Slideshow: 45 Hot and Spicy Dishes for Summer

Thai Pomelo and Shrimp Salad
Thai Pomelo and Shrimp Salad

This miang, which is sort of a one-bite salad, pairs poached shrimp and sweet, tart pomelo and is tossed in a spicy chili dressing.

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[Photograph: Leela Punyaratabandhu]

Jalapeño Coleslaw
Jalapeño Coleslaw

Seeding the jalapeños in this recipe cuts out a lot of the heat, for a milder pepper flavor that works perfectly with the lime.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Grilled Jalapeño Potato Salad
Grilled Jalapeño Potato Salad

Fire up the grill for this spicy take on potato salad. It's creamy and flavorful, without being over-dressed. (The sad fate of all too many potato salads).

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Lobster Ceviche
Lobster Ceviche

If you want to go extra fancy, you can serve your ceviche in your carefully cleaned out lobster shell.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Spicy Crab Dip
Spicy Crab Dip

It's summer, and where I'm from (Maryland) that means crabs. If you can swing it, try and shell fresh crabs yourself, there's really no substitute for that freshness. But if it's too labor intensive, or good crabs are hard to come by in your 'hood canned crab meat will do. Just try to use the refrigerated stuff from the fish counter.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Hot Pepper Relish
Hot Pepper Relish

This is a spicy mix of green and red hot peppers that'll brighten up your summer dogs.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Okra-Fried Jalapeños
Okra-Fried Jalapeños

So you've heard of chicken-fried steak, but what about okra-fried jalapeños? Battered jalapenos combine the same pickled sourness of a fried pickle with the spiciness of the pepper—and it's all encased in a crispy coating, then dipped into a cooling horseradish sauce.

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[Photograph: Andrea Lynn]

Spicy Sambal Chicken and Shrimp
Spicy Sambal Chicken and Shrimp

Packed with Thai chiles, this spicy Southeast Asian dish is sure to cool your off this summer.

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Thai Spicy Duck Salad
Thai Spicy Duck Salad

The combination of citrus and heat in this spicy duck salad is a delicious and refreshing dish for hot August days.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Spicy Tuna Salad with Young Ginger and Lemongrass
Spicy Tuna Salad with Young Ginger and Lemongrass

You can serve this salad in lettuce cups as an appetizer or treat it as a main dish and eat it with warm jasmine rice.

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[Photograph: Leela Punyaratabandhu]

Thai Herbal Salmon Salad
Thai Herbal Salmon Salad

This light, healthy salad is unbearably easy to make and a spicy, fresh answer to the eternal question: what's for dinner?

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[Photograph: Leela Punyaratabhandu]

Crunchy and Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry with Snap Peas
Crunchy and Spicy Shrimp Stir-Fry with Snap Peas

Crispy shrimp with salt and Sichuan peppercorn are paired with sweet and crunchy snap peas.

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Thai-Style Lobster Salad with Snap Peas and Salted Cucumber
Thai-Style Lobster Salad with Snap Peas and Salted Cucumber

A lighter, brighter, hotter, altogether-more-exciting version of lobster salad based on Thai flavors made with sweet, tender chunks of picked lobster meat, crisp blanched snap peas, and cucumbers.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Real Deal Kung Pao Chicken
Real Deal Kung Pao Chicken

Chinese takeout will never be the same again when you fire up a wok at home to craft a Kung Pao that puts that MSG-kissed crap to shame. Get the recipe »

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad
Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad

This recipe is about as easy as it gets, but complex in its flavors, with a balance of heat, sweetness, and bracing acidity from chili oil, sugar, and Chinkiang vinegar.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder)
Pork Larb (Thai Salad with Pork, Herbs, Chili, and Toasted Rice Powder)

This dish is intensely flavored, and the embodiment of the sweet-sour-salty-hot flavor profile that defines much of Thai cuisine.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Mongolian Stir-Fried Lamb with Cumin
Mongolian Stir-Fried Lamb with Cumin

This lamb is aromatic with garlic, soy, cumin, and a big, fat bed of cilantro.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Real Mapo Dofu
Real Mapo Dofu

A traditional Sichuanese dish, Mapo Dofu is made with simmered medium-firm silken tofu flavored with fermented bean paste, beef, plenty of red-hot roasted chili oil, and a handful of Sichuan peppercorns.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Jerk Pork Skewers
Jerk Pork Skewers

The jerk flavors of these pork skewers pair well with the accompanying honey-lime sauce, which has a cooling effect that balances everything out.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Baby Back Ribs with Mojo Barbecue Sauce
Baby Back Ribs with Mojo Barbecue Sauce

First, these ribs are cooked slow and low. Then, they're steeped in citrus and beer, while a lively, Cuban mojo-inspired barbecue sauce simmers on the stovetop.

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[Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken With Green Sauce
Peruvian Style Grilled Chicken With Green Sauce

The basics are simple: butterflied chicken with a vinegar and spice rub gets slow-cooked on the grill, followed by a quick stay directly over the coals to crisp the skin. It comes out tender and juicy and goes perfectly with a simple spicy and cream sauce made with jalapeños and aji amarillo peppers.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)
Hot Hawaiian Burgers (Spam, Pineapple, Swiss, and Sriracha Mayo)

This delicious combo hits the rich/fresh/sweet flavors and the crisp/moist textures that are irresistible on a burger.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Grilled Mexican Chorizo with Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce
Grilled Mexican Chorizo with Spicy Tomato Caper Sauce

In this slightly-more-work-but-worth-every-extra-minute recipe, spicy and tart Mexican chorizo (not to be confused with dry-cured raw Spanish chorizo) gets simmered in a tangy tomato sauce punched up with capers, olives, and a handful of cilantro.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Kofte Kebabs with Spicy Harissa Yogurt Sauce and Grilled Flatbread (Minced Lamb Kebabs)
Kofte Kebabs with Spicy Harissa Yogurt Sauce and Grilled Flatbread (Minced Lamb Kebabs)

Kofte Kebabs are traditionally made with lamb, however, ground beef or pork can be substituted. Harissa is a Tunisian spice pasted made from piri-piri peppers. If you can't find it, any fresh chili sauce will do, such as sambal oelek.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Cajun Chicken Fritters
Cajun Chicken Fritters

A fried buttermilk cornmeal batter reminiscent of hushpuppies makes these chicken fritters golden and crispy all around.

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Sardines in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Sardines in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Fresh sardines quickly broiled atop a fragrant sauce are a step above the canned variety and just as effortless to prepare.

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[Photograph: Marvin Gapultos]

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches
Sweet and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

The recipe for these impressive chicken sandwiches may seem to have a lot of ingredients and steps, but the entirety isn't all that bad and it's all well worth it.

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[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

Walnut-Habanero Salsa with Roasted Garlic and Orange
Walnut-Habanero Salsa with Roasted Garlic and Orange

If raw habaneros are too hot, you can roast them first to temper this salsa's heat.

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[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Grilled Marinated Heart Of Palm Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw
Grilled Marinated Heart Of Palm Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw

These tacos may be vegan, but they don't cut corners and flavor, and certainly not on heat.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Stuffed Roasted Poblanos with Cashew-Chipotle Sauce
Stuffed Roasted Poblanos with Cashew-Chipotle Sauce

This recipe—roasted poblanos stuffed with rice, raisins, and capers, doused in a smoky cashew-based salsa, and baked with cheese- is impossible to resist.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Jicama and Pomelo Salad with Spicy Thai Vinaigrette
Jicama and Pomelo Salad with Spicy Thai Vinaigrette

Spicy, crunchy, and cooling. What more could you want?

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Carne Adovada (New Mexico-style Pork with Red Chilies)
Carne Adovada (New Mexico-style Pork with Red Chilies)

Alternatively, you could also try carne adovada, New Mexico's ancho and pasilla chile based stew. Its got a well-balanced flavor that is spicy, smoky, rich, and subtly sweet all at once.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Real-Deal Tortilla Soup
Real-Deal Tortilla Soup

Don't write off tortilla soup as gringo-fied Mexican food. When made correctly, it can be as authentic, complex, and compelling as any real-deal Mexican dish.

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[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Spicy Strawberry Jalapeño Lemonade
Spicy Strawberry Jalapeño Lemonade

So this one is a cold drink, and as we now know, those actually tend to make you hotter. But here's to hoping the heat from the jalapeños helps you break even. It's worth it.

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[Photograph: Dave Katz]