More shishito please!
I just made this delicious side dish with shishito pepper (Kkwarigochu -꽈리고추) and dried anchovies (Myulchi -멸치). Though there was a moment that I thought I ruined the dish.
The start was very good. I rinsed, trimmed and fried. Then when I was about the pour the sauce into the wok, I realised that the sauce was too much for the main ingredients – shishito pepper and dried anchovies. Oh no~! Unfortunately I didn’t have additional shishito to add but also I didn’t want to get fresh ingredients ready when I was about to finish up. I picked up one pepper to taste whether it was at least “OK”. Then it was so spicy that I started to hiccup immediately. As far as I remember from my very faint memory, shishito pepper was never hot from my mum’s cooking. My mood was dampened. (At the end of last week and earlier this week, I already failed with 2 recipes I was working on so a third failure was making me a bit upset.)
I tried to calm down. I stirred the wok for another 2-3 mins. Then I let it cool down. 10 minutes later, I came back to the kitchen and tasted the pepper and the anchovies. Ah, wait a second. It tasted nice. It was sweet. Shishito was crunchy while anchovy was a bit mushy. Then I opened my rice cooker and brought my spoon, scooped out some rice and put it into my mouth. I also picked up another sum of shishito and anchovy into my mouth. Oh, it was very refreshing! It was so tasty that my lost appetite was coming back. (Just to confirm, I didn’t lose any appetite at any point of my life) I got suddenly all excited. Although I intended to make “crispy” anchovy, “not the mushy anchovy”, it was still good because the crispy shishito pepper compensated for it. I probably should change the title to “Stir-fried and (lightly) Simmered Shishito Pepper and Dried Anchovy (Kkwarigochu Myulchi
Bokkeum Jorim – 꽈리고추 멸치 볶음 조림)”
Shishito pepper is often used when stir-frying dried anchovies in Korea. While anchovy is rich in calcium it lacks vitamin C. Hence accompanying it with shishito pepper, which is rich in vitamin C and relatively not so spicy and sweet, is a common way of making dried anchovy dishes.
At the end, my sister and I loved the shishito pepper so much that we wished that we had more to add from the beginning. Maybe next time.