5 Tips for Fixing Food That's Too Spicy
Heavy handed with the hot chile peppers? That's cool. We've got 5 flawless ways to neutralize the white-hot heat.
So if you can't stand the heat, stay in the kitchen -- and let's fix this thing by toning down the spiciness.
How to Make Something Less Spicy
1. Go Nuts on It
For some Asian dishes, as well as certain chilis and stews, adding a scoop of peanut butter will help smother the flames. (Who knows, you might even end up liking the extra flavor and creamy texture.) Also try cashew or almond butter. Tahini is another option.
2. Lengthen and Un-strengthen
If you have more of the recipe's ingredients on hand, toss 'em in. Or improvise, and add an additional ingredient that will play well with the recipe while neutralizing the spiciness. Good candidates might include broth, canned beans, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, avocados, coconut milk, and cooked rice.
3. Do the Dairy
Now here's some news you can use. Turns out, the fiery chemical in hot chilis, capsaicin, likes to bind itself onto a compound in milk, which neutralizes the burn. Add a generous dollop of sour cream, creme fraiche, or yogurt to scorching hot chili or stews, or even a touch of milk or cream. For best results, though, go with full-fat dairy. For tomato sauces and stews that don't want dairy, try shredding some cheese on top.
4. Sweet Defeats Heat
Adding something sweet to a too spicy dish is another great way to reduce spiciness. A sprinkle of sugar or honey should do the trick. Or add a touch of sweet ketchup. If it's a tomato-based sauce, stir in a little more tomato sauce and maybe a titch of sugar.
5. Acid Defeats Heat
Add a squeeze of lemon or lime. Bonus Benefit: A little lemon juice can also brighten up flavors. If it's a tomato-based sauce, adding more tomato sauce can help. Also effective, a dash of vinegar.