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white plate with grilled peppers, red cabbage and aioli smear

Shishito peppers are like a cross between a hatch chile pepper and a jalapeno. Most of the time they’re pretty mild with a touch of heat that slowly develops. But every now and then, you’ll get a firey one, that can knock your socks off.

They originated in Asia, but they’ve become more and more popular in the U.S., and they’ve made it on many menus in Las Vegas where they’re generally served as an appetizer with a dipping sauce.

Before blistering them on the grill, toss the peppers in sesame oil. It gives them a little nutty, umami kick that balances out the sweet heat of the pepper.

The dipping sauce includes a bit of sesame oil, too, along with mayo, garlic, salt and ponzu sauce. Ponzu sauce is basically a citrusy soy sauce. If you can’t find it, you can just use soy sauce.

To round out the dish and for a pop of color, serve your grilled shishito peppers with pickled red cabbage.

Want to make this dish even better? Serve it up on top of a Gochujang Teriyaki Burger.

burger with grilled shishito peppers.
4.38 from 16 votes

Sesame Garlic Grilled Shishito Peppers

Sesame Garlic Grilled Shishito Peppers – now you can make this trendy restaurant appetizer at home in 20 minutes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3


Sesame Garlic Grilled Shishito Peppers

  • 15 shishito peppers
  • 2 tsps sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Ponzu Aioli Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsps ponzu sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch kosher salt

Pickled Red Cabbage

  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage


Sesame Garlic Grilled Shishito Peppers

  • In a bowl, toss the peppers in the oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Grill on a medium-high grill over direct heat for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through.

Ponzu Aioli Dipping Sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pickled Red Cabbage

  • In a saucepot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Place the cabbage in a large bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the cabbage. Let steep for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain from the liquid and squeeze out the extra moisture.


Calories: 298kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 432mgPotassium: 173mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 755IUVitamin C: 84mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Japanese
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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