Nyam with Ny

A Beginner’s Guide: Your Spicy Food Checklist

When I got to talking to people who are not used to eating spicy food, they told me they want to give it a try but don’t know where to start. Many throw themselves into spicy dishes such as Tom Yum or even Sichuan hotpot. There seems to be some people that have not grown up eating the same dishes as me or have a good spice tolerance.

I always get asked: What spicy food should I start eating? What spicy dishes can a beginner foodie like me handle?

Now, I can finally present to you a choice from five spicy foods from the first three rankings (Wicked Zinger to Sriracha), to try at restaurants and eateries before you start cooking them. Any beginner to spicy food should start with these before diving into more intense dishes! If this does well, I’ll include an intermediate guide next time.


Burgers are one of the most quickest ways to begin your spicy adventure! Many burgers are usually just added to menus or limited editions for a more “peppery taste” for their customers. You’re lucky to find a sriracha burger, spicy chicken burger and a chilli mayo burger with a bit of fiery or pepper on it.

Pizzas can be an alternative too such as American Hot (pepperoni and jalapenos) or a Tex Mex (Chilli beef and jalapenos).


There are so many curries that are perfect to start with. There’s so many from countries such as islands in the Caribbean, India, Thailand and Japan. Curries such as tikka masala, laksa, curry goat or a Thai red curry. Curry goat and a Thai red curry might be more on a Sriracha/Gochujang level but if you’re feeling brave, try it.


You can add anything to soup to be able to make it spicy if you’re not having it as a takeaway or for eating in a restaurant. Korean, Thai and soup from the Caribbean can really help with that. With soups such as kimchi jjigae, tom yum soup and caribbean soup, there is a range of flavours to get out of soups in combination with spice.

Chilli Con Carne

It’s more standalone as it’s from Mexico but Chilli Con Carne is a good start. I grew up eating Chilli Con Carne and it was never made as spicy as what restaurants have made it, so maybe someone can tell me if I’m wrong or not. I’ve heard from other people that this can be quite spicy so it would be worth eating.


Like soups, there are so much chicken to choose from. You can go the easy route and get something of a wicked zinger taste from KFC or get extra hot taste in your Nandos plate. But there’s also chicken masala, cajun chicken, tandoori chicken and many more that I have lost count to talk about. Chicken can be cooked in a number of ways and spice can be added on top of that nicely.

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