When it comes to cooking with spice, there are a lot of ways things can go horribly amiss. However, the most common problem when cooking with everything from chilies to hot sauce is that the spice can be a bit overwhelming if you are not careful. While serious spice junkies can power through it, do you need to just toss food if it is too spicy?
Maybe, but you should try these spice-cutting tricks first.
This is a trick that is popular with Thai cuisine, which uses some of the world’s most formidable chilies in many of its dishes. By adding on a spoonful of acid like citrus juice, vinegar, or even tomato, it can help cut the spiciness in half so you still get the flavor with only a fraction of the heat.
Like acid, sugar is another great way to tame the spice. Unfortunately, unlike acid, you want to go small with sugar so that savory dishes do end up tasting oddly sweet. However, for many, that sweetness can actually reinvent an old dish.
This is a common trick, but it is an effective one. Spice is often absorbed and made more palatable by bland food, which is why you will find potatoes in otherwise spicy stews or rice served with mouth-burning curry. Even giving your dinner guests a slab of crusty bread can help cut the spice.
Serve with Dairy
When you watch hot wing eating contests, you often see the challengers dining with a glass – or gallon – of milk nearby. This is because the lactose in milk can not only tame spiciness, but the viscous nature of the drink can help remove it off the palate. However, milk doesn’t need to be mandatory, any dairy will do. Why not serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to help cut the heat down?