Shishito or Padron Peppers? It’s all the same to me.
Depending on whether you’re in a Spanish Tapas or Japanese restaurant you might hear these peppers referred to as Padron or Shishito. I first discovered them on my initial trip to Madrid. I remember eating lunch that day unaware that after the long customary Spanish siesta dinner would be so late. Around noon as part of siesta Spanish people take long naps or generally shut it down until the sun goes down.
It was a little after 9:00 that evening when me and my wife sat down for dinner and I was starving. We must have had about 15 different tapas between us, but the padron peppers stood out. I have since eaten them anytime I’ve frequented a Japanese or Tapas restaurant that has them on the menu. Today you can find them more readily available at grocery stores and farmers markets as their popularity has grown.
There is some risk to eating them tho. If you fry up a batch, one or two might be that FIRE while the others are sweet to mild. Don’t look to me for guidance as to how you can tell, as I typically go for broke and try my luck. Don’t fear though, as my kids eat them all the time. Just have some Almond milk on hand lol!
This recipe is as simple as it gets. All you need is a cast-iron skillet, peppers, high heat and good sea or kosher salt. I eat padron peppers all the time. Most often than not, they’re a quick appetizer for my hungry crew as I prepare dinner. However, padron peppers make for a great appetizer/game day food and pair well with an ice cold beer or if you like me, some quality tequila. The trick to cooking them is to blast your skillet on high heat then add oil and the padron peppers blistering them quickly 4-5 minutes. You’ll have to actively cook them, i.e. frequently move them around in the skillet as they char.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy!
Pan-Fried Padron Peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Padrón or shishito peppers
- Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat until just smoking.
Add half of the peppers; cook, tossing occasionally, until skins are blistered and flesh is softened, about 4 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining peppers, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and more salt.