn red?

While shishito peppers do get slightly sweeter and may become a bit spicier as they turn red, they generally remain relatively mild. The change in color primarily affects their taste, making them richer and more complex.

Are shishito peppers hot or mild?

Shishito peppers are generally mild, with a delicate, slightly sweet and savory flavor. However, as mentioned earlier, one out of every ten peppers can pack a little more heat, so be prepared for an occasional spicy surprise!


And there you have it – your one-stop guide to roasting shishito peppers! We’ve covered the basics of choosing your cooking method, prepping, and seasoning, as well as serving ideas and some fantastic dipping sauces to complement those deliciously smoky, blistered peppers. We also delved into alternative pepper options and answered some frequently asked questions.

Now that you’re armed with all the knowledge and tips you need, it’s time to get in the kitchen and try roasting some shishito peppers for yourself. So go ahead, unleash your inner home cook, and impress your family and friends with your new culinary prowess. We promise they’ll be asking for more!


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Hey there, I'm Jay Whyms – web developer by day, food maestro by night, and full-time family man!

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