Have you ever heard someone tell you, "It's not spicy enough unless I'm covered in sweat while eating"? Or are you the one usually saying that to friends and family? Many people adore hot and spicy food. They most likely have a diverse collection of hot sauces and spices at home and probably love exploring spicy foods from around the country and the globe.
We know that some of our customers like it hot. And if you're looking for a recipe to bring the heat, we're happy to share some of our fiery favorites with you.
Why Do Some Love Spicy Food, and Is There a Benefit?
Eating spicy food from the viewpoint of those who don't enjoy it may not make sense to eat scorching food. If spicy food causes physical pain, why eat it? Why would anyone deliberately eat and want something that causes pain? It turns out there are some compelling scientific reasons as to why so many people love the way spicy food hurts.
• Spicy foods aren't just a flavor but a sensation. It comes from the chemical compound capsaicin, which is the substance that makes hot peppers spicy. It causes pain and triggers the body into thinking it's in danger, and in response, the body releases endorphins, hormones responsible for pleasure. It's the body's way of eliminating the 'threat' of spicy food. When the body is in danger, it can release the survival hormone adrenalin, giving spicy-food lovers a shot of heart-pounding excitement.
• The chemicals in hot peppers have antimicrobial properties and can eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Before refrigeration, hot peppers were often used to preserve food and ward off bacteria.
• Eating hot and spicy foods have extensive health benefits. Capsaicin, the chemical found in chili peppers, contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Capsaicin has been linked to improved digestion, increased metabolism, better heart health, reduced cancer risk, and even improved immune system function!
Easy Hot and Spice Recipes
Ready to get the taste buds tingling, the heart pounding, and the sweat started? Here are some fantastic and easy recipes to try!
Hell's Kitchen Habanero Spicy Chicken Tacos
• 2 tablespoons of olive or peanut oil
• 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
• 1 to ½ pounds of chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 – 3 tablespoons of Wholey's Hell's Kitchen Habanero Sauce (to taste)
• 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage or lettuce
• 1 handful of fresh cilantro for garnish
• 4-6 garlic cloves
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Juice of ½ to 1 lime
• Corn or flour tortillas
How to Cook:
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil. Add chicken pieces, onion, and garlic, and heat until chicken is cooked through.
2. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, Hell's Kitchen Habanero sauce, and lime juice. Cook until flavors meld, about three minutes. Add ¼ cup of water or chicken broth for a saucier chicken taco.
3. Serve on corn or flour tortillas with shredded lettuce or red cabbage with your choice of toppings, such as Pico de Gallo, guacamole, Spanish rice, refried beans, salsa, and sour cream.
Quick and Easy Spicy Shrimp
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1 pound of extra-large shrimp peeled and deveined
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more if you like it hotter
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley for garnish
How to Cook:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the shrimp and all spices.
3. Cook the shrimp on one side for 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook another 2-3 until fully cooked and opaque.
4. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice, roasted asparagus, pesto zoodles, or elote-style corn.
Hot and Spicy Pork
• 1 pound tenderloin sliced into thin medallions
• 1/4th cup cornstarch
• Pepper for seasoning
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
• 1/4th cup butter, unsalted
• 5 green or spring onions, chopped, some preserved for garnish
• 2 finely diced garlic cloves
• ½ cup of preferred red-hot sauce
• ½ cup brown sugar
How to cook:
1. Whisk the two eggs in a bowl and set them aside.
2. Place pork medallions in a bowl, sprinkle with the cornstarch and pepper, then stir to coat the pork thoroughly.
3. Dip the pork into the two whisked eggs.
4. Heat the oil in a large cast iron pan or wok over medium-high heat, placing the coated pork medallions into cook for 3-4 mins until brown. Once browned and cooked, remove from pan and keep covered.
5. Add rice wine vinegar to the pan-cooked pork to deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon for one minute.
6. Add green onions and preferred hot sauce and stir for three minutes.
7. Stir in the brown sugar, and once dissolved, add the pork medallions back into the pan and cook roughly three more minutes until warm.
8. Serve with your favorite rice and noodles, and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
Other Hot and Spicy Meal Ideas
What else could you make hot and spicy? We're so glad you asked! Check out and experiment with the suggestions below to find the perfect hot recipe for you
• Spicy Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
• Firecracker or Kung Pao chicken
• Spicy Pad Thai
• 5-Alarm Chili
• Spicy Ginger Szechuan Beef
• Jalapeno popper chicken casserole
And that's to name a few! Of course, you can always kick up any meal at any time by adding some of Wholey's unique hot sauces to tacos and prepared meals too. Whether you're looking for that next heart-pounding hot kick or are ready to experiment with all the health benefits spicy food can have, we'll be prepared to deliver the freshest ingredients right to your door!
We hope we've been able to bring you some heat with these easy-to-make, spicy recipes.