While people may always be drawn and endeared to familiar dishes like General Tso's chicken and Sichuan beef with broccoli, innovations in spicy Asian cuisine are quickly becoming social media sweethearts.


With so many young creatives and chefs sharing their fiery takes on Asian dishes and growing in popularity while doing so, it's safe to say that the spicy food trend in modern Asian cuisine isn't going anywhere for a while.

  • Spicy bulgogi tacos are the perfect choice for consumers who love hot Asian flavors and want something easy yet delicious for their Tuesday nights. Many popular meal-delivery kits now include variations of this versatile go-to, solidifying it as a Korean staple in kitchens everywhere.

  • Comforting and packed with flavor, spicy soup dumplings in chili oil are great to split before a meal or as a hearty main at home. They are also easier to make than they look. Momofuku has gained somewhat of a cult following with its chili oil and other Asian ingredients, which make DIY chefs feel fancy and accomplished. 

  • Asian noodles, including the eternally-beloved ramen, will always be at the top of the delicious list. A reimagining of this classic, @chefguntas' spicy sesame and chili oil ramen noodles, has over 600,000 views on Instagram — showing how prominent this trend is becoming.


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Every food enthusiast knows that a great sauce is just as important to a dish as any other ingredient, especially in modern Asian cuisine. 

  • Using chili crisp to create a spicy, savory sauce with an out-of-this-world texture has become a social media sensation as it's an easy way to amp up any dish and impress a crowd. Thanks to influencers, chili crisp sauce is a must-try among young, food-savvy consumers.  It's made with serrano peppers, black vinegar, and orange zest.

  • For those that believe in spicy with a capital "S," the mellow numbing sensation mala sauce leaves on the tongue is a ghostly reminder of satisfaction. This is thanks to its doubanjiang — or spicy bean paste — along with dried chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns.


Even just one stand-out ingredient can make all the difference when it comes to harnessing authentic Asian flavors. As consumers continue to crave the experience of dining out while dining in, these items will remain hot.

  • Tiny but mighty, the gochugaru bird's eye chili pepper packs a punch at anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 Scoville units, making it a good one to experiment with in a variety of dishes.

  • It's simple to infuse authentic Asian flavor into any meal with the fragrant and unique Chinese five-spice blend, which combines the warmth of clove and cinnamon with the depth of anise and fennel — plus the all-star Sichuan peppercorn — to create a seasoning for meat, vegetables, and broths. 


Related: Asian and Latin American Snacking


Pandemic-induced isolation created a lot of at-home chefs and sparked a broad desire to make one's personal kitchen feel like a gourmet restaurant. Modern Asian cuisine is an incredible part of that trend — and no one wants to escape the heat. 


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