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Aug 24, 2012 09:39 AM

Chile experts--ever heard of Friar(i)elli peppers? Same as shishito?

I was in a restaurant in El Jebel, CO, last week and have been obsessing over an appetizer there, listed on the menu as "Friarelli peppers." They were grilled whole, sprinkled with feta crumbles and accompanied by a small bowl of "garlic aioli," which tasted as you might expect but was green. At any rate, the combination was fabulous.

I loved these little peppers--they were fruity, not too hot although an occasional one would be quite hot. I looked for them at every market/store I went into for the rest of the time I was in Colorado, but never saw them. I've certainly never seen them here, but the selection of fresh chiles available here in NO is very limited.

With some on-line research I found "Friarielli" peppers, which were described as "Neapolitan peppers" or "Italian frying peppers." I've occasionally seen "Italian frying peppers" here, but these were not what I had in El Jebel. Rather, the little ridged peppers I had (and that continue to haunt me) looked more like the Japanese shishito peppers I've also seen online.

Does anyone know if these peppers are similar, or possibly the same? And, if shishito is what I'm looking for, does anyone know a good source? (Who knows, maybe I could even find them at the Asian Market.)

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  1. Friarelli is the Italian name for shishito peppers. Very much the same thing, so they are interchangeable.

    I like to toss them with some olive oil and salt in a bowl then dump them onto a very hot grill. Once charred, pull off the grill and hit it with a squeeze of lemon. Excellent.

    I'm sorry I can't provide a public source for these, as I grow them yearly, but I would assume that they can be found in Asian markets.

    EDIT: I also believe that padron peppers can be used as a sub. Probably the spanish version of shishito.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Novelli

      I've bought mild green chiles from Korean HMart that I think are the same, about 2 inches long, wrinkled, blunt tip. I fry them in a bit of oil till blistered and dust with coarse salt.

      1. re: paulj

        Sound like them. They are often called "Japanese peppers" at Korean markets.
        The Korean Green Pepper are also very tasty, they are longer and more pointy.

    2. Also check out padron peppers in hispanic markets. I think these are the Spanish version of shishito.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Novelli

        Thanks, Novelli. I'm going to look for shishitos at the Aian market, padrons in the hispanic markets. And I think I'll look into ordering seeds to try growing my own. They were fantastic!

        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          They are predominate in Napoli, Italia where they are found in dishes prepared with fresh fish, salads, sauces and Pizzas.

          They are called Peperone Friarielli di Napoli.

          1. re: foodeditormargaux

            Thanks, margaux--I wonder if that particular pepper is the same as the shishito or padron--or if the friarielli are ever available here and maybe called something else. I will begin my search!