Travelers are excited to visit breathtaking attractions and love sampling the local cuisine of a destination. Whether it’s reserving a table at Europe’s first fully-floating restaurant or finding the best ‘Shabu Shabu’ restaurants in Asia, traveling foodies love exploring new destinations for their food. For some tourists, an incredibly spicy dish is a tasty one.
Traveling for food? Spice lovers, be warned: these are the nine world’s spiciest dishes to sink one’s teeth into!
9 Buldak (South Korea)
When in South Korea, foodies can find some of the best restaurants in Incheon. However, spice lovers may want to sink their teeth into some buldak, “hot chicken”. In the early 2000s, buldak was the rage in Korea, and everyone loved the combination of tender chicken with a fiery hot chili sauce. Today, it’s common for grocery stores to carry buldak-flavored ramen and sauces. However, travelers heading to Seoul may want to stop at Yoogane in Myeondong to try fresh buldak (with cheese).
8 Papa A La Huancaina (Peru)
In hindsight, papa a la huancaina looks like it houses mild flavors because of its light, yellow-like creamy sauce. However, this cold dish is far from mild! With origins in the Peruvian city of Huancayo, the creamy sauce is made using yellow chili peppers and cheese. It’s common for the sauce to be served over a bed of sliced potatoes with some eggs.
7 Gaeng Tai Pla (Thailand)
This Thai curry originated when fishers in Southern Thailand wanted a way to use fish guts (or entrails) without throwing them away. The result? A highly spicy curry that’s also very strong in fish aromas. Those with a craving for spice and seafood (who can withstand the powerful scent of fish) may want to sample this curry, especially in the Thai provinces of Songkla and Pattalung.
6 Laal Maas (India)
A simple glance at laal maas will have foodies already anticipating its spice. This Rajasthani curry is known for its strong garlic and spicy flavors. In addition, this mutton-based curry emanates a beautifully rich ruby color due to its use of red chilies. Indian breads like naan, rotis, or chapatis are best suited for this thick and rich dish. For the extra spicy curry, be sure to try this Rajasthani curry when visiting the place with the most eye-catching fort in India!
5 Hirvya Mirchicha Thecha (India)
Hailing from the Indian state of Maharashtra, the hirvya mirchicha thecha is not so much a ‘main dish’ as it is a side dish. To make it, the cook must blend a mix of garlic, peanuts, and green chilies. It’s a simple dish that can accompany various savory dishes, but it’s also quite spicy!
4 Tortas Ahogadas (Mexico)
The tortas ahogadas are not an ordinary sandwich. With origins from Guadalajara, this sandwich oozes spicy sauce and flavor. Also known as a ‘drowning sandwich,’ this local favorite is eaten with a combination of fried pork (or chicken, beans, and cheese) stuffed inside a soft birote bread. The pièce de résistance is a generous spoon of ‘red sauce’ made using dried (and fresh) chili peppers. Tourists can try this messy yet incredibly delicious sandwich at Tortas Ahogadas El Güerito in Jalisco, the birthplace of the tortas ahogadas.
3 Khao Pad Nam Prik Pao (Thailand)
After checking out some of Thailand's most beautiful temples, why not grab a quick bite to eat? For spice lovers, they may want to try some khao pad nam prik pao. Also known as Chili Paste Fried Rice, these Thai dish is quick, easy, and spicy. The secret ingredient is the addition of Nam Prik Pao, a spicy Thai chili paste. Though spice lovers will get a kick from the dish’s spicy nature, there are also elements of sweetness to it, alongside delicious ingredients like vegetables, seafood (or meat). Try this simply delicious (and spicy) dish from street vendors or restaurants in Thailand.
2 Chicken 65 (India)
Why is it called Chicken 65? Who knows, but there are numerous debates surrounding its name origins. Some believe that the name stems from the fact that it takes precisely 65 spices and seasonings to get the flavor right for this spicy dish.
This South Indian dish originated in Chennai’s Hotel Buhari and serves as a quick meal or snack. Chicken pieces are deep-fried and coated with garlic, ginger, and a healthy dose of red chilies. Try this popular non-vegetarian snack in Chennai, especially at the Buhari Hotel. They also serve yummy snacks like Prawn 65, Paneer 65, and Chicken 90!
1 Phaal Curry (England)
Ready to try the hottest curry in the world? Reportedly, phaal curry is really hot and measures 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale (compared to a habanero pepper, which has a Scoville rating of up to 350,000). It can be made with chili peppers like scotch bonnet and habanero peppers, alongside other ingredients like tomatoes and ginger. This curry is so ridiculously hot it’s been a subject to numerous food challenges. Brave souls eager to try this curry should visit Aladin on Brick Lane in East London! Fair warning, though: the curry it so hot that it had some people in tears. Hopefully, travelers will have enough energy after their spicy lunch to visit London's top-rated tourist attractions!