Friday, January 20, 2012

Puddles of My Pantry: Pan-fried Shishito Peppers with Yuzu and Salt

Ally-Jane Grossan, aka the Kitchen Princess makes her Puddles of Myself and provides the average twenty-something loser with a recipe even they can’t mess up.

It's Friday, my Puddlers. There will be no Mark Jack post this week, though. That's OK, because we'll justlet him stew over the weekend and get worked up about an object that he REALLY wants to dissect next week.

Instead, this allows me to introduce another new contributor to Puddles of Myself. Today, the Kitchen Princess, Ally-Jane Grossan, makes her first Puddles of Myself contribution. Ally-Jane runs her own blog where she posts recipes and commentary, but she will be contributing here from time to time in order to share recipes as well as other musings of her own. Like the rest of Puddles of Myself, the entire premise is sort of murky and fluid. Hmmm...sort of like a pud—

In any event, Ally-Jane is here today with a favorite recipe of hers. Like most of her recipes, this dish goes well with a nice late-night viewing of "Rosemary's Baby." OK, I made that last part up, but I'm trying to break the quota for "Rosemary's Baby" jokes on this blog and I have to squeeze them in when I can.

Enough. Please enjoy the Kitchen Princess, Ally-Jane.

Pan-fried Shishito Peppers with Yuzu and Salt

by Ally-Jane Grossan

Apart from outdoor beer gardens, long walks, Summer Fridays, fireworks, and my birthday, one thing I truly miss about the summer are grilled vegetables. Nothing says summer like charred eggplant next to your misshapen cheeseburger on a Styrofoam plate. In the dead of winter, in the dead of Brooklyn, I’ve found a way to eke out the sweet taste of summer in the form of pan-fried Shishito peppers. These little green guys are barely sweet and barely hot and astoundingly delicious when mixed with citrus and salt. They grow in the late summer in Japan, but can be found in many Asian supermarkets around the city and even in your local Korean bodega. I found them yesterday at Sunrise Mart in SoHo.

I can’t remember where I first encountered the Shishito pepper, but they are relatively new on the food scene. Certainly within the past year, “grilled Shishito peppers” popped up on menus all over town.  The version below is based on the ones I had at Gyu-Kaku in Los Angeles (also with a location in Cooper Square in New York). When you go Japanese, you gotta go all the way. So, instead of using lemon and salt, I’m using Yuzu and salt. The Yuzu is one ugly little bastard. It’s a Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a perfect combination of lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit. The real fruits are a bit hard to find and quite pricey, but Yuzu juice is available in any Japanese market (there’s one on North 9th and Bedford now!). This is what it looks like:

This dish is perfect for any meal, anytime. It’s delicious, looks real sexy, and is, in fact, healthy; and by eating it you can cross off one or two of those five servings of veg today. So, please enjoy and remember to turn on that fan you never ever use on the hood above your stove. I can easily polish off ten of these guys as an appetizer, so multiply the recipe accordingly. I like to work in a smaller pan because you end up using a lot less oil. You’re also going to eat the whole pepper except the stem at the top. The seeds aren’t maddeningly spicy like Thai chillies, so go ahead and eat those too.

Pan-fried Shishito Peppers with Yuzu and Salt

Serves 1 as a side

You will need:

A small (omelette sized) skillet
10 whole, fresh Shishito peppers
2 Tbs grapeseed oil for frying (olive oil would work…if you absolutely have to)
2 Tbs Yuzu juice
1 pinch salt


1. Wash and thoroughly dry the peppers. Heat your small skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbs of oil. I like to work in small batches frying 4-5 peppers at a time. 1 Tbs of oil per 5 peppers is a good measure. When the oil is hot (about 1 minute), place the peppers in the pan with a pair of tongs. Don’t disturb them for at least 30 seconds, then begin to move them around with the tongs. Continue to cook, as evenly as possible for about two minutes. You want to get a little bit of charred skin, but don’t overdo it. The peppers will splatter and maybe even pop. Once they are charred to your liking, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel.

2. Drizzle the peppers with Yuzu juice and then sprinkle sparingly with salt. Repeat this process for as many peppers as you have. You can eat them right away or save them and serve cold tomorrow.

-Ally Jane

Intrigued with Yuzu? Check out my blog Kitchen Princess for a Yuzu sorbet recipe.

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