Our country is extremely fortunate to house some amazingly authentic Asian restaurants, many of which do their best to replicate the hot and spicy food found in the likes of Thailand, China and India. Read on and you will find a list tailor-made for those who see Korma as a swear word and for chilli-fiends seeking their next fiery fix throughout Australia. Find out if you can really handle the heat by sampling these five Asian dishes that are some of the hottest on offer Down Under.
1. Szechuan King Prawns - Sky Phoenix, Sydney
Szechuan flavours are some of the hottest you'll find on the menu at Sky Phoenix in Sydney. Szechuan peppercorns have a unique numbing, tingling effect on the lips and tongue while still being incredibly flavoursome. Get a load of their Szechuan King Prawns, stir-fried in a fiery garlic and chilli pepper sauce with fresh greens and bamboo shoots. If you don't live nearby, don't panic. Any Chinese takeaway in Sydney worth its salt – and peppercorns – should have Szechuan dishes on their menu. It's best enjoyed with a side of fresh, fluffy white rice… it helps to dampen down the heat from the sauce!
2. Chicken Jungle Curry - Capital Thai, Sydney
If all your friends are playing it safe with an aromatic Massaman Curry but you want to be braver, Capital Thai's spicy Chicken Jungle Curry ticks all the right boxes – and just in case you were in any doubt, it's listed as 'Spicy' on the menu. From their chef's own special recipe, this extra-hot home-made curry is not only fiery, it's packed full of vegetables and nutrients too. Get your five-a-day with Thai green eggplant, carrots, hot basil, green peppers and much more. The Jungle Curry is also available in tender beef if chicken isn't your bag.
3. 'Tom Yum' Seafood Spicy Sour Soup - Pok Pok, Melbourne
Asian soups can be just as spicy, if not more so, than a curry. That's definitely the case with a traditional Thai Tom Yum Seafood soup from Pok Pok. Featuring a perfect balance of hot and sour flavours, it's one of the most popular dishes to originate from Thailand. The broth is infused with fresh chilli peppers but is then balanced out with lemongrass, galangal and fish sauce. The perfect complement to juicy seafood such as squid and king prawns, this is a must-have Thai starter!
4. Bhut Jolokia Curry (Ghost Curry) - Le Taj, Melbourne
Let us introduce you to Melbourne's hottest curry: the Bhut Jolokia, also known as the Ghost Curry! You'll find it at Le Taj, which featured in Epicure The Age 2013 for its eye-watering Bhut Jolokia. The curry is prepared using the world's hottest chilli – the red naga– so it's guaranteed to blow your head off. To try and put this curry into context, it's cooked with chillies 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce – a dish not for the faint-hearted!
5. Lamb Vindaloo - Mela Indian, Perth
Still one of the most popular hot curries from Goa, India, a Vindaloo is another tongue-searing selection that's hot, tangy and fruity in one piping-hot dish. Perth is home to Mela Indian, one of the busiest Indian takeaways in the city, offering a great choice of Indian cuisine from the north and south of this vast country. Their Lamb Vindaloo is a speciality here, with the chef marinating the lamb in vinegar before cooking it long and slow in hot and spicy gravy.
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