Are you one of those people who’s always adding cili potong to every dish you eat? Do you slurp up bowlfuls of Samyang Hek’s Nuclear Hot Chicken ramen like it’s no big deal? Are you the only one left unaffected by a particularly spicy dish when all your fellow diners are gasping for water and crying for mercy?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of the above, then these eye-wateringly spicy dishes are what you’ve been looking for. (The spice level may vary depending on the restaurant where you eat it, but be sure to order plenty of milk to cool down your tongue – just in case!)
Phall, known as the “world’s spiciest curry”, originated in British Bangladeshi restaurants in Birmingham, UK. The curry contains a deadly combo of around 10 different types of peppers, including Bhut Jolokia, one of the world’s hottest chili peppers – it scores over ONE MILLION on the Scoville Scale, used to measure how just how spicy a pepper is. Guess they needed something with a bit more kick than your average fish and chips. 😛
2. Neua Pad Prik
If you’re a regular at Thai restaurants, then you’re probably familiar with this dish. Neue Pad Prik is a beef stir-fry that gets its heat from bird’s eye chili peppers, which serves as the main ingredient of the dish. Bird’s eye chilis rank between 50,000-100,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and is a popular addition to dishes that require a zing. Garlic, sweet basil, shallots, oyster sauce and fish sauce are included in the dish for more flavor.
3. Sichuan Hot Pot
Compared to other Chinese regional cuisines, Sichuan dishes are famous for their heat and liberal use of garlic and chili peppers. So a Sichuan hot pot is like your typical hot pot… but 1,000 times spicier. In Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, you’ll find hot pot restaurants literally everywhere. Sit yourself down at a table and enjoy a lavish spread of meats and vegetables, which you cook by dipping it in a boiling vat filled with chili oil-infused broth. Locals recommend eating a bowl of rice or some yoghurt to counter the burn.
4. Papa a la Huancaina
Papa a la Huancaina is a traditional Peruvian appetizer similar to a potato salad and is often served with hard-boiled eggs and olives. It might be a pretty mellow yellow, but don’t let appearances deceive you – the creamy cheese sauce is spiked with aji amarillo paste. Native to Peru, aji amarillo peppers are added to all sorts of dishes, from soups to sauces. It can reach from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, which isn’t as intimidating as peppers that are higher up on the Scoville scale, but it can still surprise unsuspecting foodies.
A wat is a classic Ethiopian slow-cooked spiced stew that can be prepared with any type of meat or vegetable. One of the more popular takes is the chicken stew, or Doro Wat. The key to an authentic wat is in the blend of spices, known as berbere, which is made from a mix of spices such as dried chili peppers, paprika and fenugreek. The dish is traditionally eaten with injera, a spongy flatbread that’s perfect for soaking up the gravy.
6. Jerk Chicken
If you’ve tried jerk chicken before and didn’t find it spicy at all, then you must’ve tried a watered-down, tame version. Because bona fide jerk chicken will definitely have you fanning yourself to ease the burn. To make jerk chicken, the meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice, which includes scotch bonnet peppers. Native to the Caribbean, the pepper is between 80,000 to 400,000 SHU, classified as ‘very hot’.
It goes without saying that the best place to savor each red-hot delicacy in its most authentic form is in its native country. So if you’re up for the challenge, don’t forget to book your trip on Traveloka!