Sunday, August 19, 2012

Padron Peppers blistered with Furikake

When I first saw these peppers a few years back, I was so sure it was the Japanese Shishito chile pepper.  They are so similar, you can definitely swap out when the padron chile season ends and the Shishitos come to market.  Same simple preparation and such a peppery flavor with a tender texture.  Usually they are quickly deep fried or pan fried in olive oil and tossed with sea salt.  Great served as an appetizer, one biter finger food.
I thought I'd give these a little Asian twist and sprinkled a version of Furikake seasoning.  This is a Japanese seasoning which comes in numerous variation but generally contains sesame seeds, crumbled nori, dried bonito (fish) flakes, chile powder, salts, dehydrated egg and msg.  So I made my own variation:

1 tbsp    sesame seeds, toasted and crushed
1 each   nori sheet, crumbled
pinch    dried bonito flakes, chopped
1/2 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp     orange zest

Crumbling nori sheet is messy so use a bowl larger than you think you need and the only way I know how to do this is by hand.  I think toasting the sheet lightly over a flame gets it crispier and easier to crumble.  Of course, as most things, you can buy it already crumbled but it's like toasting and grinding spices, you can do just as much as you need.  And I also prefer the larger flakes of nori... which by the way has endless applications.  Sprinkle on eggs or better yet, fold into omelets; rice, salads... More on nori/seaweed in a future post.

Generously sprinkle the seasoning onto pan fried peppers as soon as they are done.  Seasoning is also great on hot steamy rice with a fried egg... yum!

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