Houston markets are filled with many varieties of peppers, the shishito being one of my favorites. This east Asian pepper is small, about 3 inches long, thin-walled and usually mild in heat. About one of every 10-12 peppers is hot. In Japanese, “shishi” refers to the wrinkled tip shaped like the head of a lion. These shishitos are from Verdegreens, a grower of glorious greens at the Urban Harvest farmers market; however, the peppers appear on many other vendors’ tables. The recipe takes less than 5 minutes to make, the shishitos can be cooked stems and all, and they make a great light lunch - or snack with a martini.
1 pound shishito peppers
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon amchur
1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and when just shy of smoking, add the cumin seeds. They will sizzle and pop; within seconds, add the peppers and salt.
On high heat, saute them for 2-4 minutes until they appear blistered on some of the sides.
After the heat is turned off, stir in the amchur and chopped cilantro
ideas / variations
These peppers can also be grilled, and the spices along with the popped cumin seeds can be tossed in after.