Shishito Peppers, ever heard of ‘em? Yeah, I hadn’t either until my brother-in-law bought me Randy Clemens “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook” for Christmas. I flipped through this book with amused interest at the variation of recipes that included Sriracha and then I came across the beautiful photo of grilled Shishito peppers and thought “Oooo, now that looks good!” followed by “Now what the heck are they?” A quick Google search informed me that Shishito peppers are a - generally - sweet, finger sized pepper from Japan. Interesting, I thought. The photo that accompanies the recipe is absolutely mouth watering and the Sriracha Satay Sauce it’s paired with is incredibly drool worthy. I’ve been dying to make this recipe since December, but didn’t think I had a hope in hell of finding Shishito Peppers.
Then last week my husband and I decided to make a spontaneous trip to the Japanese Market - Initially for noodles and miso - and what should I happen to find sitting in the produce department? A huge bag of Shishito Peppers! Wow, I couldn’t believe my luck. Not knowing how I’d like them, I grabbed only one bag with the intention of making Clemens recipe ASAP.
Boy oh boy do I wish I’d bought another bag of these peppers, because they were really fantastic and so unique. To me they weren’t quite as sweet as say a bell pepper, they had a slightly bitter edge - though I can’t be certain if that’s from the pepper flesh, the seeds, or the charring - but nevertheless I liked them. Once I started in on my plate I couldn’t stop until every last pepper had been drenched in Satay and consumed in it’s entirety, and that’s another thing, the Satay!
|Look at that beautiful Sriracha Satay!|
Now I love me some peanut butter anything, and I sure as hell love me some Satay sauce. In fact, at restaurants when I find a good satay and there isn’t enough food to dip into it I’ve been known to spoon the stuff directly into my mouth.- what? It’s delicious! - So I’ve had a lot of good satay in my time, but Clemens Sriracha Satay is probably one of the best I’ve ever had. It’s creamy, it’s smooth, it’s spicy, it’s garlicky, it’s sweet, it’s fan-freaking-tastic! It’s also not overly peanuty which might be a major plus to any peanut haters out there - my husband, a confirmed peanut hater loved the sauce.
One of the most brilliant things about this satay is that it’s made with coconut milk, that milk gives it an extremely rich, and velvety consistency, and the sriracha packs so much flavor but not an unbearable amount of heat. I also love that this satay is simmered on the stove and served warm, that makes a lot of difference in my opinion, and it’s so good that it would be perfect over any grilled vegetable, tofu, seitan, or tempeh. It would even be good thinned out as a dressing over a grain salad and some steamed broccoli. The Satay made a large batch so I can’t wait to get creative with the leftovers.
If you can find Shishito Peppers in your local Asian market, pick them up, give them a try and let me know what you think!