Blistered Shishito Peppers With Soy Mayo Dipping Sauce

While Japan is known worldwide for things like sushi and ramen, some of my favorite dishes in Japan is the bar food. These blistered shishito peppers are commonly served in Japanese taverns called izakaya and make a great snack while sipping on an ice cold Kirin.

blistered shishito peppers

The shishito pepper has gotten quite popular in recent years. Shishito peppers come from East Asia and are a noticeable part of the cuisine of Japan and Korea. While there are many dishes and side dishes that incorporate this pepper, the most simple version is just basic blistered shishito peppers which are quickly fried in a bit of oil and sprinkled with salt.

Shishito peppers are not spicy, however every once in a while there will be one that can be a bit hotter than normal. People say there is a 5-10% chance you get a spicy one, but at that it’s still far less spicy than a jalapeno. They make the perfect accompaniment to tsukune at a traditional Japanese izakaya!

How To Prepare Shishito Peppers

Interestingly, the preparation for shishito peppers and the Spanish padron peppers is almost the same. You just put them in a bowl, toss in a bit of olive oil, and pour right onto a very hot pan.

I do recommend poking a hole in the peppers to help air escape. You can do this with a little paring knife or even a sharp chopstick. This will prevent the air inside from expanding under heat and causing the pepper to explode.

blistered shishito peppers in a pan

Once you toss the peppers in some olive oil and put them on the very hot pan you don’t have to do much. Listen to them sizzle and shake the pan a bit to roll the peppers around. You can use tongs to turn them if you need but we aren’t trying to blacken every bit of these peppers so I find shaking or even tossing the pan to work just fine. Blistered shishito peppers are very forgiving so don’t worry about under or overcooking them. As long as you avoid turning them into charcoal I’m sure they will be enjoyable.

Japanese Soy Mayo Dipping Sauce

soy sauce mayonnaise dipping sauce

One of my favorite things I learned during my time in Japan was soy sauce and mayonnaise. I honestly can’t believe I didn’t imagine it before as it’s so simple! Yet it wasn’t until I asked, “what is this?” and got a look of incredulity that I didn’t know something so popular that I knew it wasn’t anything complicated. This super easy dipping sauce pairs well with blistered shishito peppers as it adds a rich umami kick – as well as alleviates the spice from the 5-10% of peppers that can be a bit hot.

This Japanese soy mayonnaise only needs two ingredients, but I add one more for a little boost. Also, you can use your own homemade mayonnaise in this recipe, or a store bought one. If you want to be as authentic as possible, try to use real Japanese Kewpie mayo or make my fantastic homemade Japanese mayonnaise facsimile!

Japanese Soy Mayo Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise – store bought or homemade.
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce – or adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil – optional. If you don’t like sesame oil you can leave it out, or replace it with chili oil for a spicy soy mayo.

Blistered Shishito Peppers With Soy Mayo Dipping Sauce

Blistered Shishito Peppers With Soy Mayo Dipping Sauce

After frying the shishito peppers in the pan tip them into a clean bowl. Give a good sprinkle of flaky salt and toss so they are evenly seasoned. You can also add other seasonings like black pepper, lemon juice, or more, but to keep it simple I just use salt.

Put them on a plate along with the soy mayo dipping sauce and serve! I like to sneak a few before bringing them out as they tend to go fast when my guests are around. Feel free to garnish with a shake or two of furikake if you want for an elevated presentation!

Try These Other Delicious Japanese Recipes:

blistered shishito peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers

This easy recipe for blistered shishito peppers with a Japanese soy mayo is sure to be one of your new favorite 'bar foods'.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Tapas
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 people
Calories 72 kcal


  • 1 Pan
  • 1 Bowl


  • 500 grams Shishito Peppers about a pound
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

Soy Sauce Mayonnaise

  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise store bought or homemade. Can also use authentic Japanese kewpie
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil optional


  • In a bowl add the shishito peppers and olive oil. Toss so they are all evenly coated.
  • Place a pan on high heat and when it is very hot tip in the shishito peppers.
  • Let them fry for a minute or so, and shake the pan to roll them around so they don't burn completely on one side. You can use tongs if you want.
  • Tip the peppers onto a plate and serve with the homemade Japanese soy mayo.

Soy Mayo Dipping Sauce

  • In a bowl mix together the mayo, soy sauce, and sesame oil. You can make this while the peppers are frying to save time. Serve alongside the peppers.
Keyword Asian, Authentic Japanese Recipes, Japanese, Peppers, Shishito
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