Related VideosUp Next:
VideoRelated VideosUp Next:

Spicy Food From Around the World

Think spice makes everything better? Well, you’re right. We’re turning up the heat with our spicy food world tour. We asked seven people in seven countries to show us the foods that make them salivate and sweat. On the menu is dakdoritang in Seoul (a hot soup spiced with gochugaru), jambalaya in Houston (check out the cayenne in that one), and maboke in the Congo (it gets its fiery flavor from red Scotch bonnet peppers). And, what should you do when you can’t handle the heat? Great Big Story senior producer Beryl Shereshewsky tests out different hacks to ease the burn—like sugar, chocolate, and even vodka.


Seoul, South Korea


Korean cuisine incorporates a lot of gochugaru, which are red pepper flakes with a little bit of sweetness. The paste version is known as gochujang, and is a mainstay in Korean cooking. Go Hyesook incorporates both to make dakdoritang, which uses chicken as a main ingredient that is cut and made into soup.


Kingston, Jamaica

Jerk chicken

A lot of Jamaican food finds its heat in Scotch bonnet peppers. They come in four colors—red, yellow green, and purple. And don’t be fooled by purple’s pretty exterior—it’s the spiciest of the bunch. Brittany Blackwood uses the peppers to cook an authentic Jamaican jerk chicken, which she called “smoked chicken times 100.”


Selangor, Malaysia

Sarawak laksa

Aubrey uses a spicy chili cultivated in Sarawak to make his Sarawak laksa. He says this specific chili is exceptionally spicy, even those who can take their spice might find it too much to handle. But the proper amount makes his Sarawak laksa all the tastier.


Hyderabad, India

Hyderabadi dum biryani

Ajay Manthena’s Hyderabadi dum biryani uses a spice from Guntur, famous for being a red chili hub. Ajay describes the flavor of the biryani like “having firecrackers in your mouth.”


Bangkok, Thailand

Kaeng tai pla

Phattharawut Thiangtong says that chilies are a part of every Thai person’s life. “I don’t think Thais can live without chili,” he says. “Wherever they go, they take chilies with them.”

For his kaeng tai pla, a dish local to the south of Thailand, he uses a variety of ingredients including chili paste, vegetables, tamarind sauce, sugar, black pepper, and fish belly.


Kinshasa, Congo


Maman Angèle has her own garden full of spices for cooking. She uses a lot of Congo peppers, native to the Équateur province, while making her maboke—grilled fish in banana leaves.


Houston, Texas


Brett Hebert knows that spice makes food delicious, but only when you use the right amount. It is important for him to not let the cayenne overpower the other ingredients in his jambalaya. Each element—like the shrimp, crab, and andouille sausage—needs to be able to stand out on its own. The cayenne should just help enhance the flavors.

Up Next

Recommended Playlists

Other Videos From This Channel