Hottest Cuisines in World
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What Are the Hottest Cuisines in the World?

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What Are the Hottest Cuisines in the World?

There’s no denying, hot chili peppers are a popular ingredient in cooking across the world. From centuries of cross-breeding strains, there are thousands of hot chili pepper varieties. It would appear everyone has their own take on the not-so-humble hot chili pepper. So whether or not you’re a chili-loving hothead, you can appreciate that spicy food is something that unites us. Spicy food is universal and a featured part of many traditional cuisines.

What Makes Chili Peppers So Popular?

The capsaicin in chili peppers is what makes them so popular. Capsaicin is a chemical that is found in the cells of the pepper and is what gives them a spicy flavor. The heat from spicy chili peppers stimulates our taste buds and sends a signal to the brain. This leads to an increased heart rate, sweating, and even a feeling of euphoria. This adrenaline rush can have you coming back for more. Is it no wonder we’re addicted to the sensation of hot and spicy food?

This chemical also has some health benefits, like reducing inflammation and pain, and it can even help regulate blood sugar levels!

Explore the 7 Hottest Cuisines in the World

While hot and spicy food is everywhere, there’s no denying, Asia is THE hot spot for hot and spicy food. That’s why the 7 hottest cuisines featured in this roundup can be found dotted throughout the Asian continent.

1. Indian Cuisine

Indian cuisine is known for its spicy and hot dishes. The complex mixture of spices creates a flavor explosion.

The third hottest chili pepper in the world, Bhut Jolokia, originates from North East India. Many regions lean toward a preferred chili, making them popular in dishes from that region. Examples include the Kashmiri Chili being popular in Kashmir, the Jwala Chilli in Gujarat, and the Kanthari Chilli in Kerala.

One of the spiciest Indian dishes is Vindaloo. This tomato-based curry originates from the region of Goa, and without any sort of cream or coconut to balance the heat, you’re left to your own devices to withstand the heat! Be warned; it’s a smart idea to have a glass of lassie on hand!

2. Mexican Cuisine

Mexican Cuisine is a popular cuisine that has spread throughout the world. It is known for its unique flavor, which comes from the use of chilies, spices, and herbs. The most popular dish served in Mexican restaurants is tacos. Condiments such as sauces and salsas are always served alongside tacos and are commonly packed full of hot chili peppers.

The most popular type of chili pepper in Mexico is the Jalapeño. They are typically green, but can also be red, orange, yellow, or purple. It has a flavor that ranges from mild to spicy. While not the hottest chili pepper, it’s certainly hot enough for many people, and just hot enough to be addictive and delicious.

Habanero pepper is another very hot and popular chili used in Mexican cuisine.

Popular spicy dishes in Mexican food include Chilate de Pollo (a spicy chicken soup) and the drool-worthy chocolate sauce laced with chilies, known as ‘Mole’.

3) Thai Cuisine

The most popular type of chili in Thailand is the bird’s eye chili. It’s also commonly known as “Thai Chili” or “Shili Huajiao” and is a small, thin, and very hot chili. This chili is so spicy that it can make people cry. Its level of heat can range from 50,000-100,000 Scoville Heat Units.

The Thai dish that has the most bird’s eye chilies in it is a curry called “Pad Ka Prao.”

Other famous spicy Thai dishes include:

  • Nua Pad Krapow (Thai beef stir fry with holy basil)
  • Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried rice noodles)
  • Massaman Curry (Thai curry with potatoes, peanuts, and coconut milk)
  • Tom Yum Goong (Thai hot and sour soup with shrimp)

4. Chinese Cuisine

In China, the most popular kind of chili is the Sichuan chili. As the name suggests, Sichuan chili is native to the province of Sichuan. It has a distinctive flavor and numbing effect that is stronger than many other types of peppers.

It’s used across a variety of dishes such as stir-fried vegetables, hot pots, and noodles.

The use of chilies in Chinese food varies depending on the region. In Sichuan, one of the hottest dishes there is called ‘Saliva chicken’. In Hunan province, ‘Gan guo’ and ‘Hunan spicy beef’ are popular spicy dishes.

5. Vietnamese Cuisine

There are two main ingredients prolific in Vietnamese that make it distinct; chili and fish sauce. chili peppers can be added to any dish and make it spicy. Fish sauce on the other hand is mostly used to make soups and dipping sauces more flavorful and adds a complex umami flavor.

The most popular type of chili in Vietnam is the bird’s eye chili.

It is used in soups, sauces, and stir-fried dishes. The bird’s eye chili is also used to make a sauce called “nước chấm” which is served with Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, bún bò huế, and pho.

6. Japanese Cuisine

In Japan, the most popular type of chili is ají amarillo. It is used in dishes such as chicken teriyaki, tonkatsu, and karaage.

A spicy seasoning used widely in Japanese cuisine is called “Shichimi Togarashi.” It has a complex flavor which includes the seven spices:

  • Sichuan pepper
  • White sesame seeds
  • Aonori (dried green seaweed)
  • Kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup)
  • Shiso leaf
  • Nanami Togarashi (a red chile powder)
  • Goma Togarashi (sesame seeds).

7. Korean Cuisine

There are many types of chili peppers that are used in Korean cuisine. The most popular one is the ‘Gochugaru’, which is also known as the Korean pepper.

It’s spicy and has a sweet aftertaste and can be eaten raw or cooked with other ingredients to enhance its flavor and texture. The pepper can be found fresh in markets or dried and ground into flakes, powder, or paste. It’s the key ingredient in Kimchi and many of spicy Korean hot pot dishes and soups.

Whatever your level of heat tolerance is, you can certainly add or adjust the number of chili peppers in any of these cuisines and dishes to make them more palatable. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, chili peppers make food far more complex and interesting no matter where you are!

Lauren Author

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