If you have done tapa crawls in Spain, you are probably very familiar with Pimientos de Padrón. They are a great snack to nurture your drinks with. Mildly sweet and with a hint of spiciness (except for an occasional one that blasts with heat – beware!), the little green peppers from Padron in Galicia come in a perfect bite size. They are also easy to prepare: Fry them in olive oil for couple of minutes until blistered and a bit browned. Then sprinkle them with coarse sea salt. There you go. Just enough time to open a couple of beers or pour a nice glass of wine. Can you make a snack faster than that?
Across the Pacific, the Japanese love having Shishito peppers as bar snacks. Shishitos are wonderfully mild and sweet, kind of like the Padróns. They are larger in size, about 2 – 4 inches long, and have a more wrinkled skin. You can cook them the same way you do Padróns by frying them in a little oil in a hot pan, turning them around until they are softened, blistered and slightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. But instead of the sea salt treatment, toss them in a dressing made of a spoonful of soy sauce, a splash of yuzu or lime juice, little brown sugar, a few drops of toasted sesame oil and some freshly ground black pepper.
Grab one by the stem and bite! The pepper harvest season has begun.