If you want to make an impressive appetizer with minimal effort, this blistered shishito peppers with burrata recipe is it! The smoky, sweet flavor of the shishito peppers and the creaminess of the burrata are leveled up even more with a delicious preserved lemon vinaigrette. Grab some toasted sourdough and make yourself a zesty bite of this appetizer!
Shishito peppers are small, wrinkly peppers native to Japan. They are mild and sweet in flavor when raw, but blister them and you'll have a delicious smoky flavor that makes them irresistible.
Although they are generally mild, they say one in ten of these small Japanese peppers will be hot. It's basically shishito roulette, you never know which one will get you!
Shishito peppers are a really great appetizer because 1. they're bite sized, 2. they have a cute, little stem that serves as a handle, and 3. they're super easy to prepare. Of course, they're delicious too.
- Shishito peppers: These peppers have become quite popular and easily accessible at most grocery stores. Look for vibrant green and firm peppers without brown blemishes.
- Burrata: This is basically a fresh mozzarella ball filled with a mixture of cheese curds and fresh cream.
- Preserved lemons: These are a North African and Middle Eastern staple that pack a ton of depth and lemony flavor without being too sour, making them a delicious base for the vinaigrette.
- Apple cider vinegar: It adds another layer of flavor and brightness to the dressing.
- Honey: It balances out the dressing with a hint of sweetness.
- Olive oil: We use it to coat the peppers before blistering them, and also the oil component of the vinaigrette.
First, preheat a large skillet over medium heat until it's very hot. If you sprinkle some water on the pan, it should sizzle and evaporate right away.
Toss the shishito peppers with olive oil and salt then place them in the hot skillet in a single layer. Don't stir them around until they are charred and blistered on one side. This should take about 8 minutes total.
While they're cooking, make the dressing by mixing the preserved lemon paste, apple cider vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Toss the blistered shishito peppers with a portion of the dressing then place them on a platter, break up the burrata into chunks and nestle them on top, and drizzle the dressing all over.
Drizzle some olive oil on slices of crusty bread such as sourdough, and toast them until golden and crispy.
Spread some burrata with the preserved lemon sauce on the bread, then top with a few blistered shishito peppers and dig in!
If you want, you can trim off the stems of the shishito peppers before you cook them. I personally like to keep them because I think it makes them more fun.
But if you don't want to deal with having to bite the pepper off and discard the stem, feel free to chop them off in advance.
Substitutions and Variations
This recipe is vegetarian, but below are additional options:
- Vegan - substitute the burrata with vegan ricotta or another plant-based creamy cheese of your choice.
- Peppers: if you can't find shishito peppers, you can use sweet baby peppers. They will take a little longer to blister and soften since they are thicker and a little bigger.
- Preserved lemons - you can buy them whole or in paste form. If you don't have any, substitute with half the amount of lemon zest and a big squeeze of lemon juice.
- Honey - you can substitute this with maple syrup or another sweetener of your choice. You can completely omit it if you don't care for sweetness.
- Apple cider vinegar - you can substitute it with another light vinegar you enjoy.
- Gluten-free - this appetizer is naturally gluten-free, so just serve it with gluten-free bread or crackers.
- Spicy - if you like more heat, add some cayenne pepper to the dressing.
Tips on How to Make Perfect Blistered Shishito Peppers
- Get your pan screaming hot! If using a cast iron skillet, preheat it for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
- Don't keep stirring the peppers. If you do that, you won't get the nice blisters and char but instead you'll have soft, cooked peppers without the smoky flavor.
- Keep them in a single layer so they can get an even char on all sides.
- Don't dump the salt in one spot over the peppers. Because they are so wrinkly, clumps of salt can get stuck and make some of the peppers too salty even if you toss them around. Learn from my mistake and sprinkle the salt evenly all over.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Since these peppers are naturally mild, you don't need to worry about removing the seeds.
Most of the time they are mild, ranging from 50 to 200 Scoville heat units. That's much milder than jalapenos, ranging from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. One in ten shishito peppers will be spicy. If you are sensitive to spicy food, bite off the tip of the pepper to check if it's a spicy one or not before you pop the whole thing in your mouth.
Hold it by the stem, put the whole pepper in your mouth, and bite it off the stem. Yep, you eat the whole thing, seeds and all! Discard the stem.
These are great with toasted bread or crackers as an appetizer, but they also make a great side dish for a grilled steak dinner or any other protein. You can even pile them over some tacos for a sweet and smoky flavor. Have fun with them!
Yes. The best way to cook shishito peppers is on high heat until blistered. You can use the oven, air-fryer, or grill if you don't want to use the stovetop. If using the oven, set it to broil and place the seasoned shishito peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet on the top rack. Flip them once they char a bit, and let the other side blister too, about 8 minutes total. For air fried shishito peppers, set the air-fryer to 400°F and place the peppers in there for about 8 minutes, shaking them halfway through. For grilled peppers, set the grill to medium high heat and place the shishito peppers in a grill basket. Cook on the grill for about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through, until blistered.
Uncooked shishito peppers will keep in the fridge for a week or two in the crisper drawer. Cooked shishito peppers should be enjoyed immediately, as leftovers get soggy (though still edible).
The burrata should be consumed immediately after removing it from it's liquid and breaking it open. But if it's not dressed with the vinaigrette, place it back in its liquid in an airtight container and in the fridge for a couple days. If it is already dressed and mixed with the peppers, place everything in an airtight container in the fridge and consume the next day.
See My Latest Recipes For More Delicious Ideas:
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If you’ve tried making this Blistered Shishito Peppers with Burrata and Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette recipe or any other recipe on Forks & Foliage, then please don't forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would be so happy to hear how it turned out for you. And if you took any photos or videos, please share them with me on Instagram @forksandfoliage so I can see the deliciousness you made!
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Burrata
- 12 ounces shishito peppers
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons preserved lemon paste, or half a preserved lemon finely chopped into a paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh crackled black pepper
- 8 ounces burrata
- crusty bread, for serving
- Preheat a large skillet over medium heat until it is very hot. In the meantime, toss the shishito peppers with two teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place them on the hot skillet in a single layer for about 8 minutes, tossing them once or twice until blistered on both sides. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the preserved lemon paste, apple cider vinegar, honey, the rest of the olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Whisk until fully combined. Taste and adjust salt as needed, since preserved lemons vary in salt content.
- Toss the blistered shishito peppers with two tablespoons or so of the dressing, then place on a platter.
- Place the dressed peppers on a platter, break up the burrata into chunks and nestle them on top of the shishito peppers, and drizzle the remaining dressing all over the burrata and the rest of the platter.
- Sprinkle some salt and grind more black pepper over the burrata and serve with toasted crusty bread or crackers.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary.