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Shishito Pepper

Shishito peppers are a small, slender Japanese pepper, mostly mild but sometimes spicy. They’re versatile in the kitchen, perfect for quick cooking and are a favorite for appetizers.


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Shishito Pepper Seeds

Shishito peppers are a flavorful variety from Japan, known for their slender, thin-walled structure. This makes them quite delicate. They are usually picked while green, but they turn red as they ripen. Being a seed company, we tend to not harvest until seed ripe, thus our red shishito pictures.  What an oversight!  Most people harvest and eat them when they are green. In Japanese, ‘shishito’ means ‘lion chili pepper’. This name comes from how the tip of the pepper looks like a lion’s head.

Flavor and Heat

These peppers have a sweet, slightly spicy taste. On the Scoville scale, their heat ranges from a mild 50 to 200 units. A unique feature of shishito peppers is their unpredictability. It seems that random peppers will be surprisingly spicy. Anywhere between 1 in 6 to 1 in 10.  This mix of mild and hot makes them popular, especially as appetizers. The heat is usually not too strong, but it can catch you off guard.

Uses of Shishito Pepper

Shishito peppers are really versatile in cooking. A popular way to cook shishito peppers is this basic blistered shishito peppers recipe. You just heat them in a pan until the skin pops and turns a bit black. It’s a quick and tasty way to make them as a snack or side dish. They’re also great on the grill. When grilled, they get a nice smoky flavor that’s great in many meals. You can chop them up and throw them into stir-fries for a bit of a mild, sometimes spicy kick. They’re good in salads too, adding crunch and a bit of spice. Shishito peppers can also spice up everyday foods like tacos, pizzas, and sandwiches. They bring a little heat and lots of flavor, which is why so many people like cooking with them.

Growing Tips for Shishitos

Growing shishito peppers is pretty straightforward and rewarding. First, start by planting them in a sunny spot, as they need plenty of light to thrive. Make sure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter. You can improve the soil by adding compost or well-rotted manure. When it comes to watering, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s best to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Shishito peppers also benefit from regular feeding, especially once they start flowering and setting fruit. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer to give them the nutrients they need. As the plants grow, you might need to support them with stakes or cages, especially as the pepper pods start to weigh down the branches. Finally, keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and treat them promptly if they appear. With these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to a bountiful harvest of shishito peppers.


Commonly eaten when unripe/green




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