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Choose Your Firepower

Choose Your Firepower


Last Published: 06/03/2016

Choose Your Firepower

Diners are increasingly knowledgeable about spicy foods, often knowing the heat levels of different peppers, according to research firm, The NPD Group.

The trends includes pungent, pickled ingredients like kimchi, as well as global spice blends, such as the Japanese seven-ingredient spice blend, shichimi togarashi. Here are some ideas for using those different levels:


  • Add a drizzle of Sriracha to chicken and fish sandwiches or breakfast sandwiches and burritos.
  • Try a Sriracha-laced vinaigrette on a salad of baby greens, wonton strips, mango and roasted corn, topped with grilled shrimp or seared salmon.
  • Glaze fish with a blend of Sriracha, Dijon mustard and honey; bake and top with the same sauce mixed with Greek yogurt; serve with quinoa and mixed veggies.


  • Experiment with bold new taste sensations imparted by peppers including habanero, serrano, shishito, and ghost peppers.
  • Sample ethnic sauces such as harissa (Tunisian hot chilie-pepper paste) and sweet chili sauce.
  • Offer a fiery ghost pepper sauce as a dip for chicken wings.
  • Add intrigue by combining an exotic pepper such as shishito or ghost pepper with more familiar jalapenos or chipotles to create your own signature blended-pepper sauce.

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