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.