10 of the World’s Spiciest Dishes worth the Heartburn (Slideshow)

Great spicy dishes combine lots of heat with even more flavor, which makes them must-try meals

10. Griot with Sauce Ti-Malice, Haiti

In Haiti, griot, or griyo, is a delicious pork dish where the meat pieces are stewed in their own juices then deep-fried in the oil it produces. Sometimes the meat is served with a bitter orange sauce, but more often that sauce is turned into a Sauce Ti-Malice (Haitian hot sauce), made with habanero chilies. This dish is as maliciously spicy as it sounds.  The combination of juicy pork meat, combined spices, and the slightly bittersweet hot sauce makes this worth a try.

9. Phall – United Kingdom

This phall is a British Asian-Indian curry dish that came out of the adventurous Indian-restaurant kitchens in Birmingham (not to be confused with the finger-food from Bangalore). The British love their spicy Indian foods and this one really takes the cake —it’s even hotter than vindaloo and is made with a combination of ground chili peppers including habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers. The additional rich tomato, fenugreek, ginger, and fennel flavors make this a spicy bowl worth sampling.

8. Jamaican Curried Goat

A good pot of curried goat is a must-have at any party in Jamaica. Everyone has a different way of making it but almost every version is incredibly spicy, which is mostly because of those blistering Scotch bonnet peppers. It’s served with potatoes, rice, and coconut milk to give your tongue a little relief. 

7. Sik Sik Wat - Ethiopia

Ethiopian wats are stews and a sik sik wat is a rich traditional beef stew in a spicy red pepper sauce.  Cubed pieces of beef are stewed with fenugreek, ginger, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg along with wine and a tomato puree, giving the dish a full rich taste. The heat comes from the black pepper and berbere, an Ethiopian spice mixture including dried red and long chilies — the result is very hot, spicy and is a staple of many Ethiopian dishes.

6. Shrimp Creole, Louisiana USA

This New Orleans original is heavily influenced by Cajun cuisine and is classic Creole comfort food. It’s packed with flavor from the green and red peppers, shrimp, tomatoes, and chicken… the spicy zing comes from the chilies and cayenne pepper that’s packed in to create a dish that is varying degrees of flaming hot. 

5. Steamed Fish Heads in Chili Sauce, China

This is a favorite of the Hunan Province in China and is comprised of steamed fish heads in a blistering sauce made from two handfuls of atomic Hunan chilies, one green and one red. Aside from the rich fishy flavor, this spice also packs an extra zing (sometimes a lot extra) that’s worth a try if you can take the heat.

4. Criollo (Creole) Cau Cau – Peru

Influenced by its Spanish and Chinese ancestry, this dish is a delicious tripe and potato stew that’s spiced-up with hot Aji Amarillo, an incredibly spicy yellow chili pepper. The rich flavors come from the tripe (usually beef) and the additional combination of garlic cloves, cumin, onion, and turmeric.

3. Hot Wings, USA

There’s nothing better than some deliciously juicy buffalo wings lathered in a spicy sauce… in most cases the spicier the better! There’s incredibly stiff competition here in the US to produce the kind of hot wings that are spicy enough to make you cry. Some of the best include the “Ghost Wings” from Girvan Grille in Brooklyn, New York, made with crushed ghost peppers, and “Homicide Wings” from Wings To Go, made with a secret combination of 47 spices.

2. Otak Otak, Southeast Asia

This is a traditional spiced fish-meat cake served with a coconut milk, a chili paste, and wrapped in a banana leaf is a popular snack food in Southeast Asia, Singapore and China. The word “Otak” actually means “brain” because the cake itself has an almost custard-like consistency. The fish is grilled over a charcoal fire and is then mushed-up for the cake. The spice comes from the chili paste, which is a ground combination of the spiciest chilies the cooks can get their hand on. 

1. Sichuan Hot-Pot

A bowl of this spicy dish is equal parts delicious and blisteringly spic. In fact, it’s so spicy you’ll actually be sweating before you’re a few spoonfuls in. There are both Chinese and Mongolian varieties, the Chinese being more common, but the Sichuan version is by far the hottest. It’s made by brewing garlic, onion, and Sichuan peppers in boiling broth for a few hours. Sichuan peppers are known for their numbing spiciness and brewing them just makes the concoction all the more potent. Just before serving, some raw meat and vegetables are added. It’s a must-try mix that’s juicy, meaty, full of flavor and absurdly spicy