Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

I imagine many chefs have a dish like this, one that begins as a hastily-assembled staff meal and somehow morphs into one of the most popular things they've ever served in a restaurant. Oh wait, is it just me? It began with shishito peppers blistered in a screaming hot pan, because who doesn't love shishitos? I took some cooked quinoa that was on the line and threw it in the fryer until it turned nutty and crunchy and topped it all off with furikake. You can buy furikake, but there's a recipe here in case you want to make your own.

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa
Photo: Kevin J. Miyazaki
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
2 to 4


For the Furikake:

  • .666 cup raw sesame seeds

  • 3 unseasoned nori sheets (dried toasted seaweed), about 1/4 ounce

  • 2 tablespoons bonito flakes

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal (or 1 1/2 teaspoons Morton) kosher salt

For the Shishitos:

  • Neutral oil, for frying, plus 2 tablespoons

  • ½ cup cooked quinoa, well-drained

  • Kosher salt

  • ¾ cup store-bought or homemade ranch dressing

  • 1 pound shishito peppers

  • Garlic salt, for serving

  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges


Make the furikake

  1. In a dry pan or skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes, stirring often. (If your seeds are already roasted, skip this step.) Transfer to a small bowl and let cool completely.

  2. If the nori sheets are not crisp enough to crumble easily, carefully toast them by waving them over a gas flame or placing under a broiler for a few seconds.

  3. In a food processor, combine the sesame seeds, nori, bonito flakes, sugar, and salt. Pulse 8 to 10 times or until mixture is well-blended. Store in a resealable container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.

Make the shishitos

  1. Spread the ranch dressing on a platter. In a small saucepan, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium-high heat. When a deep-fry thermometer registers about 350°F, very carefully add the quinoa to the pan (it may pop and splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, until it floats to the top and is crispy, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the quinoa's moisture content. Drain the fried quinoa on paper towels and season with a pinch of kosher salt.

  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet or wok and place over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke, cook the shishitos in 2 to 3 batches, searing the peppers on all sides, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister and are charred in spots, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Place the shishitos on the platter with the ranch dressing; season to taste with garlic salt and squeeze the lemon wedges over. Sprinkle with the fried quinoa and furikake, and serve right away.


Adapted with permission from Cook Real Hawai'i by Sheldon Simeon and Garrett Snyder, copyright © 2021. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Kevin J. Miyazaki © 2021.

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