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Shishito Peppers in SF?

RedBeans04 Jul 10, 2011 07:42 PM

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. b
    boris_qd RE: RedBeans04 Jul 10, 2011 10:25 PM

    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
      Robert Lauriston RE: boris_qd Jul 11, 2011 02:19 PM

      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
        jman1 RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 13, 2011 06:54 PM

        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. s
      selectiveomnivore RE: RedBeans04 Jul 11, 2011 01:41 PM

      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
        RedBeans04 RE: selectiveomnivore Jul 11, 2011 02:01 PM

        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
          wolfe RE: RedBeans04 Jul 11, 2011 02:18 PM

          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. w
        wally RE: RedBeans04 Jul 11, 2011 09:58 PM

        Farmer's markets usually have a vendor or two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wally
          Robert Lauriston RE: wally Jul 12, 2011 09:48 AM

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

          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            wally RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 10:05 AM

            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. p
          PoleyzMOM RE: RedBeans04 Jul 12, 2011 11:32 AM

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

          11 Replies
          1. re: PoleyzMOM
            Robert Lauriston RE: PoleyzMOM Jul 12, 2011 12:09 PM

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

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              PoleyzMOM RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 12:39 PM

              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
                Robert Lauriston RE: PoleyzMOM Jul 12, 2011 12:54 PM

                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
                  wolfe RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 02:13 PM

                  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
                    Robert Lauriston RE: wolfe Jul 12, 2011 02:39 PM

                    Or people are confusing the two.

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


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      wolfe RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 12, 2011 02:50 PM

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

                      1. re: wolfe
                        jman1 RE: wolfe Jul 13, 2011 08:28 PM

                        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
                          bbulkow RE: jman1 Jul 14, 2011 09:25 AM

                          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
                            Robert Lauriston RE: jman1 Jul 14, 2011 09:32 AM

                            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
                    Zeldog RE: PoleyzMOM Jul 14, 2011 04:53 PM

                    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
                      bbulkow RE: Zeldog Jul 15, 2011 09:00 AM

                      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. r
                RedBeans04 RE: RedBeans04 Jul 12, 2011 04:53 PM

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

                1. m
                  meowface RE: RedBeans04 Jul 14, 2011 10:37 PM

                  I buy them on a regular basis from Mitsuwa @Saratoga Ave/280 in San Jose. You can also get Padron peppers at the Campbell farmers mkt on Sundays.

                  675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

                  1. m
                    mhuang RE: RedBeans04 Jul 15, 2011 10:26 AM

                    I find them frequently at Hankook Supermarket in Santa Clara. Both Nijiya and Mitsuwa also carry them quite regularly.

                    675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA

                    Hankook Supermarket
                    1092 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

                    1. s
                      selectiveomnivore RE: RedBeans04 Jul 18, 2011 01:04 PM

                      just heard there were shisitos at the Temescal farmer's market (Oakland) yesterday, though probably not super helpful for a visitor to SF

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: selectiveomnivore
                        wanderlust21 RE: selectiveomnivore Jul 18, 2011 01:12 PM

                        They seem to be showing up now. I bought some Padrones at Stonestown Farmer's Market yesterday. I not sure, but I think they were around $7/lb. At least one other farm had them, a little basket (the type used for strawberries) for $4.

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