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Shishimai is sweet and slightly smokey shishito pepper with a very mild spice that the whole family can enjoy. Whether served from home or in a five-star restaurant these peppers will take your next meal to a whole new level. Shishimai seeds can be direct seeded, but it is recommended to transplant. Transplants should be placed 12 inches apart, leaving ample room for growth. As the plant grows, it’s best to prune the first 2-5 flowers to promote growth. Harvest once the peppers reach 3-5 inches in length.
Our Shishimai L3 varietal is the first Shishito variety to have the L3 gene. The L3 gene is responsible for the hypersensitive response in Capsicum in plants against the infection of tobamoviruses. The resistance conferred by this gene is one of the most effective so far described against tobamoviruses.
Note: When Shishimai is overly mature the peppers will turn red and can become hot.
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150 days to maturity from seeding
- Transplanting required. Sow 1-2 seeds per cell into a 72-cell tray. Thin to one plant per cell after germination.
- Sow seeds 1/4–1/2" deep and cover gently.
- Maintain soil moisture (clear tray covers may be helpful). Dry-wet cycles and overwatering can create a crust-like soil layer and prevent germination.
- Water as needed once first true leaves emerge; allow soil to dry between watering.
- Check for readiness between 55–65 days after germination by gently pulling on the base of the stem to see if the roots hold the soil together.
- Transplant to 12" spacing.
- Plant deep: bury transplants up to first true leaves to support root growth.
- Transplant shock: leaves may turn yellow after transplant but will return to normal after 10-14 days.
- Pruning: remove first 3–5 flowers to promote vegetative growth and encourage higher yeilds.
- Avoid overwatering: can cause peppers to enter dormancy.
- Cultivate to prevent weed growth and use best management practices for pests.
- Harvest at 3–5” when deep green.
- Continually harvest 2–3 times per week. Delayed harvest can prevent fruit set and decrease yields.
- Over-mature fruits will turn red and become spicy.
Shishimai are best suited for light cooking methods like grilling, sauteing, roasting, and frying. The pepper’s skin blisters easily, giving it a beautiful char when grilled. Try them seared in a cast iron skillet with sesame oil and finished with a squeeze of lemon and sea salt for a savory and satisfying starter dish.
Safety Tip: Poke holes when frying to prevent the peppers from exploding.
Shishimai is high in beta carotene as well as other antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and B6. It also contains a small amount of capsaicin – a compound found in chili peppers known to stimulate blood circulation and boost metabolism.