Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shishito (shishitogarashi)

Small green pepper. Full name "Shishitogarashi". (Capsicum Annuum)  ししとうがらし、獅子唐辛子

Lit. "Green lion pepper" (because it looks like a miniature Chinese lion head, shishi). Although this pepper resembles a hot chili, its flavor is remarkably mild, even softer than the taste of the piman - although there are occasional exceptions!

[Shishito. Photo Ad Blankestijn]

Chili peppers were introduced to Japan by the Portugese in the 16th c., and brought from South America. Too hot for the Japanese taste, a process of hybridization started that finally led to the present sweet and non-offensive product.

Uses: grilled on a skewer as yakitori (it goes well with chicken), as kushikatsu or as tempura. Prick it with a toothpick before frying so that it doesn't explode.

Rich in vitamins A and C.