Doesn't heat just make everything taste just a little better? We traversed the spicy landscape of Asia, testing out palette-friendly snacks like the Otak-Otak from Southeast Asia to devilishly tongue-numbing dishes like the Ma La Xiang Guo from Northern China, to bring to you a list that will appeal to the most amateur and advanced spicy eater. Here are 10 Super Shiok Spicy Recipes, yum!
Be prepared for an assault on your palate because the Assam Laksa is a bowl of noodle soup that is, all at once, spicy, sweet, sour and salty. The base of this dish is the tangy fish broth made from a medley of intense flavours that make up the paste, also known as the rempah, and fish stock. Blanche thick rice noodles in the soup, together with small pieces of fish, shrimp paste, pineapple and cucumber, and you’ve got yourself one of the most popular and sought-after dishes in Penang, Malaysia.
The Ayam Balado is a spicy Indonesian dish made of succulent chicken, tomatoes and fragrant lemongrass. The key to a delicious plate of Ayam Balado lies in its paste – Balado, a fragrant chilli sambal made simply from a blend of shallots, chili, garlic and lime leaves. If you like your chicken extra tender, try using chicken legs! Serve it warm and with a hot bowl of rice.
If you love the taste of pepper, the Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry has to be a part of your cooking repertoire! It is a spicy cauldron of ground white and black peppercorns, red pepper and green chili fried with bite-sized chicken and onions. If you would like to make this dish cheerier, feel free to throw in some yellow and green peppers! Enjoy this painless 30-minute recipe hot with a bowl of steamed rice.
The answer is no, it’s not as spicy as it looks. The Kimchi Jigae, or kimchi stew, may look incredibly spicy but it is actually quite mild when compared to say, the crushed red pepper flakes you use on your pizza. The main ingredients that make this dish include thinly sliced pork belly, Korean red pepper paste and chili flakes, firm tofu and of course, the kimchi!
The Korean’s answer to Kentucky Fried Chicken! The Dakgangjeong, or the Korean Fried Chicken, is the crispiest and crunchiest of fried chicken, coated in a thick sauce that is both sweet and spicy. This dish is a two-step process and might sound a bit messy - marinating and frying the chicken, followed by the sauce preparation – but it is guaranteed to win the heart of the harshest food critic! Here’s a secret that Korean grandmas would never share with you - The key to the crunch lies in adding a wee bit of baking powder in the corn starch.
Get your family and friends’ heart racing with the devilish indulgence of Ma La Xiang Guo, a dish so spicy that it would both excite and numb your tongue in one bite. Originally from Northern China, this unique one-pot stir fry dish gets its heat from the liberal use of peppercorn and chilies, and incorporates a whole lot of healthy greens!
Traditionally eaten with rice or bread, the spicy Otak Otak - or spicy fish cakes - packs a tight punch! A dish favoured in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, it is a delicious amalgamation of Southeast Asian spices, shrimp paste and the Spanish mackerel wrapped in fragrant banana leaves. While best grilled over charcoal, the taste is still fairly authentic steamed or baked.
A plate that most seafood lovers would relish the sight of – the Prawn Rendang! Made from a spicy paste of candlenuts, shallots and aromatic Southeast Asian herbs, it is first fried, then mixed with coconut milk and water and reduced into a gravy-like consistency. Here is the most important note we can give you: Like the natives, do NOT leave the prawn head unattended. It is the juiciest, creamiest part of the dish and you will not regret it!
Typically found in hawker centres, and restaurants along the seaside of Southeast Asia, the Sambal Chili Lala is a spicy and tangy dish that is cooked with chilies, spices and a pungent shrimp paste. The tanginess comes from the sauce – a beautiful mix of tomato ketchup, fish sauce, and white vinegar. Eat like a local and scoop up bits of chilies, onions and sauce with the shell using your hands.
Picture this – Crab, the sweetest of seafood, swimming in a red and thick gravy that is interwoven with little white ribbons of egg. That, is the Singapore Chili Crab, a national pride and famous across the world. The intense flavour comes from the spice paste – a harmony of chili, garlic, shallots and ginger – mixed with a touch of vinegar, tomatoes and grated pineapple, which pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the crab. Eat with your hands, and gravy-soaked buns for the full experience!