The world’s spiciest cuisines


Sichuan dishes often use a combination of fresh green and dried red chiles, red chile oil, and Sichuan peppercorns. Shredded beef with hot green pepper utilizes green chiles only, while Chongqing chicken is stir fried with toasted dried red chiles, as much for their fragrance as for their heat. Sichuan hot pots often use a combination of dried chiles, chile oil, and Sichuan peppercorns.


Thanks to dishes packed with peppers like jalapeño and habanero, it's no surprise that Mexican cuisine is one of the spiciest in the world. From soups to quesadillas, and even desserts, you can find spiciness in everything!


The signature pepper of India is the green finger chile, but long green chiles are also deployed, sometimes as appetizers lightly breaded in chickpea flour and fried as chilli pakoda (note that, in India, chilli is usually spelled with two "L"s). Spice mixtures called masalas also use powdered chiles to adjust the spice level, which can be ramped up to very hot. Individual curries can exhibit different levels of heat, so ask your sever how spicy a certain dish is. 


Green chilies are widely used in Bhutanese cuisine, which gives it a lot of spice. Traditional dishes like Paksha Paa pork are made with red-hot chili, and momo dumplings are filled with jalapeño peppers.


 Korean winters are long and arduous, and Koreans often prefer their food both spicy hot and physically hot. So the class of thick pork, seafood, or fresh tofu (sundubu) stews called jigaes or chigaes are brought to the table boiling and kept that way with sterno or butane flames. The extreme spiciness comes from a red chile paste or from kimchi itself — a fermented table condiment made with Napa cabbage or other vegetables, plus crushed red chiles. Bibimbap and other cold salads come with a nose-clearing dab of mustard, which must be vigorously mixed in with the meat and vegetables. 


The primary Peruvian pepper is called aji amarillo, which is often made into a sauce and used in a variety of dishes. The chili can be used to spice up ceviches, as well as their national stew called aji de gallina.


Sure shishito peppers are found on many Japanese menus, served by themselves seared, but these peppers are often only mildly hot. Higher heat is found in many forms of ramen, especially spicy miso ramen, or may be added in the form of red chile oil — a Chinese import — found on the table in many ramen parlors. The powdered condiment shichimi is also spicy hot, via vectors that include dried cayenne (togarashi) and sansho.


The spicy aspect of Ethiopian food is thanks to a mixture of spices called berbere. This mix contains chili powder, garlic, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and many other spices. And it's usually used in a meat stew called doro wat.


While not every dish in Malaysia is spicy, they do have one dish in particular that will bring the heat. Called otak-otak, it's dry chili mixed with chopped fish and steamed in a banana leaf.


Thailand is one of the biggest cuisines when it comes to spicy food. You can find many fried dishes and spicy soups packed with aroma and chilies that will make your mouth water.


One of Haiti's spiciest dishes is called girot. Traditionally made with pork shoulder, it's served with hot sauce made from apple cider vinegar, spicy pickled peppers, and habanero chilies.


Tunisia is another country that loves to add some spice. Some of their main dishes include harissa, hot chili pepper paste made of roasted red peppers, garlic, and plenty of spices.

South Africa 

With a cuisine influenced by many indigenous southern African, European, and Asian cultures, South Africa has plenty of flavorful dishes. One popular street food dish is bunny chow, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with spicy curry.


Jamaicans certainly know how to make a spicy dish with their world-famous jerk chicken. Containing Scotch bonnet peppers, locals add potatoes or coconut milk to turn down the heat.


Food in Mozambique is packed with piri piri, which is also popular in Kenya and South Africa. The hot sauce is also popular in Portugal, who originally brought the pepper to East Africa.


With plenty of influences from Sichuan, Tibet has developed a taste for spicy Sichuan peppercorns. Tibetans have also taken on Indian stews, packed with chilies.


Chile is home to charquican, a spicy stew made with beef, pork, and chili peppers. The dish is usually served with a boiled egg to help cool down the heat.