It’s goddamn hot in Austin — temperatures in the city have hit 100 degrees or above for the past 45 days. In efforts to cool off, most people will turn to chilled foods during these sweltering times, such as chilled noodles, indulgent seafood towers, or gazpacho. But not me. I always tend to want very, very, very hot foods.
I’m not talking just spicy foods — which I always need, and yes I am the person who douses my salads with hot sauce. I also want scorching hot dishes (without burning my tongue). Give me all the soups, ramen, phos, broths, hot pots, and porridges.
This is not a novel idea: hot and spicy dishes are year-round staples in regions with hotter climates. Imagine asking my Bangladeshi parents to not eat dal during the summer. I wouldn’t dare.
This summer, I had the fantastic bubur ayam from the Indonesian-Texan food truck Yeni’s Fusion. The Southeast Asian porridge dish came with this perfectly creamy rice slush with steamy spiced soup and chunks of tender grilled chicken. Then there’s the wonderfully rich chicken bone broth from Austin Rotisserie, which I could drink like water. (I’ll drink hot coffee in the middle of August.)
There is something invigorating about eating foods that are as hot as the temperatures outside. There are even scientific benefits. But if you can’t go full hot food in hot weather, try a half-chilled and half-hot meal, like oysters and lobster mac and cheese or shrimp cocktails and gumbo. Just remember to stay hydrated during these summer days.