Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

In English, 'Hot' can be temperature hot but can be spicy hot, too, whereas in Japanese those 2 words are different.

However, I once had a proper experience those 2 words really came together.

It was summer in 1997, when we had friends from Germany, Holland, Turkey and Canada, so it was a fairly international party at home.

Those people all had Turkish link, so I was trying to make 'Yogurtlu Kofte' from my Turkish cooking book. But I had never dealt with fresh chili peppers especially green ones before so I had no idea what they could do to me.

I was innocent and ignorant so I opened them one by one with my hands and got rid of seeds inside, yes, one by one with my hands.

My food was actually lovely, everybody complimented but by the time people started to say 'it's beautiful', 'really nice!!' etc. my hands started burning.

It was a real burn, at least that's what I felt. While people are enjoying the food in the living room I was in agony putting my hands in running water in the kitchen.

I thought, our Turkish friend may know how to cure because I got this through Turkish cooking. So I asked him what to do.

He told me that put good amount of yogurt around my hands. OK, so I did.

That seemed be working for the first 20 seconds but as soon as the yogurt gets a bit warmer, it was the same so I had to put more yogurt every 20 seconds.

In short, yogurt does only work as good as running water and you can not touch anything with this smelly white stuff on your hands. So basically, it's no good at all.

I still wonder how people deal with chili peppers? Is there better solution than yogurt or running water?


  1. Hehe, your yogurt kofte sounds so testy! I love Turkish food, but I have never tried to make it myself.

    I will give it a try sometime soon!

    I would remove the seeds using the knif, the same one as I use for cutting. Or, a spoon would also nicely work?

  2. Yuji-san, Thank you for your comment!
    Mmmm, yes, you are very sensible, I agree.

    But I somehow believe there are some secret ways you can touch them OK... Somebody mentioned putting salt before you touch chili does help but I have never tried it yet.

    Hope everything with you is OK and looking forward to seeing you sometime soon!