Wherever you travel to different places, you will be able to experience new and delicious cuisines. By discovering the different spices that help create a mouthwatering meal, you are sure to find delectable bites wherever you may be. Among the most popular and sought-after cuisines is one with spicy or hot flavors. This now begs the question, which cuisine is known as one of the hottest in the world?
The Hottest Cuisines in the World
When it comes to spices, there is no shortage in any of the regions of the world. Spices have been used since the time of the ancient Romans. Most ancient civilizations had their signature spices – grains of paradise from West Africa, ginger from Southeast Asia, pepper from India, cubeb or java pepper from Java and Sumatra, and so much more.
This article shall focus on the spices and the distinct flavors that give the spicy or hot taste. This topic is still up for debate, as we cannot determine what country has the hottest food in the world. Many culinary experts will say that Thailand has the spiciest cuisine, while others vote for Mexico or India.
That led us to the question, “Which cuisine is known as one of the hottest in the world?” Although we won’t be able to determine which cuisine is the hottest exactly, check out this list of the hottest cuisines that will surely spice up your palate.
Sichuan/Szechuan Cuisine from China
Sichuan cuisine, also known as Szechuan cuisine, is among the spiciest cuisine in the world. Originating in the Southwest parts of China, their cooking uses the locally grown Sichuan peppercorns to produce that familiar hot flavor.
When combined with a mixture of peppers, garlic, onions, vegetables, pork, beef, or chicken, mushrooms, and so on, these Sichuan peppercorns can produce the spiciest and most delicious hotpot you will ever taste. The cuisine has a dominant flavor of “numbingly spicy.”
Most chilis grow well in tropical climates, as the hot and humid conditions help the plant thrive. But the best part of Sichuan cuisine? You will be able to have a taste almost anywhere all around the globe, as multiple hotpot restaurants have already made their way to the Western side of the world.
Thai food is another cuisine from a tropical climate that can get your mouth burning. Although not all popular dishes from this cuisine are spicy (think of Pad Thai noodles), once you taste Thailand’s hot dishes, you can never go back.
A popular dish of Thai cuisine is the Tom Yum soup. This dish is both spicy and sour, and you will easily find variations of this soup in neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore. This soup uses lime juice and leaves, fish sauce, spicy meat, chicken or seafood, rice noodles, and the famous bird’s eye pepper.
Aside from the Tom Yum, you will be able to taste delicious curries in Thailand. The cuisine is also popular for its green, red, or yellow curries.
Malaysia, a neighbor of Thailand, is likewise known for its spicy cuisine. When visiting the country, you must try the Otak Otak. It is a deliciously spicy dish made of fish, starch, chilies, and spices wrapped in a banana leaf. The smart use of local spices like galangal and belacan (a mix of chili, garlic, lime juice, and shrimp paste) can contribute to the whole flavor of the dish.
Aside from the famous Otak Otak, Malaysia is also home to its own version of Tom Yum. The different regions in the country also offer their own take on Laksa – a noodle soup popularly made with coconut cream, curry, and chili.
Koreans love their hot dishes. When in Korea, you will find a lot of dishes with a distinct red pepper powder. One of the most popular dishes of this cuisine is kimchi, a fermented cabbage made with red pepper and chilies. It is traditionally eaten as a side dish or appetizer.
The cuisine is also popular for its fried chicken, and the Chicken Buldak is a wonderful example of how Korea has incorporated its spices with the traditional dish. Chicken Buldak literally translates to Chicken Fire. One bite may be enough to leave you in tears. But don’t worry because Korean cuisine has a multitude of flavors that blend well together with the spicy taste.
When you think of hot, you think of India and its love for curries. But curry is not the only spice that this cuisine has! Indian food is a mixture of the spiciest and most aromatic spices, creating a flavor profile that you won’t forget. Aside from hot peppers and chilies, Indian cuisine makes use of cardamom, garlic, ginger, and more. If you can take the heat, then this cuisine will surely be heaven to your taste buds.
Which cuisine is known as one of the hottest in the world? Do all these cuisines come from the Asian region? Right in North America, Mexico is among the hottest cuisines in the world, making use of various chili peppers to create mouthwatering dishes.
Mexican food will not be complete without chili. From habanero and serrano peppers to ancho and jalapeños, the spice profile of this cuisine is off the charts. Popular dishes include tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, and burritos. The hot and flavorful Mexican cuisine has a lot of influence in North America and all over the world.
Jamaican cuisine is spicy, sweet, savory, and tangy, all in one. The cuisine has a huge influence on the Southern parts of the USA. Among its many comfort dishes, the cuisine may be best known for its jerk chicken or pork.
Although there are different versions of the jerk chicken, it is commonly made with habanero peppers or scotch bonnet peppers, mixed with a variety of spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, thyme, cloves, and scallions. The heat level of this dish will depend on the number of peppers that you will include.
As a spicy food lover, when asking yourself, “which cuisine is known as one of the hottest in the world?” you will be hard-pressed to find a single answer. But the best part is, you don’t have to! You will surely appreciate the heat from the different spicy cuisines all over the world.
Discover more about the different cuisines here.