What are some common cold spicy foods?
February 22, 2010 11:50 PM   Subscribe

My aunt is coming to dinner and she loves spicy foods. However, I'm picking her up from the airport after work and won't have time to cook that day. What spicy foods/appetizers can I make that don't need to be served warm? I searched for "cold spicy foods" but got completely irrelevant results.

I know I could microwave a hot dish but don't want to do that for the entire meal.
posted by tasty to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
How spicy is spicy? My mom makes the best Chinese cold noodle salad with just some rice vinegar, soy sauce, lots of garlic, glass noodles, and shredded carrots. If you want to make it spicy you could add some red pepper flakes.
posted by pecknpah at 11:58 PM on February 22, 2010

Salsa and chips.

Add hot peppers as you see fit. Habanero salsa is easy to make (BUT WEAR RUBBER GLOVES when making this, I cannot emphasize this enough), and would probably provide the spice/heat that she craves so.

You could also make spicy guacamole and serve with chips.

There is also a condiment that is essentially pickled carrots with jalapeno peppers; I've seen it in Mexican restaurants. I don't know what this is called, but it's also wonderful.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:08 AM on February 23, 2010

Salad? A warm beef salad can have quite a kick; just reheat the meat.

Chaat can be served cold. Try a sev puri with a spicy masala.

Spice up some gazpacho.

Naengmyeon can be overwhelmingly spicy. And of course, kimchi and other spicy banchan are served cold.

A spicy salsa. Tacos don't necessarily need a piping hot meat product under that cilantro and onion.

Mango with lime juice and chili powder.
posted by SpringAquifer at 12:10 AM on February 23, 2010

Wasabi with your sushi and sashimi.

Sichuan-style sliced beef.

Banh mi, with plenty of peppers.


It's 3:30 a.m., I'm trying to finish my reading for tomorrow morning, and thoughts of food keep popping into my head, so I had to come back. And I'm drooling onto my book. Thanks a lot, tasty.
posted by SpringAquifer at 12:32 AM on February 23, 2010

Poisson Cru can be made in ten minutes. It can be ball-shudderingly hot.
posted by smoke at 12:53 AM on February 23, 2010

Chips and salsa for an appetizer, and for dinner make an enchilada casserole the night before. Letting it sit in the fridge over night will make it even spicier.

I swear by ThePioneerWoman.

Enchiladas: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/09/simple-perfect-enchiladas/
Salsa: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/restaurant-style-salsa/
posted by RMQ at 1:34 AM on February 23, 2010

Spicy Onion & Tomato Dip, with potato chips and various vegetables. It's seriously good.
posted by arianell at 1:35 AM on February 23, 2010

Samosas with cucumber raita..... the samosas can be served hot, cold or room temperature.
posted by taff at 3:45 AM on February 23, 2010

If you're going indian style (samosas, raita etc) this bombay rice salad is fantastic.
posted by handee at 3:56 AM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

I may be advocating blasphemy here, but I have been known to reheat curries on the next day and never found them to be much worse. Takes all of three minutes.
posted by themel at 4:31 AM on February 23, 2010

Virtually all curries (Thai, Indian, etc.) will keep overnight and in some cases improve; ditto chilli and goulash. You can make the rice beforehand too and then microwave it.
posted by rhymer at 4:38 AM on February 23, 2010

Fuck yeah to samosas. Plus you can have delicious cold dips with them.
posted by beerbajay at 4:44 AM on February 23, 2010

Couscous with whatever you need in it.
posted by fire&wings at 4:55 AM on February 23, 2010

Cold Sesame Noodles!

A lot of Korean dishes are cold and spicy. Kimchi. Bibim Guk Su. Google around!
posted by GilloD at 5:32 AM on February 23, 2010

Larb gai is a Thai "chicken salad" served cold or room-temperature, often rolled in lettuce leaves. You can crank it up to an arbitrary heat level depending on what kind and how many chiles you add.
posted by letourneau at 5:44 AM on February 23, 2010

Cucumber shrimp gazpacho. Add some extra cayenne or hot sauce. A favorite of mine!
posted by Brittanie at 5:58 AM on February 23, 2010

I have been meaning to try Texas caviar.
posted by bristolcat at 7:09 AM on February 23, 2010

Larb is also known as laab or larp, and in my experience is usually made with ground/minced pork. Regional variations, of course. It's pretty much my favorite thing ever :)
posted by Madamina at 7:20 AM on February 23, 2010

Representin' for the Tex-Mex...

Tamales steam up in a few minutes and can be bought as spicy as you wish.

Chili actually improves its flavor overnight in the fridge. It's always better the second day.

Jalapeno cornbread

As for appetizers, crostini with goat cheese and candied jalepenos. Easy peasy. Doubles as dessert.
posted by cross_impact at 7:22 AM on February 23, 2010

One other thought about this (eponysterical) question: do you have a crock-pot (or similar slow-cooker)? That gives you the option of spicy and hot dishes, even if you won't be home all day. Chili, soups, etc. all work with slow cooking.

On a side note, I wanted to mention that smoke talking about things being "ball-shudderingly hot" is also eponysterical.
posted by JMOZ at 7:32 AM on February 23, 2010

Just do the mis en plais for stir fry the night before, marinate some meat (or tofu) and then set up the rice cooker before you leave for the airport and plug it in/turn it one when you get home. Actually cooking the stir fry should take all of 5 minutes (if you are doing it right...).
posted by BobbyDigital at 8:00 AM on February 23, 2010

Nthing Larb, and also recommending a green papaya salad--you can add extra chiles. Don't make it if you haven't got fish sauce (but get fish sauce and make it!).
posted by Mngo at 8:13 AM on February 23, 2010

Try muhammara, a Turkish dip made from roasted red peppers and walnuts. Add some extra cayenne to up the spice, or even better, roast a bunch of red chiles along with the peppers and blend in as necessary. Last time, I used about 3 small chiles per red pepper.
posted by ecmendenhall at 8:34 AM on February 23, 2010

I made some incredibly delicious jalapeno and cheddar pretzels last night.
posted by rebent at 9:59 AM on February 23, 2010

Spicy Korean Cucumber Salad. My friends bug me for this recipe all the time when I bring the dish to a potluck.
posted by white_devil at 11:53 AM on February 23, 2010

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! These were all amazing.

I've decided on the spicy guocamole and sesame noodles, just because of the ingredients I have in the house.
posted by tasty at 2:27 PM on February 23, 2010

For dessert: chipotle brownies. Basically you get some brownie mix and conduct brownie-making activities as normal but you also add in some chipotle powder and cinnamon. MMM yum. Serve with coffee ice cream.

posted by dervish at 2:59 PM on February 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

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