Blistered Shishito Peppers with Wasabi Roe

This Blistered Shishito Peppers with Wasabi Roe appetizer was inspired by my recent visit to NYC. Bruised shishitos show up on a myriad of tapas menus but the dish at Upland NYC was served with what's called bottarga, which I completely had to look up, BTW.

Last Friday, before we head back home to NoVA, we run errands and have lunch at this Cuban diner, La Isla, with our son, who just moved to Hoboken. I tell J I want to "swing by" Russ and Daughters right after. J says the rendezvous (my word not his) will add 3 1/2 hours to our commute. Not to mention the $12.50 or so toll each time we drive into Manhattan.
We first stop at my all time favorite bagel spot, Black Seed Bagels, just short of closing for the day. I order a half dozen of these Montreal meets NYC hybrids. Four sesame, one everything and one salt. I should have ordered a second everything. The salt was rubbing off on the rest. Russ and Daughters, the 100 year old shop, isn't a far distance from Black Seeds Bagels on the Lower East Side. J finds a parking spot right in front. I do like the newly opened Russ and Daughters cafe, which I've written about in Act II, but the experience is so much more authentic, as I've written before, in the shop.
La Isla in Hoboken shot on iPhone 6
I came home with:
2 1/4lb packets of thinly sliced Gaspe Nova smoked salmon
1 1/4lb packet of double smoke Danish salmon
1 pickled herring in cream and onions
Scallion cream cheese
A condiment size container of horseradish cream cheese
A condiment size container of white fish salad
Egg Salad
A condiment size wasabi roe
J has a sweet tooth, so he turns his back to me, and orders 6 raspberry and nuts rugulach from the opposite counter.
Fast forward, we are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, just a few blocks from the Holland tunnel trying making our way to the Jersey TNPK. This guy in this big black Mercedes taps our little hybrid from behind. He was taking a selfie with his girlfriend as we look up through the rear view mirror. We gently jolt forward not sure if we are imagining that or what?!

Jonathan who is a super patient fellow was irritable. At this point. a sluggish hour passes with us barely inching forward. What I do next breaks the camel's back.  Amidst the chaos, I step out of the car and check out the bumper, twice. I then calmly make a spiraling, circular hand motion so the guy in the Mercedes rolls down his window. The selfie taking guy was fit and formidable. He pauses, then rolls down his window. At which I tell him, somewhat emotionless and detached, you bumped our car and watch it, with no please and thank you. He nods his head. Jonathan is furious at my risky behavior. I know it's so dangerous on so many levels but I was (stupidly) unfazed and fearless.
Black Seed Bagels shot on iPhone VI as seen on Instagram
Time stands still with NYC in a rush hour deadlock. The pedestrians are struggling to find an inch of space to squeeze in between the cars to cross the street. They are maneuvering as if in a maze. Strangers moving in small pods. It felt as if, we and the pedestrians, were inside an Atari game, live. I start hysterically laughing at the image.

We split a freshly baked sesame bagel, all on its own, in the car. It was divine. The raspberry nuts rugulach were gone by the time we get home. They were exquisite. We arrive home after 10pm. We have Black Seed Bagels and Russ and Daughters' brunch at night.

Slowly we run out of bagels first, then salmon and egg salad and so forth.

A condiment size wasabi roe is a lot. I had to think what to do with the leftovers.

I didn't have bottarga, so I thought the popping fish eggs with the wasabi punch would be a great substitute and idea.
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Wasabi Roe
serves 2-4

1 dry pint shishito peppers
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pinches plus of Sel Gris sea salt or other coarse salt
2 teaspoons plus wasabi roe, bottarga or other roe

Add the olive oil into a cast iron skillet on medium to high heat. Once the oil heats up, add the shishito peppers. Be careful, the hot oil splatters. Once in a while mix the pepper with a heat resistant spatula. Watch for hot oil splatter. Once the peppers are charred, remove from oil with a slotted, heat resistant spatula, sprinkle with some salt and the wasabi roe and serve immediately, hot.

You might wish to use The Kitchn How to Roast Shishito Peppers oven method to avoid being splattered.  Also look at this beautifully styled and photographed shishito peppers post, particularly photo no. 1 and 5. I wish I wasn't as hurried. 


  1. I've seen many of these blistered peppers and I've never trie them, but every time I see them again makes me want to grab some asap at the store! Beautiful photos!

  2. I have not tried shishito peppers but I clearly need to rectify that! Sounds like your NYC adventure was a delicious one. As for that guy bumping you with the car - definitely not good. I probably would have done the same as you did - except I probably would have been a bit less calm ;)

  3. husband will absolutely love this recipe!

  4. I love your style. I have never seen anything like this in my boring town. I can't wait to visit NYC this fall. It's like a whole other planet to us small town gals. So many amazing tastes, so little time.

  5. Your post makes me want to fly back to NYC right now. It's been far too long since I've been there! I keep seeing blistered shishitos on various blogs, but haven't actually make them myself. Love the twist of serving them with wasabi rice.

  6. I've never actually had blistered peppers before but reading this post I want to go to NYC right now to try them!

  7. NYC traffic is the worst, which is why I refuse to drive in the city! I would have absolutely lost my patience, even the good food wouldn't have kept me happy. Shishito peppers always look tempting but I'm such a wimp when it comes to spicy food that I fear I won't be able to handle them.

  8. looks a fun foodie trip and great your recreating recipes

  9. LOVE blistered shishito peppers. They are my favorite!