Red Shishito pepper soup is an easy and delicious way to use up a big harvest of ripe, red shishito peppers — or other varieties of thin-skinned, sweet red peppers.
The Legendary Shishito Pepper
If you’ve never grow shishito peppers before, you should remedy that predicament as soon as the next warm weather growing season heads your way.
Shishito peppers are a sweet-flavored Japanese heirloom. They offer a wrinkled texture and thin skin.
Shishito plants are prolific, producing an incredible volume of fruit per plant. The peppers are typically picked when they’re young and green, turning deep red when fully ripened.
Another quirky feature of Shishito peppers: about 1 out of 10 peppers is hot. Not melt-your-face hot, but hot enough to let you know about it.
Side note: this “Russian roulette” spicy characteristic of Shishitos is also true of Spanish Padrón peppers. Difference is, up to 25% of Padron peppers are hot.
We’ve had the misfortune of biting into some Padron peppers that definitely fell in the “melt-your-face-off-hot” category. This usually involves me getting hiccups and frantically searching our fridge for milk kefir to dull the pain, while The Tyrant laughs at me.
Eating Green Shishito Peppers
The (usually) sweet flavor, wrinkly surface, and thin skin make Shishito peppers perfect for certain recipes.
We eat blistered green Shishito peppers at least once per week during the summer.
Green Shishito peppers are also delightful as tempura fried peppers.
Making Red Shishito Pepper Soup
This summer, we got behind on picking our green Shishito peppers.
That meant our plants were soon covered with gorgeous, wrinkly red Shishito peppers. What to do with all those red Shishito peppers?
For whatever reason, we decided we were in the humor for a good soup. Thus, this Red Shishito Pepper Soup recipe was born.
And dang was it good.
So good, in fact, that we’re going to start intentionally leaving those delicious young, green Shishito peppers to ripen red on our plants.
A shoutout to Fearless Dining whose recipe was the inspiration for our new red Shishito soup recipe.
Cooking tip: An immersion blender is really essential for making soups, sauces and other recipes similar to our red Shishito pepper soup.
An immersion blender allows you to leave all of your ingredients in place in your pot rather than transferring them back and forth between a food processor. This saves a ton of time and reduces the likelihood of you getting burned. We use and recommend the Swiss-made Bamix immersion blender.
Recipe: Savory Red Shishito Pepper Soup
Red Shishito Pepper Soup
A delicious summer soup made from the famed Japanese Shishito pepper. This recipe is best made with the fully ripened red Shishito peppers rather than the unripe green peppers, which are popular in other recipes.
- 1 lb red Shishito peppers de-stemmed
- 1 tbsp whole coriander seed
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1-2 Tbsp high heat cooking oil like grape seed oil or sunflower oil
- 1/2 c whole grass milk
- 2 c veggie broth
- garnish: shredded organic cheddar cheese + diced onion greens to taste
Remove stems from Shishito peppers with a knife.
Chop onion and mince garlic - set aside.
Toast coriander seeds in a dry cast iron or wok. Once they begin to pop and have a deeply aromatic smell, remove them and coarsely grind using a mortar and pestle. The coriander seeds are important to this recipe and add a wonderful layer of flavor nuance and complexity.
Add oil to wok or cast iron. Get it hot - just before smoking, add peppers. You want the peppers to blister (have black spots where the skin is raised). Stir peppers every 15-30 seconds.
Once peppers are soft and are starting to blister (3-5 minutes), add the onions & sauté together for 5 minutes.
Add toasted coriander and 1 tsp more of oil.
Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Remove from heat.
Add broth, shave of horseradish (optional), and milk. Immersion blend until soup texture is smooth and creamy.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese & green onions. Serve with tortilla chips.
*We also like to use pipicha as a garnish on this recipe. Pipicha is an herb native to Mexico with a cilantro-like flavor profile. It can be difficult to find pipicha at a grocery store; that's why we grow ours in our garden.
We hope you love this shishito pepper recipe as much as we do!