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Stir-fried Shishito Peppers – Good Enough to Make a Pregnant Lady Yell at a Waitress

On February 13, 2015, Troy and I had a date night. I remember the date, because I think Valentines Day is stupid, but going out the night before was ok in my eyes. We wandered around a cute little downtown in a city 40 minutes north of us. We popped in and out of restaurants looking at menus until we found exactly what we wanted to eat. And when that finally happened, we were told the restaurant was booked for the night. Blerg. So, we headed to a seafood restaurant and grabbed a table in the bar. Which always cracks me up since neither of us drinks, but there are usually available tables.

Anyhoo, we ordered some food, and because we had a nice stash of date money saved up, we splurged and ordered an appetizer. Remembering a dish we had enjoyed when we lived in Los Angeles – and my company sponsored many of our meals $$$ – we ordered the shishito peppers. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate peppers, but for whatever reason, these are enjoyable to me. The appetizer was delicious, and I was sad we hadn’t ordered a double batch. They were mild, but a little spicy, had an excellent dipping sauce, and a delicious pan sauce. They were everything.

Flash forward to June/July 2015. We had found out towards the end of May that I was pregnant with Bennett. Knowing how sick I had gotten while pregnant with Jack, I set out on what I deemed my “last meal tour”. I wanted to enjoy every dish I loved, before food became my enemy. At the top of the list was the shishito peppers. We drug Jack to the restaurant for dinner, and my excitement level was palpable. I could taste those peppers, and planned to request a double order. And let Troy eat three.

You should have seen the look on my face when the waitress told me they were no longer on the menu. My pleas of “we drove 40 minutes for these” were met with a “I’m sorry, but you should have checked the menu online before coming”. The waitress then informed me they were only ever on the winter menu, and in a downward spiral of shame and desperation, I tearfully yelled “BUT PEPPERS ARE A SUMMER VEGETABLE. WHO PUTS THEM ON A WINTER MENU”?! I cannot say it was my finest moment, but I’ll just go ahead and blame hormones. And a desire to have those delicious, delicious peppers.

I ended up ordering some noodle dish that I’m sure was fine, but all I could taste was a mixture of bitterness and disappointment. I later apologized to the waitress. For one, I had acted like a rude child, and two as a former waitress myself, I know she had zero control over what was available or on the menu. It was stupid of me to pout, but I did shed a few tears in that bowl of noodles.

A few months later, I happened to stumble on a package of shishito peppers at Trader Joes. Usually, I’m not a fan of produce at TJ’s, but since it was the only place I had ever seen them, beggars can’t be choosers. Now, I can have them any time I want to, and there is no need to shout at any hard-working wait staff.

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Don’t Cry Little One Stir-Fried Shishito Peppers
1 bunch of shishito peppers, rinsed, and patted dry
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp coconut oil, or other high-heat oil
Kosher salt
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Hot sauce of your choice (I used Yin Yang)

  1. In a wok or other deep pan (do NOT use non-stick), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, and stir to toss in the coconut oil. Then, let the peppers sit and blister for a few minutes. Stir, and let sit again until they have reached your desired “crispiness”.
  2. Drizzle the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar over the peppers, and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to rest for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Greek yogurt and hot sauce, and set aside. It can be done right before serving, but the flavor will be much better if the sauce is made a few hours or even a day ahead of time.
  4. Transfer peppers to a bowl, and sprinkle with a good pinch of kosher salt. Immediately serve with dipping sauce.

Shishito peppers are known for their mild crunch, but a small percentage of them can be hot. It is kind of a fun game of chicken while you’re happily chomping them during dinner. Nothing like a little danger while you eat a meal, right? The easiest way to eat these little green gems is with your hands. Miss Manners would give you the side-eye, until she tried them herself. Grasp it by the stem, and bite the pepper up to the base of the stem. Troy considers one pepper equals one bite, but for me, it is two chomps. Cause I’m a lady. Dammit.

Summer vegetables be damned, these peppers should not wait until next year to be made. Track down a pack of shishitos yourself, and make your mouth happy. Make them at home, and spare the poor sweet wait staff.

 

 

Stir-Fried Shishito Peppers
Recipe Type: Vegetable, side dish, appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Sarah, Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
A delicious stir-fried side dish that comes together quickly and is a hit for lovers of crunchy vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, or other high-heat oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Hot sauce of your choice (I used Yin Yang)
Instructions
  1. In a wok or other deep pan (do NOT use non-stick), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, and stir to toss in the coconut oil. Then, let the peppers sit and blister for a few minutes. Stir, and let sit again until they have reached your desired “
  2. Drizzle the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar over the peppers, and stir to combine. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to rest for 2-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine Greek yogurt and hot sauce, and set aside. It can be done right before serving, but the flavor will be much better if the sauce is made a few hours or even a day ahead of time.
  4. Transfer peppers to a bowl, and sprinkle with a good pinch of
  5. kosher salt. Immediately serve with dipping sauce.

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2 comments on “Stir-fried Shishito Peppers – Good Enough to Make a Pregnant Lady Yell at a Waitress”

  1. Have you considered growing them yourself? Maybe even keeping a couple plants alive in the house over the winter so you can have them out of season? Did you save the seeds?