Skip to content

The spiciest foods list

What’s the spiciest food in the world? Sometimes people use spicy dishes for bragging rights but in fact, even the hottest food in scoville units can be healthy, tasty option for dinner or lunch.

That's why we’re rounding up this list of the spiciest foods out there.

The hottest foods are:

  • Egusi soup
  • Phaal curry
  • Kimchi Jjigae
  • Sichuan hot pot
  • Tortas Ahogadas
  • Carolina Reaper
  • Papa a la Huancaina
  • Buffalo wings

Now let’s find out about them...

Egusi soup

Something of a West African comfort food, egusi soup hails from NIgeria and is renowned for its rich, nutty flavour - in addition to a delicious dose of spice.

The dish takes its name from the egusi melon (a native fruit related to the watermelon), of which the protein-rich seeds are pounded to release their flavour and thicken up a soup made of meat and leafy green vegetables, as well as the famously hot Scotch bonnet pepper.

Allergy alert!

Sometimes ‘seafood’ is listed as an ingredient in egusi soup - this could mean it contains Fish, Molluscs or Crustaceans, which are all among the 14 major food allergens. It is always best to double check the dish’s ingredients.

Phaal Curry

Sometimes referred to as ‘the world’s hottest dish’, it’s been known for restaurants to require customers to sign a consent form before eating phaal curry.

An Anglo-Bangladeshi dish, phaal curry has been credited to a Birmingham curry house, though it is now widely popular. Made using 10 types of pepper, including the bhut jolokia and naga ghost chilli - no wonder it has scored 1.2 million on the Scoville scale.

Allergy alert!

Curries are made with many flavourful ingredients, and can often contain Mustard or mustard seed - one of the 14 major food allergens.

What is the Scoville scale?

The Scoville scale is a way of measuring a food (usually a chilli pepper)’s spiciness, using Scoville heat units as the marker. It does this by assessing the concentration of capsaicinoids in the chilli that needs to be diluted before it's no longer detectable.

Kimchi Jjigae

A staple of Korean cuisine, kimchi jjigae is a type of stew that can be served at various levels of spice, but is most commonly a hot dish. As well the obvious ingredient, kimchi (a sour, acidic food made from fermented vegetables), the stew is made with tofu, mushrooms, garlic, onions, scallions, pork and red chilli peppers.

Allergy alert!

Kimchi jjigae includes tofu among the ingredients. Tofu is made from Soya, one of the 14 major food allergens.

Sichuan Hot Pot

The hottest of the Chinese hot pots, Sichuan hot pot is named for the province in Southwest China from which it originates, an area known for spicy food. Described on occasion as both ‘eye-watering’ and ‘tongue-numbing’, this is a one pot meal with a base of red chillies and SIchuan peppercorn-infused hot pork or beef broth, to which ingredients such as meat, doubanjiang, garlic, onions and other vegetables.

Allergy alert!

Doubanjiang is a spicy bean paste made from Soya beans and chillis, among other things. Soya is one of the 14 major food allergens.

Tortas ahogadas

A type of Mexican (specifically Guadalajara in Western Mexico) sandwich, tortas ahogadas is also known as the ‘drowning sandwich’ in English. The sandwich is made using birote bread (a Mexican sourdough), filled with fried meat (pork or chicken), beans and cheese. The heat comes from the ‘red’ sauce slathered over the sandwich, made from a combination of dried and fresh chilli peppers.

Allergy alert!

Tortas ahogas is a sandwich made using birote bread, which, like most breads, includes wheat flour among the ingredients. Wheat is a Cereal containing Gluten, one of the 14 major food allergens.

Carolina Reaper

The Carolina Reaper is not a dish, but the world’s hottest pepper.

The invention of a man called Ed Currie, the Carolina Reaper is an engineered pepper created after Currie noticed the health benefits of capsicum peppers, eaten at every meal by some equatorial indigenous populations. It took hundreds of chilli hybrid experiments and over ten years to perfect. Despite a surprisingly sweet and fruity flavour, the Carolina Reaper tops out at a blistering 2.2 million Scoville heat units.

Papa al a Huancaina

A cold, Peruvian dish, papa al Huancaina originates from the country’s Huancayo region and is thought to have first been used as a meal for railway workers.
The ‘papa’ is the boiled potatoes, and the Huancaina is the spicy cheese sauce that tops them. This sauce is made primarily from queso fresco (fresh, milky cheese) and super spicy aji amarillo chile peppers. The sauce is also used on other dishes, and as a dip.

Allergy alert!

Papa al a Huancaina uses a sauce made from queso fresco - a type of cheese. Cheese is derived from Milk, one of the 14 major food allergens.

Buffalo Wings

Whilst not quite as spicy as the Asian and South American dishes on the list, buffalo wings are a North American favourite and a pretty spicy one to boot! The exact heat level depends on the glaze, which is used to coat unbreaded chicken wings before they are cooked.

The glaze is made with ingredients such as vinegar, butter, garlic powder, honey, Worcestershire sauce and lime, as well as spicy ingredients such as jalapeños and cayenne pepper (or chilli powder), which can be tweaked to heat preference.

Allergy alert!

Butter is made from Milk, and Worcestershire sauce can contain anchovies (a Fish) - both of which are among the 14 major food allergens.

You may also be interested in…

Guide to sriracha hot sauce
Guide to sriracha hot sauce

You may also be interested in…

Your guide to Sriracha hot sauce


You may also be interested in…

Best condiments - A selection of the best condiments
Best condiments - A selection of the best condiments

You may also be interested in…

Best Condiments