Air Fry Shishito Peppers For An Unforgettable Yet Simple Appetizer

Appetizers are arguably at their best when they're simple, and shishito peppers might just be one of the easiest pre-dinner snacks around. If you can get your hands on them, they're typically in season during the summer and early fall months. They're also effortlessly delicious, and when you stick them in the air fryer, you can have a plate of beautifully blistered peppers in about 10-15 minutes.

If you want to keep your snack as simple as possible, there's no need to serve the air-fried shishito peppers with more than a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkling of finishing salt. For a more dressed-up variation, a dip can make a good accompaniment. The mild peppers pair excellently with savory flavors like a dashi soy sauce; for example, using homemade dashi or dashi cubes, you could prepare the sauce with mirin, soy sauce, and grated ginger and daikon radish. (But be warned — this combination of salty, sweet, and umami flavors is so delicious that you might end up eating the whole plate on your own.) Alternatively, if you prefer a creamier dipping sauce, try a ginger-garlic aioli. The perfect balance of the peppers' sweet, smoky flavor paired with the creamy brightness from the aioli makes for a tasty snack, made all the more satisfying by how easy it is to prepare.

How to air fry your shishito peppers

Prepare your shishito peppers by rinsing them well and making sure to remove any dirt or debris from their skin — these are firm and waxy peppers that can sometimes be a little dirty, so take care. Dry them thoroughly with paper towels and place them in a bowl. Coat them lightly in a neutral oil with a high smoke point (like avocado or canola) and season them with your preferred seasoning — we recommend the bright, fruity kick of shichimi togarashi — or simply salt. After your air fryer has preheated to around 390 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit, place your oiled peppers in the fryer basket and cook for roughly 5-7 minutes, making sure to shake the basket halfway through the cooking time.

Exactly how long you end up cooking your peppers in the air fryer really comes down to personal preference, so it's important to keep a close eye on them. The good news is that even if you scorch them a bit, it just makes them more delicious. Prepare to enjoy one of the easiest appetizers your air fryer can cook up — in fact, if you're leaning toward also making a dipping sauce, that process might take longer than the peppers themselves.