If you ever head of tiger skin pepper, you may wonder what it is? And if you ever eat it, you will fall in love with it. Tiger skin pepper is a famous Sichuan dish among the folk. Although simple ingredients are used, the taste is not that “simple”.

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

In fact, this tiger skin peppers are sautéed green peppers with mostly garlic, light soy sauce and vinegar. There are many interesting dish names in Sichuan cuisine for example ant climbing a tree(蚂蚁上树), Couple’s Beef (夫妻肺片). Sometimes, dishes are not directly named by ingredients and cooking methods. We use imagination in it. This name theory behind this sautéed green pepper is quite similar with that dish. The whole green peppers will be sautéed in wok until the skins become crinkly, which looks like the figure of a tiger skin. That’s why it is named as Tiger Skin Green Peppers. There are also dishes with similar texture for example dim sum style chicken feet

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

There are other variations about this dish. Some loves to add vinegar at the very end of the stir-frying process while others might choose to garnish some spices (a mixture of pepper flakes and five spice powder) rather than the black vinegar. The light soy sauce and black vinegar version create a well balanced flavor in addition to the natural hotness of the chili peppers.  

The type of the pepper we commonly used in Chinese cuisine is a local branch of shishito peppers. They are ideal option for this recipe because of the thin skin and thicker “pulp”.tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com


Preparation|Cap the green peppers and remove the seeds. If you like spicy taste a lot, you can keep the seeds inside. Wash and drain.  tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

Brush a very thin layer in wok (avoid burning ) then add the green peppers in to sauté until the skins become slightly crinkly.  Or if non-stick wok is used, add the peppers directly. Turn the peppers from time and time to water the cooking process.  Slightly press the peppers with a turner so most of the skins can be well toasted. tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

Remove the peppers to the edges and add around 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in center. Place garlic and fry until aromatic. 

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

Add light soy sauce, sugar, salt and vinegar. Continue cooking for 15 seconds or so until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Serve hot!

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

Chinese Sautéed Green Peppers-Tiger Skin Pepper

Famous common and folk Sichuan dish--Tiger Skin Peppers(sauteed green peppers with garlic)
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Sichuan cuisine
Keyword: pepper
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 122kcal
Author: Elaine


  • 10 shishito peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt , optional


  • Cap the green peppers and remove the seeds. If you like spicy taste a lot, you can keep the seeds inside. Mince garlic
  • Heat up around 1 tablespoon cooking oil in wok and then add the green peppers in to sauté until the skins become slightly crinkly. Turn the peppers from time and time to water the cooking process. If you are using a non-stick wok, place the green peppers directly.
  • Move the green peppers to the edges of the wok and add around cooking oil in, fry garlic until aromatic. Add light soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.  Simmer for a while until the sauce is slightly thickened. Add a very small pinch of salt if necessary (this actually depending on how salty your soy sauce is)
  • Serve hot with steam rice.


You can replace the black vinegar with other spices to make it to another flavor.


Calories: 122kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 1703mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 13.4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.4mg

tighter skin green peppers|chinasichuanfood.com

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  1. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite Sichuan dishes–I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    What type of green peppers are traditionally used? I’ve seen this dish done with jalapeños, which was fine, but the time I enjoyed it the most I couldn’t identify the type of pepper used. Is there a particular pepper you prefer?

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. James,
      jalapeños should be the best. We can make this dish with several types of green pepper based on different hotness.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was fantastic. My husband, kids, and i all loved it. Our local discount produce store had a large basket of the long finger peppers for $1 so i googled recipes and found this one. So glad i did. I sauteed some bite size pork pieces seasoned with Chinese 5 spice powder and mixed those in at the end. Served the whole thing over rice for a quick school night dinner. I didnt have any black vinegar so i used balsamic. The sweetness really paired well with the peppers (which i did seed since they were pretty spicy). Thanks again for this great recipe

    1. Thanks Julie for such a great and detailed comment!! Although simple and easy, it is one of my favorite dish too. Sweetness really can milden the hotness. Happy cooking!

  3. I love this dish so much but my apartment stove can never fully achieve the wok hey necessary for the smoky flavour. Nevertheless I make this at home a lot. Such a quick, delicious way to eat veggies.

  4. This is one of my favorites and I never knew how simple it is to make. Does black vinegar or white vinegar make a big difference?