Andrew has been an online writer for several years. He enjoys exploring the cuisine of the world.
There are so many different cultures all around the world with vast variance in cuisine, but no matter what country you're in or from, you can always find dish options that pack a little heat. Every country has their hot sauce.
Hot Sauce From Around the World
scotch bonnet pepper sauce
Now every hipster millennial is carrying around a small bottle of sriracha or sambal on their keychain or in their purse. It's the new common quirk of city cuisine. And to prove that point, you can walk into any Starbucks in the world and order a breakfast sandwich with packets of sriracha on the side.
Hot sauce is one of the most versatile condiments on the planet! So, if you're one of the many under-utilizing this fantastic sauce, take a look at some of these common and not-so-common ways to get on the same page as the rest of the world and spice up your meal! And here you thought it was just the stuff you poured on a taco when you occasioned your favorite Mexican stop down the street . . .
Spicy popcorn. This has to be one of the stranger uses of our beloved hot sauce. It's surprisingly a very old Mexican tradition that has only recently gone mainstream, due to its mention on Rachel Ray's tv show. Traditionally known as "palomitas con salsa," it was sold by street vendors south of the border and boasted a wide variety of additional flavors.
Today, it's popular to use sriracha, tapatio, cholula, frank's red hot, or even tabasco-—basically any hot sauce that is tomato/vinegar-based rather than mustard-based. You can dip the popcorn in hot sauce, drizzle it over a bowl-full, or shake it up in a bag. Some people even add cayenne pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, or chipotle powder to the mix to add some variety. For an even more exotic flavor, try using caramel corn and bacon with hot sauce!
Another great snack-food to combo hot sauce with is the potato fry. You can make carne asada fries, adobada fries, and top with sour cream, cilantro, and other traditional Mexican ingredients and finalize the experience with your favorite habanero sauce. OR, you can just put the hot sauce on fries by themselves to make it another great, spicy, American snack-food.
If you don't feel like making your own spicy snack-foods, you can walk into a store and find plenty of sriracha and tabasco-flavored snacks already mixed and bagged for you. From Doritos and Lays to Popcorn—they've adopted hot sauce as not only a condiment but a primary snackfood flavor.
2. Hot Chocolate
You can bring a whole new meaning to the term "hot chocolate" by throwing a little cayenne pepper, or even habanero sauce into the mix. This sweet and spicy combo has gained popularity as a holiday favorite. Top it with cream or marshmallows, and cinnamon just as you would regular hot chocolate.
It is widely recommended to use a habanero sauce mixed with Mexican chocolate or another dark chocolate and to top with whipped-cream or ice-cream and cayenne pepper.
You've probably ventured out and used hot sauce on your eggs. They're particularly good when mixed with a tex-mex combos such as onion or bell peppers. It doesn't matter whether they're scrambled, fried, sunny-side-up, or even a little on the raw side. Any boring egg can become an exciting new breakfast experience by spicing it up with some habanero or Asian hot sauce. You can even try it on an egg, on toast.
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But did you ever think to try it on other breakfast foods? Like, for instance, Oatmeal? Probably not. It's surprisingly wonderful and might even make you reconsider oatmeal as a lunch or dinner item instead of just breakfast.
You can add hot sauce to most traditional dressings, from home-made vinaigrette to spicy ranch. It's also a fun way of making non-traditional dressings work better for salad as well. For instance, greek yogurt or Icelandic skyrr mixed with hot sauce is a powerful combo to any chicken salad and mixing hot sauce with guacamole can easily top a taco salad full of meat and beans and chips. Try a spicy buffalo caeser with bacon--it will change your life!
I haven't yet thought of a soup that wouldn't taste even better with hot sauce. Seafood soups, Asian soups, vegetable soups, meat-soups, all soup mixes with hot sauce. Here's just a few fan favorites in the world of spicy cuisine:
- Clam chowder
- Beef stew
- Tortilla-chicken soup
- Butternut squash soup
- Tomato soup
- Chicken noodle soup
- Carrot soup
- French onion soup
- Hot and sour soup
- Egg drop soup
- Caldo verde
- Lentil soup
- Corn chowder
Hot sauce has not yet met a soup it doesn't get along with.
Many Italian dishes match well with hot sauce, especially the classics--namely pasta and pizza. Try some on most any tomato-based pasta sauces.
Pizza, though traditionally Italian, has been adopted by the rest of the globe and turned into something of fantastic variety. The Vietnamese have become especially creative with their sauces and toppings. Whether it's spicy buffalo, BBQ chicken, or good old-fashioned margherita pizza, most Asian hot sauces compliment them nicely. Sriracha is perhaps the most popular hot pizza topping.
Whether it's in soup or on salad or a la carte, common seafood favorites such as fish, shrimp, lobster, and scallops can be transformed with a little spicy sauce. On some seafood dishes, you almost expect it--namely shrimp scampi and gumbo.
Fish can be hard to flavor and make interesting, so especially if you're not used to cooking seafood, hot sauce is a sure-fire way to make sure your oceanic meal isn't a bland experience.
Many seafood fans enjoy spicing their shrimp up with hot sauce before throwing it on the BBQ or mixing it in a seafood chili. Another option is cold clams or shrimp on a salad topped with hot sauce and another complimentary dressing.
Ever heard of a condiment cocktail? Meet the "Michelada"—it's a combination of hot sauce, lime, and salt mixed with beer. Hot sauce is particularly popular in a classic Bloody Mary.
Some other popular combos include the Black Bear Bite (hot sauce, Kahlua, pepper, and vodka), the Caesar Salad (cheese, hot sauce, lemon juice, mott's clamato juice, vodka, and Worcestershire sauce), the Polar Bear Bite (creme de menthe, hot sauce, and vodka), and just plain Vodka and hot sauce, known as "Fire in the Hole" or "Dragon's Breath."
There are all kinds of drink combos that hot sauce can be added to--probably too many to count and the list will certainly only grow bigger in the years to come.