Shishito peppers are known for their mild, sweet flavor with a slight smokiness and have a heat level that ranges from mild to medium, making them a popular appetizer or snack in many cultures. They are typically pan-fried or grilled whole, and often served with a sprinkling of salt, lemon juice, or a dipping sauce.
One interesting thing about shishito peppers is that they are said to have a “Russian roulette” effect, as about one out of every ten peppers is said to be spicy, while the rest are mild. This unpredictability has made them a fun and exciting addition to many dishes.
How to Grow Pepper “Shishito”
- Choose a suitable location: Shishito peppers require full sun and well-drained soil. Choose a location that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day and has good drainage.
- Start with seeds or seedlings: Shishito peppers can be grown from seeds or seedlings. You can start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area, or you can purchase seedlings from a nursery.
- Prepare the soil: Amend the soil with compost or aged manure to improve its fertility and drainage. Make sure the soil pH is between 6.0 and 7.0.
- Plant the seeds or seedlings: If planting seeds, sow them ¼ inch deep and 2-3 inches apart. If using seedlings, plant them 18-24 inches apart in rows spaced 24-36 inches apart.
- Water regularly: Shishito peppers need regular watering, especially during hot and dry periods. Water deeply once a week or more often if the soil feels dry to the touch.
- Fertilize as needed: Shishito peppers benefit from regular fertilization. Apply a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Control pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and spider mites, and control them with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Monitor for diseases such as bacterial leaf spot or powdery mildew and treat promptly.
- Harvest the peppers: Shishito peppers are ready to harvest when they are about 3-4 inches long and have turned from green to red. They can be harvested at any stage of ripeness and are typically used when green.
FAQ for Pepper “Shishito”:
Q: What are shishito peppers?
A: Shishito peppers are a type of small, thin-walled chili pepper that is typically green in color and measures about 3-4 inches long. They are a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine and are known for their mild, sweet flavor with just a hint of smokiness.
Q: Are shishito peppers hot?
A: Most shishito peppers are relatively mild in heat, though occasionally one may be a bit spicy. On the Scoville heat scale, which measures the heat of peppers, shishito peppers typically rank between 50 and 200 Scoville units, making them much milder than jalapeño peppers, which can range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units.
Q: How do you cook shishito peppers?
A: Shishito peppers are often served grilled or pan-fried and sprinkled with salt. To cook them, heat a bit of oil in a pan or on a grill over medium-high heat, add the peppers, and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they are blistered and charred. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Q: Can you eat shishito peppers raw?
A: Yes, shishito peppers can be eaten raw, though they are most commonly cooked. When eaten raw, they have a slightly crunchy texture and a mild, sweet flavor.
Q: How do you store shishito peppers?
A: Shishito peppers should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container for up to one week. They can also be frozen for longer storage, though this may affect their texture.
Q: How do you grow shishito peppers?
A: To grow shishito peppers, you will need to choose a suitable location, start with seeds or seedlings, prepare the soil, plant the seeds or seedlings, water regularly, fertilize as needed, and control pests and diseases. See the earlier answer for more detailed instructions.