There are few things I enjoy more than slow Saturday mornings spent perusing a farmer’s market. They are my favorite place to find unique ingredients. And if I find myself in a cooking rut, they spark creativity in a way no Pinterest perusing or cookbook flipping can.
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My favorite market in Nashville proper is the Richland Park Farmer’s Market. It’s on the smaller side, but I love the growers that are here – they always have something fun and unique that gets me excited about cooking.
During a recent visit to the market, I found some beautiful white green beans from Corner Spring Farm and the last two pints of perfect shishito peppers from Green Door Gourmet Farm. I knew both were destined to cook together in some sort of Asian inspired sauce. Shishito peppers call out for Asian flavors, and green beans happily join the party.
What are Shishito Peppers?
Shishito peppers are small, sweet peppers from East Asia and eaten commonly in Japan. They’re not very spicy, though some can produce some heat depending on the growing conditions. They’re long and have a slightly wrinkled skin – perfect for trapping sauce when cooked.
Shishito peppers are usually served with the stems still attached in a bowl for snacking. You pick up the pepper by the stem and pop the rest of it in your mouth. Think of shishito peppers served this way as a kind of update on edamame. It’s finger food that’s perfect for snacking.
If you don’t have or can’t find shishito peppers, padron peppers are usually the substitute of choice. Be warned though, padron peppers are much spicier than shishito peppers.
How to cook Shishito Peppers?
If you see shishito peppers out on a menu somewhere, you’ll likely see them either “blistered” or roasted. The peppers cook quickly and char easily, so “blistering” them in oil over really high heat is a natural choice. Luckily, green beans can also be blistered in the same way, so the white green beans made a great addition to this snack.
In order to get maximum char on the blistered shishito peppers, I use a well-seasoned wok over medium-high heat. Don’t sauce the peppers and beans until AFTER they’re charred in the wok. Adding the sauce at the beginning would add too much moisture and cause the vegetables to steam instead of brown nicely. And that browning is where you get all that smoky depth of flavor, so you don’t want to miss out on that!
Sesame Miso Shishito Peppers
Now it’s time to turn our regular blistered shishito peppers into craveable Sesame Miso Shishito Peppers. I just like the pairing of rich sesame with bright and salty miso. The sesame flavor comes mostly from using sesame oil for blistering the shishito peppers and green beans. The vegetables are also finished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds for some texture.
For miso, it’s important to use white or sweet miso for this recipe. White miso has a less concentrated flavor than red miso so it’s good for these Sesame Miso Shishito Peppers when you really want the peppers to be the star and not the miso flavor.
The miso turns into a sauce to coat the peppers and green beans by adding some water, lime juice, and sugar to it. It gets added to the blistering peppers and green beans only at the last 15-20 seconds of cooking to coat the vegetables and warm the sauce through.
The sesame miso shishito peppers are served right away, hot from the wok with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. These are meant to be little finger foods, and they’re so addictive, you’ll have a hard time eating them any other way.
Sesame Miso Shishito Peppers
Blistered shishito peppers and charred green beans tossed in a warm sesame miso sauce make for a craveable and fun summer snack!
- 2 pints shishito peppers
- 2 pints green beans white or regular
- 1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp white (sweet) miso
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp white sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt divided
- Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Wash the shishito peppers and green beans – trim the stems of the peppers to about 1 inch long and remove the stem ends from the green beans. Pat completely dry.
Add sesame oil to a wok or large non-stick skillet and heat over medium high heat until barely smoking.
Add the peppers and green beans to the wok, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp kosher salt and let char undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, then stir occasionally for a total of 8 minutes.
While the vegetables char, combine the miso, water, lime juice, red pepper flakes, white sugar, and remaining 1/4 tsp kosher salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine.
After 8 minutes the green beans and shishito peppers should be charred and softened. Add the sauce the wok and stir until the vegetables are coated and the sauce is heated through – about 15-20 seconds.
Pour into a serving bowl or platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately while still hot!