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Shishito pepper
SpeciesCapsicum annuum

Shishito pepper (獅子唐辛子, Shishitōgarashi) is a sometimes hot East Asian pepper variety of the species Capsicum annuum.[1]


The pepper is small and finger-long, slender, and thin-walled. Although it turns from green to red upon ripening, it is usually harvested while green. The name refers to the fact that the tip of the chili pepper (唐辛子, tōgarashi) looks like the lion (獅子, shishi) head; in Japanese, it is often abbreviated as shishitō.[2]

About one out of every ten to twenty peppers is spicy.[3][unreliable source?] The occurrence of pungent fruit is induced by such factors as exposure to sunlight,[1] and other environmental stresses.

The prefectural agricultural testing center at Kishigawa, Wakayama stated in 2005 that capsaicin forms more easily in hot and dry conditions in the summer, and even experts may not be able to distinguish relative hotness on the same plant.[4]

For cooking, a hole is poked in the pepper beforehand to keep expanding hot air from bursting the pepper. It may be skewered then broiled (grilled), pan-fried in oil, stewed in a soy sauce– and dashi-based liquid, or simply eaten raw in a salad or as a condiment. It is thin-skinned and will blister and char easily compared with thicker-skinned varieties of peppers.[citation needed]


See also


  1. ^ a b Murakami, K.; Yamamoto, T.; Fujimoto, K.; Okabe, K.; Masuda, M.; Abe, T.; Maeda, K. (2011). "Low-pungent Sweet Pepper Selected under Continuous Fluorescent Illumination". Acta Horticulturae. 907 (907). ISHS: 243–246. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.907.37., abstract quote: " 'Shishito' (Capsicum annuum L.) is a group of sweet pepper cultivars. Fruits are small, green and non-pungent, but pungent fruits sometimes occur.."
  2. ^ "とさのうと第27号" (PDF) (in Japanese). Retrieved 2021-05-05.
  3. ^ "Shishito peppers come on strong (sometimes)". Marzetti. 2019-02-25. Retrieved 2021-07-30.
  4. ^ Yomiuri Shimbun Osaka Honsha (2005), Zatsugaku Shimbun(雑学新聞) (preview), PHP研究所, p. 60, ISBN 9784569644325, also posted by blog:新建設 まめ知識:Q.辛くないシシトウの見分け方はありますか? (retrieved April 2012)