Shishito are sweet, mild, slender Japanese chiles about 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches) long and about 1 cm (½ inch) wide.
The end opposite to the stem is squarish. The flesh walls are thin.
The bumpy skin matures from light lime green to dark, wrinkled red. The chiles are harvested before they ripen to red.
The chiles are used in stir fries, salads, or are pickled. They can also be grilled, or used as tempura.
Store in fridge and use within 2 weeks.
“Shishi” in Japanese refers to a dancing lion in Japanese mythology; the allusion is to the bumpy, blunt end resembling the lion’s face.
In the Kansai region of Japan, the chile is called “aoto.”
Lapointe, Rick. The Way of Washoku. Japan Times. 30 June 2002.