Have you ever had shishito chili peppers? I am a little embarrassed to say that I had never cooked with or even tasted shishito peppers until making this dish. I know they are all the rage these days, but for whatever reason, they hadn't made it onto my plate. It's probably because I'm not a huge fan of really spicy foods. Well, it turns out that these are super mild and even have a slightly sweet flavor when cooked. Supposedly, one in 10 peppers can be hotter than the rest, so there's an element of adventure, too!
Since I don't love super spicy foods, I like to balance anything spicy with something a little sweet, and that's why I paired them up with sweet pork sausage and a creamy, slightly spicy sauce. All the flavors and textures go great on a bed of rice.
After trying them, I can definitely say that they are highly addictive, and I will be picking more up next time I head to the store. I can also promise that you will be craving more after trying them. Continue on, because sausage and peppers is a classic!
What Is a Shishito Chili Pepper?
A green shishito chili pepper is a mild-flavored pepper originally from Japan. It is thin-walled and about the size of a finger. The peppers are usually harvested when they are green, but they would turn red if left unpicked for longer. They are available all year but are often more available during the summer months. The heat level in Scoville units ranges from 50 to 1,000 (though usually below 200).
Heat your cast-iron skillet over high until it is smoking hot. Be sure to have your hood vent on so you don't smoke up the kitchen. The smoking hot pan is really important because you want them to blister the shishito peppers, but don't want to cook them too much so they still have a crunch when you bite into them: 3 to 5 minutes should do it. Also, cooking at such high heat gives the peppers a slightly smoky essence. First cook the peppers, then the sausage separately so you can control the cook times of each.
The sausage I used was called "Hawaiian Pork Sausage" from a local meat company, which tasted very similar to bratwurst. Brown the sausage on both sides for the best flavor and cook through but be careful not to overcook it.
After both the shishitos and the sausage are cooked, add them together in the skillet to warm through and add some of the pan juices to flavor the peppers.
Serve these beauties over a bed of rice and drizzled with the sauce made by combining the sriracha and mayo (use more sriracha for more spice). Then you're going to go with an appealing appetizer, easy entree or super side dish!
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Shishito Peppers + Sausage with a Creamy Sriracha Sauce
- 1 lb Hawaiian pork sausage or bratwurst
- 6 oz shishito peppers
- 4 teaspoon canola oil (or similar cooking oil), divided
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 cups cooked rice
- Cut the sausage into ½" rounds.
- Heat a 12" cast-iron skillet over high heat until it is smoking.
- In a medium bowl, combine the shishito peppers with 2 teaspoons of the canola oil until they are well coated.
- Cook the shishito peppers in the cast-iron skillet for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until they blister in places.
- Place the peppers back in the bowl and season well with kosher salt.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and add 2 more teaspoons of oil to the skillet, then add the sausage rounds.
- Cook the sausage for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Add the peppers back to the skillet to warm through.
- To make the sauce; combine the sriracha with the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add more sriracha if you prefer it spicier.
- Serve the peppers and sausage over rice and drizzle the sauce on top.
- Make it vegetarian and use Beyond Meat brats for the sausage.