Michael Voltaggio’s clever recipe for crispy fried shishito peppers features crunchy, sweet and umami-packed bonito sand, a simple combination of almond flour, bonito flakes, sugar and butter. Plus: More Best New Chefs
Preheat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor or a blender, combine the flour, almond flour, bonito flakes and sugar and pulse until fine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Spread the mixture on the parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until the sand is toasted and fragrant. Let cool completely, then rub the mixture between your fingers to break up any lumps. Season with salt.
In a blender, combine the tofu and mustard and puree until smooth. Season with salt.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet until very hot. Add the 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the shishito peppers and cook over high heat, turning, until tender and blistered in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a paper towel–lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
In a medium bowl, toss the greens with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and season with salt.
Spoon a tablespoon of the tofu mustard onto each plate and top with the peppers. Sprinkle with some of the bonito sand. Mound the greens on top and serve right away.
The tofu mustard can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. The bonito sand can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.