A Guide to Spicy Asian Cuisine

korean dish

Some people have surprising tastes. This is especially so when it comes to spiciness. While others balk at having their tongue being bathed in fire, spiciness addicts are always in search of it. For those who want to challenge themselves with food heat levels, Asia is the holy grail. Here is a quick look at what the continent can offer:

Chinese Cuisine

The dragon of the Asian culinary world, Chinese food is known all over the world. However, the take-out food that you are familiar with is a far cry from what Chinese cooks can do when it comes to spice. The crown of heat goes to Szechuan food. Home of the Szechuan pepper, it doesn’t exactly have a spicy dish but more of a sauce. Mala sauce is written with two characters in Chinese, one for numbness and another for spicy. Supposedly originally developed to hide the taste of rotten meat, this sauce sure can do that and more.

Korean Cuisine

Another great country for spicy food is Korea. This is because one of the staples of Korean cuisine is kimchi. Often eaten as a side dish, it is created by fermenting vegetables in a mix of red pepper flakes and salt. This dish has an astounding number of varieties, so be careful. Kimchi brings heat to most of the Korean dishes you can eat.

Japanese Cuisine

women hand using chopstick eat noodle

No Asian food experience will be complete without a trip to Japan. Though Japan has pretty refined tastes. For one, there is the well-known wasabi. Mix it your sushi and feel your tongue go numb. There is also the super spicy ramen variant called Geki Kara, which has chili oil and habanero pepper.

Thai Cuisine

One of the hottest dishes in Asia is Tom Yum Goong. This seafood dish will numb your palate thanks to the sheer amount of bird’s eyes chilies mixes into the soup. Depending on the cook, they can be liberal in adding them, so you might be surprised after a bite. That isn’t all for Thailand. The country has lots of spicy food. The top dish is gaeng tai pla. This dark curry features fish and pumpkin with a sauce livened up by a variety of spices.

Indian Cuisine

The champion of spicy dishes in the region is India. There is nothing like biting into curry meat or vindaloo and feeling the heat. The subcontinent’s love for spices is evident in all of its dishes. However, if you are looking for excitement, try recipes that use ghost chili. One of the hottest peppers in the world, the heat is often toned down by mixing it with a variety of tasty ingredients.

This culinary journey across Asia will be sure to scorch your taste buds. The great thing about the various cuisines is that they have a different take when it comes to spiciness. Some have that minty taste along with the heat while others are a pure assault on the senses. A real spice addict will be sure to try all of them.

Scroll to Top