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Jul 10, 2011 07:42 PM

Shishito Peppers in SF?

We are coming to your lovely town (San Francisco and Napa) this week and I wondered if any of you know if I could fine shishito peppers anywhere locally?

I believe it is a Japanese pepper.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. A number of places in Japan town have them regularly including the store in the ground floor of the mall on the corner of Webster & Post.

    2 Replies
    1. re: boris_qd

      Nijiya or Super Mira.

      Nijiya Market
      1737 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

      Super Mira
      1790 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        The ones at Nijiya are grown in Mexico (at least all the times I've noticed recently). I don't know if you were hoping for a Japanese import, or something locally grown.

        I've asked at Whole Foods and was told it's not something that they carry.

        I've been told that Padron peppers are very similar (maybe the same species).

    2. Do you mean fresh to take home and cook or do you want them prepared in a restaurant?

      I've seen shishitos in the Whole Foods in Oakland and at Market Hall Produce in Oakland.

      For at restaurants a few come to mind, but I am sure there are many more - Wayfare Tavern, Bocanova (Oakland again), and I think Nopa.

      560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      55 Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94607

      Market Hall Produce
      5655 College Ave, Rockridge, CA 94618

      Wayfare Tavern
      558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

      2 Replies
      1. re: selectiveomnivore

        Fresh to take home and grill. Maybe secure a source for shipping if anyone does that. We've looked everywhere locally and they just are not found here (New Orleans area).

        1. re: RedBeans04

          With limited experience, one comparision, I detected little difference between shishitos and padrons. Both, according to Wiki and me, have the "Russian Roulette" experience.They were similar in appearance and I prepared them both quick saute with blistering and sea salt.

      2. Farmer's markets usually have a vendor or two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wally

          I haven't seen any local peppers yet at the farmers markets I visit.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I think Happy Quail had Padrons. They had shisitos last year. I am getting some padrons from Mariquita this week. I haven't been to the Berkeley market for awhile, but believe Quetzal had both last year. I think Tierra had both last year. I would imagine they will all be late this year.

        2. Shishito peppers are the same as Pedrone peppers. It may be easier to find them under this name.

          11 Replies
          1. re: PoleyzMOM

            Padrón and shisito chiles are similar, but they're not the same. Shisitos are consistently mild.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              I interned at The French Laundry last summer and was told by on e of the sous chefs there that they are the same peppers...I'll have to look into it more.

              The French Laundry
              6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

              1. re: PoleyzMOM

                They look pretty much the same, but padróns are occasionally spicy, or if left to grow too big are all quite spicy, while shisitos are always mild. As noted above, some farms grow both. Seed companies sell both, e.g.:



                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  My personal observation and many reports on the net suggest that the occasional shishito can be spicy., perhaps not as frequently as the padron but links with shishito and roulette are numerous. and I did see 1 kamakize

                  1. re: wolfe

                    Or people are confusing the two.

                    Here's a photo of the two side by side, with tasting notes:


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I guess the folks at Monterey Market where I bought mine must have been confused when they labelled them.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Interesting to read the comparison. Would be interested in seeing a DNA study.

                        I've been enjoying shishito for a number of years as an appetizer at my usual sushi bar. Only tried padron within the year (at ZeroZero). Noticed that they were prepared in a similar manner and tasted really great there. I take it that padrons are served more frequently; I'll have to look.

                        I'll embarrass myself by mentioning my inability to remember the name "shishito" back at the time when it was not as common an item (and often wasn't on an English menu). Same place often served shishamo and for some reason I often confused the two words. It's kind of unexpected to think you've ordered one and to be brought the other instead. ;-)

                        1. re: jman1

                          In my mind, the home of Padrons is Cesar in Berkeley (Shattuck). They have them regularly, and the first time I've had one go nuclear on my ass. The waiter - there was always a guy at Cesar who did greeting and some table work but wasn't exactly a waiter - rushed over with sugar and said the Spaniards put a sugar cube on the tongue. Memorable.

                          1. re: jman1

                            DNA testing would show that shishitos and padróns are the same species, capsicum annuum (cayenne family), which has dozens? hundreds? of varieties.

                  2. re: PoleyzMOM

                    I've grown shisitos and padrones side by side in my back yard and they absolutely are not the same variety. The foliage and fruit of the shisito are a lighter shade of green than padrones, and the shisito pepper is slightly longer and pointier. They are both very good blistered with a little salt, although I think most people would agree the padrone has a bit more flavor if they did a taste test. At any rate, I hope French Laundry is not passing off shisitos as padrones.

                    The French Laundry
                    6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                    1. re: Zeldog

                      I dined at Dio Deka in Los Gatos last night, and I think they served me Shisitos but said they were padrones. Bigger, different cap, slight taste difference. Still good.

                      Dio Deka
                      210 E. Main Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030

              2. Thanks everyone for all the replies. We'll definitely try to find some while we are visiting. :)