7 spicy spice recipes to wake up your palate


Spicy food may not be for everyone, but it sure is for me. Clearly, it is for you too! Why else would you have clicked on this?

All joking aside, there’s something about a flash of heat that brings many of us a lot of joy when we eat. Good seasoning additions like salsas, relishes and chutneys can take a dish from ok to fantastic.

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Below, you’ll find great additions to drizzle over noodles, spread on sandwich bread, top tacos, and more.

S’chug, in the picture above. Bright, tender cilantro combines with some spices and chilies for this simple Yemeni sauce. There are only two steps: process all the ingredients except the oil, then stir in the oil at the end, which helps preserve the sauce’s fresh flavors. You can use s’chug in a vinaigrette, spoon into a wrap or sandwich, drizzle over a bowl of cereal, and more. Wherever you need a herbal, spicy boost, s’chug is the answer.

Salsa Macha with mixed nuts. Chinese-style chile crisps have been all the rage in recent years, and this Mexican salsa from cookbook author and TV host Pati Jinich may remind you of that. Crunchy nuts and seeds plus hot peppers make this flavorful condiment delicious on everything from avocado toast for breakfast to soups and even ice cream. You can even freeze it for future use.


The macha salsa with nuts and seeds makes the avocado toast unforgettable

Harissa. There are many ways to make harissa, so use this version as a starting point to experiment. You can even make a rose petal harissa for spice with a floral touch. You can use this paste in many ways, from adding heat to a marinade, as a condiment to a sandwich or wrap, or even as an addition to a dipping sauce.

Harissa brings the heat in these 5 recipes

Chili Chuka (Chile-Garlic Sauce). In cookbook author Sharon Wee’s house, this sauce is more essential than ketchup. You can use it basically anywhere you want sriracha. The bright, vinegar-driven heat with just a touch of sugar and a little garlic makes this a sauce you can keep on hand and even give as a gift.

Quick Pickled Jalapeños. Any quick pickle is a winner in my book, but when you want crunchy, briny heat, use this pickling method on jalapeños. Put them on your breakfast tacos, add them to a sandwich, add them to your cereal bowl, or use the brine in a vinaigrette for a little zip.

Sichuan Chile Oil. This bright red chile oil smells divine and instead of hitting you with heat right away, it builds slowly. You’ll be able to use this in recipes like Spicy Sesame Oil Noodles and Grilled Bang Bang Chicken. I really enjoyed it sprinkled on top of a biscuit.

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Raw Salsa Verde With Cucumbers and Mint. The cooling of the cucumber and mint against the serrano pepper provides a delicious hot-cold sensation. Eat plain with chips, or top a hot meal for a cool touch. Lettuce and Jalapeño Chutney is another recipe that will also provide that hot and cool feeling.