Our family loves balsamic vinegar, especially a thick sweet one. Our family also loves to order shishito peppers whenever we find them on a menu. While scanning, the vegetable aisle at Trader Joe’s the other day, I came across bagged shishito peppers and the light bulb went off in my head. Why don’t I attempt to recreate one of our favorite dishes from a Japanese restaurant we frequent in Lake Tahoe? The peppers are sweetened with balsamic vinegar glaze that you can easily make with good balsamic vinegar and either maple syrup or honey. I researched how to blister shishito peppers and discovered that it is fairly easy. All you need is a set of tongs, a good frying pan (mine is an iron skillet), and good olive oil. The key to getting them blistered but not charred is to continue to turn them in the pan. It is actually quite mesmerizing, even relaxing, to blister shishito peppers, watching them turn different shades of green while they soften and shrink in size. After they blister, you squeeze out the juice of half a lemon, and add the balsamic vinegar glaze, and toss to coat. The result is outstanding! Serve them immediately!
- 3 pounds shishito peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/2 cup good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- coarse salt to taste
- In a saucepan, combine the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup or honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by half. This is your balsamic glaze.
- In a frying pan or iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat.
- Add peppers and sprinkle with salt.
- Lower heat to medium-high turning frequently with tongs until evenly blistered on all sides.
- Squeeze lemon juice directly over the peppers, while continuing to toss with the tongs.
- Pour balsamic vinegar glaze over the peppers and toss.
- Lower the heat to low and continue tossing until well coated.
- Serve immediately.