Shishito Gremolata is the perfect topping for grilled tri-tip steak or any grilled steak – Orange County Register

Shishito Gremolata is the perfect topping for grilled tri-tip steak or any grilled steak – Orange County Register

Shishito gremolata, a topping made with shishito peppers, parsley, and olive oil, is perfect over grilled tri-tip steak or other types of grilled steak. (Photo courtesy of Brad Bruce)

Brad Bruce, grilling and grilling expert, as well as founder of the popular recipe site Chili’s & Smoke, brings together the enticing union of smoke and sizzling heat in the dishes featured in his new cookbook. One of my favorite books from Chili’s and Smoke (Harvard Common Press, $26.99) is his Shishito Gremolata. Chunky and full of flavour, the delicious sauce combines roasted and chopped shishito peppers with parsley, garlic and shallots, plus walnuts, lemon peel and juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon it over grilled steaks, but it’s delicious over any steak grilled to perfection.

Shishito peppers have a sweet and slightly smoky aroma. Generally, it’s light, but sometimes it gets a touch of hot heat. There is no way to look at them and determine the degree of mouth fire they have. I suggest tasting the gremolata before serving. If it’s too hot, pass the gremolata at the table, warning guests with sensitive palates not to even try a small piece of beef. Nine out of ten times a shishito will have just the right personality. But I think it’s best to try the sauce just to be sure.

Shishito gremolata

fruit: 4 to 6 servings


metal or wooden skewers; See Cook’s Notes

20 fresh shishito peppers

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, see cooking notes

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

Grilled steak, about 2 to 3 pounds

Cook Notes: If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before placing them on the chili peppers. I like to toast the walnuts before adding them to the mix. I spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet and roasted them in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they burn easily. Cool them before adding them to the shishito mixture. Use caution when working with fresh chili peppers. Do not touch your face or eyes.


1. Thread the shishitos onto the skewers. Place directly over medium-high heat on a barbecue grill until charred on the first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and repeat. Once they are blistered and charred, remove them from the grill and let them cool for a few minutes.

2. Remove the stems and most of the seeds from the shishtos and chop them. Place them in a bowl with the parsley, garlic, lemon peel, juice, shallots, walnuts and olive oil. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Slice the steak and serve with a spoonful of shishito gremolata on top.

Source: Adapted from “Chilis and Smoke” by Brad Bruce (Harvard Common Press)

Cooking question? Contact Cathy Thomas at

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