Easy Blistered Shishito Peppers, made in your Instant Pot in less than 15 minutes, are proof that you can play with your food as an adult! Serve them as an appetizer or snack with a creamy Asian honey-mustard sauce and watch the fun unfold when someone gets a spicy one!
So let’s talk about food that’s terribly appropriate to consume outside on a summer day.
Burgers & hot dogs, straight off the grill.
A frosty cold beer.
Blistered Shishito peppers with sesame honey-mustard dipping sauce.
Just hear me out on that last one.
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Seriously, if you’ve never tried Shishito peppers, today is the day.
These snack-happy guys are criminally addicting. They’re a little sweet and smoky, with a bit of char on the outside. Pair them with a tasty dipping sauce, and you won’t even need to eat lunch.
Although, you should share like your Mama taught ya.
The recipe for these pretty Sesame Honey-Mustard Blistered Shishito Peppers come straight out of my friend Stef Bundalo’s new cookbook, Quick Prep Cooking With Your Instant Pot. Let me tell you folks, I’m not just in love with her food.
Stefanie blogs over at Sarcastic Cooking, and she. is. my. people.
She’s talented, witty, self-deprecating (much like myself), and she likes all of the best things (her Ron Swanson Breakfast Burger is proof).
Plus…if you follow her on Instagram, you’ll get the privilege of watching her Friday Frozen Pizza & Beer Pairing live. Which, honestly, is one of the social media highlights of my week. She’s a hoot, y’all, and she makes some killer food.
If these wee little 15-minute Shishito peppers aren’t enough to convince you to get this book, perhaps Bourbon Pot Roast Nachos, Fried Egg Spaghetti, or Nashville Hot Chicken Tacos will? (Every recipe in her book requires 15 minutes or less of prep work – how much more convenience could you ask for??)
Wait…what are Shishito peppers?
Shishito peppers are a breed of sweet heirloom pepper from East Asia, often found on appetizer menus at sushi restaurants. While they are mostly mild, what makes them unique is that one in every ten peppers is spicy!
If we’re being real, even the spicy ones aren’t that spicy. The heat begins when you swallow (sort of like with Mexican chocolate) and then sits in the back of your throat.
So don’t expect that you’ll be reaching for a gallon of milk after one. Even jalapeños are hotter! It’s an enjoyable sensation, and fun to watch when the person eating the spicy one doesn’t know what’s happening!
If you like Russian Roulette (when it comes to food, of course!), you’ll love these babies.
Shishitos make wonderful sharing-style appetizers, and they go really well with just about any drinks you can imagine. And yes, make sure everyone has a drink. That first bite of a spicy one will sneak up on you slowly!
If you’re serving these as a side dish, make a batch to go along with a bowl of my 20-Minute Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Ramen! They also pair well with Bang Bang Crispy Shrimp Tacos, Korean Bibimbap, or Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Skewers. If you’re keeping lunch or dinner light, try them with a delicious Kani Salad.
What’s the difference between Shishito and Padrón peppers?
While Shishitos are served mainly in Asian restaurants, their Padrón cousins can be found on tapas menus in many Spanish restaurant.
Shishito peppers come from Japan. They are named after 獅子 shishi, meaning lion, in reference to the tip of the peppers looking like the head of a lion. They are harvested while green, before fully ripening to their natural red color.
Padrón peppers come from the Padrón region of Spain. Their colors range from green to red, and while they are generally shorter and fatter than shishitos, the mysterious 1-in-10 in hot rule applies.
Can Shishito peppers be eaten raw?
Of course! Like any pepper, Shishitos can be served raw. They are sweet and crisp, much like a bell pepper, with a hint of smokiness.
When buying your peppers, look for ones that a bright green with no hint of red tint. Those are the freshest and will last the longest…that is, if you don’t devour them right away.
How long do Shishito peppers last?
Properly stored, fresh Shishitos can last up to two weeks when stored in a paper or plastic bag in the warmest part of your refrigerator.
Most of the ingredients for this Shishito pepper recipe go into the cooking/dipping sauce, and you might already have most of them in your pantry!
- Shishito peppers – fresh Shishitos can be found at local farmers markets or Asian markets. Nowadays, most supermarkets carry the pre-bagged peppers as well. Their growing season peaks in the summer, but they hold well enough to enjoy them any time of the year.
- Mayonnaise – try the Kewpie kind! It can be found at any Asian market, or here on Amazon.
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Dijon mustard – grainy or smooth, it’s up to you.
- Rice wine vinegar
- Chili-garlic sauce – don’t skip this!
- Kosher salt
- Sesame oil – the toasted or seasoned types lend the best flavors.
How to make blistered Shishito peppers in an Instant Pot
- First, make the sauce, because you’re gonna use some in the pot! Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, honey, vinegar, horseradish, chili-garlic sauce, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine, then set it aside.
- Next, plug in your Instant Pot (or chosen electric pressure cooker) and press the “Sauté” button. Drizzle a bit of sesame oil into the pot, add 1 tablespoon of that yogurt-honey mustard sauce, and dump in the peppers. Grab a pair of kitchen tongs and toss everything, coating the peppers with that delicious sauce.
- Sauté the peppers for about 10 minutes, turning them only a few time to allow them to char on the outside.
- After 10 minutes, remove the peppers to a small square of aluminum foil. Add the water to the pot, and set the steam trivet inside. Gently lower the foil square of peppers into the pot, secure the lid, and close the steam vent.
- Finally, cook on low pressure for 2 minutes, performing a quick release of the pressure when the timer goes off. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the peppers to a serving platter, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve with remaining dipping sauce.
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Instant Pot Blistered Shishito Peppers
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon horseradish
- ⅛ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 12 ounces Shishito peppers
- ½ cup water
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, honey, vinegar, horseradish, chili-garlic sauce, and salt to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Press "Sauté." Add the sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of the yogurt-honey mustard sauce, and the peppers to the pot. Toss with tongs to combine.
- Sauté for about 10 minutes, turning and tossing the peppers three or four times only. You want them to char on the outside.
- After 10 minutes, remove the peppers. Add the water and steam trivet to the pot. Place a small square of foil on top of the trivet. Add the peppers back to the pot, placing them on top of the foil.
- Secure the lid with the steam vent closed. Press "Pressure Cook" until the display light is beneath "Low Pressure." Adjust the "-/+" button until the time display reads 2 minutes.
- When the timer sounds, quick release the pressure. Use tongs to transfer the peppers to a serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with sauce on the side for dipping.
- Heat sesame oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and 1 tablespoon of honey mustard sauce and toss with tongs to coat.
- Sauté 7-10 minutes, turning occasionally to char the sides of the peppers to your liking. Transfer the peppers to a serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with sauce on the side for dipping.