Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe

Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
If you aren't big on spicy foods, shishito peppers are a great alternative taco topping. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Shishito peppers are delightful in this venison recipe, and with the subtle spiciness from crispy diced radish coupled with an herbaceous, tangy green sauce, these tacos are perfect bites

Traditionally, charred jalapeños are served with tacos, but if you can’t handle spiciness, the shishito pepper is a delicious alternative. The shishito is an Asian variety of peppers, and while 1 in 10 peppers may be spicy, they are mostly sweet. Blister them in a pan or over a grill and toss with salt. They are great by themselves or as an accompaniment with any dish that could use a tiny kick in flavor.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1 pound venison roast
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 12-16 shishito peppers
  • 1 small bunch radishes, diced or thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small package corn tortillas
Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
Cilantro is just one part of the Green Herb Sauce in this recipe. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Green Herb Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 green onions, white and light green parts only
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
  • 4 shishito peppers
  • ¼-½ cup of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar


  1. Remove as much silver skin as possible from the venison roast. Dice/mince the meat finely and mix with coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, olive oil and juice of 1 lime. Set aside.
  2. Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
    You can choose how big to chop the pieces of venison depending on if you prefer smaller bits or larger strips. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  3. Lightly toss shishito peppers with a bit of oil. Heat a pan over medium heat and cook peppers until blistered and slightly browned all over. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
    The peppers should not completely char and only blister in places. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  5. To make the green herb sauce, roughly chop cilantro – both leaves and stem – and add it to a food processor. Next, add parsley – leaves only, garlic and green onions and pulse a couple times until chopped. Then add lime juice, vinegar, and 4 shishito peppers from previous step (remove stems). Pulse and slowly add olive oil until the sauce is fully emulsified and thickened to your liking. Season with sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
    If you prefer a chunkier sauce, add less olive oil and do not pulse the mixture for too long. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

  7. To make tacos, brown seasoned venison with a bit of oil in a hot skillet – do not overcook. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm while you warm up the tortillas. Assemble warm tortillas with meat (use a slotted spoon if there’s a lot of juice in the pan), a dollop of green herb sauce, chopped radish, and blistered shishito peppers.
  8. Venison and Shishito Pepper Tacos Recipe
    With this venison taco meat, you can make traditional tacos on tortillas or put the toppings on chips to make nachos! (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

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