This was my recipe from last week:

Chicken Breast Marinade (this is after cutting them up into small pieces):

  1. Yogurt
  2. Sriracha
  3. Lemon Juice
  4. Black Pepper

Marinate for 30 minutes.

Caramelized Onions

  1. Black Pepper
  2. Salt
  3. Turmeric
  4. Soy Sauce (when the pan looks dry, only add a little bit)

Cook 2 minutes on each side on a hot pan or when the sauce dries up which gives the best flavor.

My other recipe for whole grilled chicken breast:

Marinate (30 minutes)

  1. Salt n Black Pepper
  2. Chili Powder
  3. Lemon Juice

Toss on grill for 6 minutes on each side.

above are just a very roughly written recipes

The problem I have with both is that the hotness or spiciness does not kick in when you eat the chicken; it kicks in as an after taste. I want it to be enjoyably hot, not excessively hot: I've refrained from adding in chili peppers--we have a ton of dried peppers that are very spicy at home. I don't know what to do to achieve what I want: hot but kicks but not too hot but also enjoyable.

  • 2
    What's your serving temperature? Apr 20, 2020 at 6:51
  • um i'm not sure; i don't measure the temperature anymore ever since i've cooked chicken breast very often Apr 20, 2020 at 20:14
  • Try adding a different chili. I like the heat of Arbol powder myself. Or add a little more Sriracha at the end of cooking. Cooking does reduce the heat of peppers. Apr 21, 2020 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


This is based on purely observation, over 40 years, it contains no actual scientific basis whatsoever.

Something I've always noticed is that if I'm eating an Indian curry & it's starting to feel a bit too hot/spicy, then the more of it I eat, the hotter it's going to get.

If I eat a Thai curry - let's just consider the plainer green or jungle curry for this - then the hottest mouthful is the first. It doesn't build up as you eat, it gets easier.

I started to examine the essential difference between these two. We can't blind test every single ingredient, so let's ignore the aromatics.
In fact, to cut a long story short [I'm over-simplifying a lot], you can ignore everything except the chilli type.

Indian curry's main heat potential is black pepper & red chilli, usually dried or ground.
Thai curry's main heat potential is fresh green chilli, finger or unripe bird's eyes.

Red chilli powder builds over time, fresh green is right there at the start, but you slightly get used to it as you keep eating.*

So, see if you can incorporate fresh green chillis into one of those recipes. Probably the smaller/thinner the better to keep the liquid levels down. You'll probably have to blend or very finely chop it without the seeds & adjust your liquids accordingly.

*The simplest way to double-check this is by making variations on a pico de gallo theme, no cooking required, but cold chilli powder really takes a long build-up compared to cooked.
For these purposes, sriracha is going to equate to dried chilli powder.


You need chili. Most of your heat comes from black pepper, which is different from the heat in chili, and isn't as strong or long lasting. Chili heat is immediate, persistent, lasts and builds up as you eat more so that's where you want to go. The thing is to control the heat by modifying the strength and amount of the chili you use. There's so much variation in chilis, from mild to tonsil-destruction, you just need to find a one you like and add the right amount. Some experimentation is in order.

One easy step would be to add some chili powder to your marinade and see how you like it. A more immediate chili may come from fresh chili in a salsa or barbecue sauce that goes on the side. Marinades only penetrate a little way, all the flavor is on the outside, a sauce would give you heat throughout, and fresh chili tends to be a more immediate flavor. There are plenty of mild varieties to try.

  • They both already have chilli - one in sriracha & the other as powder. I don't think the OP is asking how to make it hotter, per se, but that the kick should come earlier.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 20, 2020 at 12:08

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