Blistered Shishito Peppers & Ume Plum Caramelized Red Onion

Shishito peppers are so beautiful this time of year, and they really are something special if you haven’t had them before.  They are very citrusy and floral for a pepper, and have a mild heat.  Broiling them is my favorite because it creates such a nice char, but doesn’t overcook the pepper.

sj-2sj-5Start with your onions.  Slice one red onion into half moons, and add to some coconut oil in a pan over low heat.  Add in some ume plum vinegar, minced fresh finger, sesame chili oil, and pink himalayan salt, and allow to caramelize for about 20-25 minutes.  Ume plum vinegar is a really unique ingredient, and is primarily used in Asian cuisine.  I like adding it into the onions while they are caramelizing, because it has a lot of sweetness too it from the ume plums, and it cooks well.

sjsj-4For your peppers, start out with about a pound of shishito peppers.  Lightly oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet with coconut oil, and add in your peppers.  Salt them, and put them into your oven, set on broil.  Place them on the middle shelf though, you don’t want to burn them too quickly.  Once they start to slightly char, flip them over and allow to char on all sides.  Once they are charred and wilted a bit, take them out of the oven.  The reason we do this on broil, is because it chars and smokes the outside of the pepper, without cooking it too much where it will fall apart.

sj-3sj-6For the first dipping sauce, mix together your tamari, ponzu, toasted sesame oil, chili garlic paste, and green onion together.  Chill for roughly a half hour.  For the second sauce, mix together your ume plum vinegar, black pluot jam, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and ponzu together.  Chill for 10 minutes.  I like the combination of these sauces, because you have one that is more savory and salty, and one that is more sweet and tangy.  They both pair amazingly with the peppers.

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Once your onions and peppers are both done cooking, combine the two together and plate on your serving platter.  Add your dipping sauces to the side, and top with some maldon salt flakes, and place some pickled ginger on the side.  Now all that’s left is to serve, and enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. shishito peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbs + 3 tbs ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tbs sesame chili oil
  • 1 tbs + 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbs tamari
  • 1 tbs fresh minced ginger
  • 3 tbs black pluot (plum) jam
  • 1 tbs chili garlic paste
  • 1 tbs + 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs + 1 tbs ponzu
  • 1 1/2 tbs pink himalayan salt
  • 1 tbs black pepper
  • 2 tbs scallions
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • pickled ginger
  • coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to the broil setting.
  2. Slice your onion into half moons, combine with a small amount of coconut oil, 2 tbs ume plum vinegar, 1 tbs sesame chili oil, fresh ginger, pink himalayan salt, and black pepper in a pan over low heat.  Cook for about 20-25 minutes until the onions have caramelized and reduced down.
  3. Place a small amount of coconut oil in the bottom of a cast iron pan.  Add your peppers and sprinkle with salt.  Place in your oven on the middle rack for about 4 minutes until they start to slightly char, then flip and continue to char on all sides.
  4. For dipping sauce #1 mix together your tamari, toasted sesame oil, chili garlic paste, rice vinegar, ponzu and scallions together.  Refrigerate for a half hour.
  5. For dipping sauce #2 mix together your jam, ume plum vinegar, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, and ponzu together.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  6. Once your onions and peppers are done, mix them together and place on your serving board.  Serve with pickled ginger, your dipping sauces, and sprinkle the top with maldon sea salt flakes.

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