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Appetizers

Spicy shishitos with crispy quinoa

Spicy shishitos with crispy quinoa
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: 20 minutes, plus overnight soaking time for the quinoa | Serves 2 to 4
  • 3 generous tablespoons (1 ounce) red quinoa
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 dozen shishito peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Three Crabs or Red Boat brand
  • 2 tablespoons citrus juice (an equal combination of lemon, orange and lime)
  • Shaved bottarga, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, preferably Maldon, for garnish

Step 1Soak the quinoa in water overnight to soften. The next day, drain the quinoa well.

Step 2Heat a saute pan over medium heat, and coat with a thin film of canola oil. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the quinoa to paper towels to drain and cool.

Step 3Heat a large heavy-bottom saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil, and when it begins to shimmer, carefully add the peppers, blistering them on all sides.

Step 4Carefully stir in the fish sauce and citrus juice, tossing the peppers to coat thoroughly. Remove from heat.

Step 5Using tongs, remove the peppers (leave the oil and liquid in the pan) to a serving plate. Garnish with the crispy quinoa, shaved bottarga and salt. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from a recipe by Jason Bowlin, chef de cuisine at Redbird in downtown Los Angeles.

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