5 (3)

Appetizers, Stovetop

Shishito peppers with tonnato and huamei

Shishito peppers with tonnato and huamei
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Go to almost any Japanese restaurant, and shishito peppers are as much a staple on the menu as bowls of edamame. Quickly sauteed until the vibrant green peppers soften and begin to blister, they’re often served in a small bowl, ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 4 to 6


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (125 grams) mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie brand
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20 grams) fish sauce, preferably Three Crabs brand
  • 1 (1 gram) dried Thai chile
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (25 grams) lemon juice
  • 2 scant tablespoons (5 grams) capers, rinsed
  • 1 scant cup (113 grams) Ventresca tuna

Step 1In the bowl of a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, fish sauce, chile, lemon juice, capers and tuna, pulsing until the mixture is completely smooth. This makes a generous cup of tonnato, which will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Shishito peppers with tonnato and huamei

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 dozen shishito peppers
  • Kosher salt
  • Tonnato
  • Finely grated or powdered sour dried plum (huamei / li hing mui)

Step 1Heat up a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then gently add the peppers (be very careful as the oil may spit as the peppers are added). Blister the peppers on all sides, then remove from heat.

Step 2Season the peppers with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste.

Step 3To assemble the dish, spoon about 3 tablespoons of the tonnato sauce into a bowl and sprinkle over a pinch of the grated plum. Arrange the peppers on top of the sauce and serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Jonathan Whitener, chef and co-owner of Here’s Looking at You in Koreatown.


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