The concept at chef Jina Yoo’s second restaurant in Columbia, Missouri, Le Bao, is simple: classic Chinese steamed bao and other buns filled with mostly nontraditional ingredients. On the bao side, fillings range from kimchi and pork belly to vegetable curry, while steamed buns come packed with fried chicken and coleslaw or Philly cheesesteak. To complement the bao and buns, Yoo cooks up a range of sides, including pork or vegetable gyoza, chicken or pulled pork nachos and grilled shishito peppers with bonito flakes and a garlic-Parmesan aïoli.
“Shishito peppers have a very thin, delicate skin and some sweetness, but not a very peppery flavor,” Yoo says. “Grilling them brings out the peppery flavor so much more than any other cooking method and changes the character. And then the sauce offers a creamy, tangy contrast and brings out the spiciness even more, while the bonito flakes add umami.”
Grilled Shishito Peppers with Garlic-Parmesan Aïoli
Recipe by Jina Yoo, chef-owner, Jina Yoo’s Asian Bistro and Le Bao
Look for shishito peppers and bonito flakes at specialty grocery stores or Asian markets.
Serves | 2 |
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ¹⁄₃ cup sour cream
- ¹⁄₃ cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Grilled Shishito Peppers
- 3 lbs shishito peppers
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- garlic-Parmesan aïoli (recipe below)
- 1 cup bonito flakes
- ¹⁄₃ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
| Preparation – Garlic-Parmesan Aïoli | In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
| Preparation – Grilled Shishito Peppers | Heat grill or a grill pan on your stovetop to high heat. In a large bowl, add shishito peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer peppers to a grill pan or basket and grill until they begin to blister, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer peppers to a platter and drizzle with aïoli. Top with bonito flakes and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve.