Regions of the world where you find the hottest summer temperatures are also where you find some of the spiciest foods.

Capsaicin, the chemical inside chile peppers that sets your tongue on fire, is also what makes you sweat, and sweat is the body’s natural way of cooling down. Plus, when you eat spicy food, you tend to drink more liquids, which will keep you hydrated.

These recipes rely on different forms of capsaicin, some in liquid hot sauces, such as sriracha or Frank’s Red Hot, while others use fresh or dried chiles. Red pepper flakes or dried, ground cayenne pepper are easy ways to amp up the heat in any dish without chopping chiles or adding extra liquid. Just remember that you can always add more heat but you can’t take it away.

Pasta with Smoked Andouille, Peppers and Collard Greens

I got hooked on collard greens while visiting the South, where greens are commonly served. They are fibrous and tough when raw, but when cooked right, they are juicy and fall apart in your mouth. This pasta dish incorporates the classic combination of collard greens and smoked andouille, with a good helping of peppers, of course. This recipe isn’t meant to be overly spicy. Instead, the juicy collard greens and smoky andouille sausage make it huge on flavor. If you’re looking for something hotter, you can easily add in extra spicy chili flakes, or substitute the sweeter peppers for a hot pepper, such as a jalapeño or cayenne.

— Michael Hultquist

3 strips bacon, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 to 4 sweet peppers, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch collard greens, stemmed and chopped, about 8 ounces

8 ounces smoked andouille, sliced

1/2 cup chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Spicy chili flakes, plus more for serving (optional)

8 ounces cooked pasta

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Heat a large pan to medium heat and add the bacon. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the fat begins to render. Add the onion and chopped peppers. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the chopped greens in 2 batches and stir. Cook them for a couple of minutes, or until wilted.

Add in the andouille sausage, chicken broth, some salt and pepper and a pinch of spicy chile flakes (optional). Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmesan and spicy chili flakes. Serves 4.

— From “The Spicy Food Lovers’ Cookbook: Fiery, No-Fuss Meals” by Michael Hultquist (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)

The Hot Catfish Sandwich with Ranch Sauce

I’ve grown to love catfish from the days of my dad’s restaurant. He sold mostly whiting and porgy fish, but every now and again, customers would order fried catfish on wheat or white bread with some hot sauce on top. I prepare this recipe like Nashville’s Hot Chicken. Whenever I’m in Nashville, I find time to get my hands on some hot chicken! This sandwich combines my love for my dad’s fried catfish and for Nashville’s hot chicken. Also, the ranch sauce is chronic. Beware.

— Lazarus Lynch

For the ranch sauce:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives, or a mix

1 garlic clove, grated

1 teaspoon hot sauce

For the catfish:

4 (4- to 6-ounce) catfish fillets

1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups canola oil, for frying

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 large egg

2 tablespoons your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce (I like Frank’s RedHot)

4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 cup self-rising flour

1/4 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

For the sandwich:

4 slices thick-cut white bread

House Pickles, for serving

Old Bay Potato Chips, for serving

Make the ranch sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, parsley, garlic and hot sauce until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 week.

Make the catfish: Place the catfish on a tray and squeeze the lemon over it. Season both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Heat the canola oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on top.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, hot sauce and 2 teaspoons of the Old Bay.

In a shallow dish, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of the Old Bay and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Dredge the fish in the buttermilk mixture, then coat in the flour. Shake off any excess flour and dip in the buttermilk mixture again, then finally the flour, shaking off any excess.

Add the catfish pieces to the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip and fry until the catfish is cooked through and the second side is crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes more. Drain on the prepared baking sheet. Continue frying all pieces, using more oil when necessary. Leave the frying oil in the pot, but turn off the heat and let the oil cool slightly.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, remaining 1 teaspoon Old Bay and 1/4 cup of the hot oil from the skillet. Brush the seasoned oil sauce over both sides of the catfish.

Serve the hot catfish on white bread and drizzle with the ranch sauce spilling over the top. Serve with pickles and Old Bay Potato Chips. Serves 4.

— From “Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul” by Lazarus Lynch (Avery, $25)

Old Bay Potato Chips

We are regular chip eaters in my household. My favorite chips growing up were UTZ Salt and Vinegar chips (who’s with me?). I would literally lick the inner lining of the bag so I didn’t waste a single crumb. I think every sandwich begs for a side of crispy potato chips (or a lame kale salad). This is your basic potato chip recipe, and I finish them with Old Bay seasoning. You can sprinkle them with whatever flavor of fairy dust you like and make them your own.

— Lazarus Lynch

Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep frying

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning, divided

2 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), washed and dried

Fill a heavy-bottomed pot with oil to a depth of 4 to 5 inches and heat over medium-high heat to 375 degrees, about 10 minutes. Fill a large pot or bucket with 1 gallon water, the vinegar, salt and 1/2 tablespoon of the Old Bay seasoning.

Using a Mandoline or sharp vegetable peeler, slice potatoes very thin (about 1/8-inch thick). Watch your fingers. Soak the sliced potatoes in the water solution as you continue to slice to keep them from browning.

Drain the potatoes, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking tray and and pat dry with additional paper towels. Line a second tray or large bowl with a fresh paper towel. Working in small batches, carefully drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chips to a paper towel-lined plate and hit them with the remaining Old Bay seasoning. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, letting the temperature of the oil return to 375 degrees between each batch. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately. Serves 6.

— From “Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul” by Lazarus Lynch (Avery, $25)

Crispy Thai Eggplant Salad

For this recipe, we took elements from Sicilian caponata — eggplant, tomatoes, herbs and vinegary notes — and married them with intense Thai flavors. We used a microwave dehydrating method and then shallow-fried the eggplant before marinating it in nam prik — a bright Thai condiment made with lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and chiles. We tossed in juicy cherry tomatoes, a healthy amount of fresh herbs and crispy fried shallots for a dish that delivered all of the five tastes and as many different textures. Japanese eggplant was our unanimous favorite when we tested this recipe, but globe or Italian eggplant can be substituted if necessary. Traditional Genovese basil is a fine substitute for the Thai basil. Depending on the size of your microwave, you may need to microwave the eggplant in two batches. Be sure to remove the eggplant from the microwave immediately so that the steam can escape. Serve this salad with sticky rice, grilled steak or both.

— America’s Test Kitchen editors

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon lime juice (3 limes)

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 (2-inch piece) ginger, peeled and chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 red Thai chile, seeded and sliced thin

6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

2 large Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise 11/2 inches thick

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves

1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

Process fish sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup lime juice, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile in blender until dressing is mostly smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to large serving bowl and stir in tomatoes; set aside.

Toss eggplant with salt in medium bowl. Line entire surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer on coffee filters. Microwave until eggplant is dry and shriveled to one-third of its original size, about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through to dry sides evenly (eggplant should not brown). Transfer eggplant immediately to paper towel–lined plate.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Add eggplant to oil and cook until flesh is deep golden brown and edges are crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to paper towel–lined plate and blot to remove excess oil. Transfer to bowl with dressing.

Toss cilantro, mint, basil, and remaining 1 teaspoon lime juice together in small bowl. Add half of herb mixture to bowl with eggplant, tossing to combine, then sprinkle remaining herb mixture and peanuts over top. Serves 2 or 3.

— From “Vegetables Illustrated: An Inspiring Guide with 700+ Kitchen-Tested Recipes” by America’s Test Kitchen (America’s Test Kitchen, $40)

Kung Pao Cauliflower

Kung pao chicken is a beloved Chinese takeout classic, but it can be cloying and heavy. This version reduces the sugar and ups the powerful aromatics, like ginger, garlic and chile, for a vibrant sauce that will make your mouth sing. The chicken is swapped for hearty but lighter cauliflower. Most of the ingredients for this dish can be found in a grocery store, but make sure you use rice wine, not rice wine vinegar. Be careful not to overcook the cauliflower and do try to serve this dish right away, as the moisture in the cauliflower can cause the sauce to become too liquidy.

— Amanda Frederickson

5 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice wine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons sugar

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 head cauliflower, steam removed and cut into small florets

2 dried red chiles, or more to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts

Fresh cilantro, for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of the rice wine. Whisk in the cornstarch to dissolve and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine, the hoisin sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Set aside.

In a large cast-iron fry pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower to the wok and cook until it begins to soften and brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the cauliflower to the bowl with the corn starch mixture. Stir well to coat the cauliflower.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan, add the chiles, and fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the chiles from the pan to a small bowl and set aside. Return the cauliflower to the pan, draining any excess marinade. Cook the cauliflower until it is browned and fork-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, green onions, ginger, and peanuts and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, drizzle in the remaining soy sauce mixture, and toss well. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.

— From “The Staub Cookbook: Modern Recipes for Classic Cast Iron” by Amanda Frederickson (Ten Speed Press, $32.50)

Lemongrass Tempeh Crumbles

When my husband saw this on the counter, he mistook it for caramelized porky crumbles. Yes, they look alike, but these crumbles are vegan, with a citrusy and spicy edge. Tempeh isn’t a Viet ingredient, but I’ve used it in banh mi, pho and here to mimic meat. When crumbled into small pieces in this recipe, tempeh absorbs the seasonings well and fries up nicely. Whether made from meat or tempeh, these sorts of crumbles are used the same way — to mix into and season rice, kind of like a condiment. Add a side of radish and carrot pickle for refreshing crunch and tang. The crumbles will keep, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to three days (though they never last long in my house) and are good scooped up with tortilla chips. For the best flavor, use old-school all-soybean tempeh, such as Westsoy and Lifelight brands, available at many health food markets; tempeh made with grains lack the umami depth of the traditional kind. When fresh lemongrass is unavailable, substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons lemongrass paste.

— Andrea Nguyen

1/2 cup coarsely chopped lemongrass (from 2 large stalks)

1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic

1/4 cup coarsely chopped shallot

Rounded 1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sriracha, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, Maggi Seasoning sauce or soy sauce

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil

8 ounces tempeh, broken into thumbnail-size chunks

1 teaspoon raw or toasted sesame seeds (optional)

2 green onions, green part only, cut into rings

Fine sea salt

1 small English or 2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced (optional)

In a small food processor, whirl the lemongrass to finely chop. Add the garlic and shallot and process until everything is minced, pausing to scrape down the sides as needed; set aside. (If you don’t have a small food processor, grate the lemongrass stalks and mince the garlic and shallot.) In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, sriracha, Bragg Liquid Aminos (or Maggi Seasoning Sauce or soy sauce) and water. Set the seasoning liquid aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the canola oil. Add the lemongrass mixture and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until fragrant and no longer raw smelling. Add the tempeh and seasoning liquid, turn the heat to medium-high, and let the mixture bubble and fry for about 10 minutes. At first, press on the tempeh to break it into smaller pieces (ideally, separate into individual soybeans) to maximize flavor and crisping. When satisfied, leave the tempeh to sizzle, giving it an occasional stir and then spreading it out to cover the bottom of the pan so it cooks evenly.

Toward the end of the 10 minutes, when some of the tempeh is golden brown, add the sesame seeds (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes longer to brown the tempeh further. The mixture will feel lighter under the weight of your spatula. When most of the tempeh is golden brown, remove from the heat, stir in the green onions, and let rest for 5 minutes to deepen in flavor. Taste and, if needed, add salt, a pinch at a time.

Serve the tempeh warm or at room temperature, with the cucumber, if desired. If diners want more heat, pass additional sriracha. Serves 4.

Some tips on preparing the lemongrass:

When dealing with lemongrass, remember this: You can’t chew what you can’t chop. To trim a stalk, chop off the green, woody top section and the tough base. Remove loose or dry outer layers. The usable section will be 4 to 8 inches long, depending on the stalk size. To chop a trimmed stalk, cut it into 4-inch sections, halve each lengthwise, cut crosswise into half circles, then chop to the desired texture. If you like, whack the stalk with a meat mallet or heavy saucepan to break up the fibers before cutting. You can reduce knife work by grating the stalk with a rasp grater such as a Microplane; chop pieces that eventually splay open. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemongrass for every 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass. Feel free to apply this 3:4 ratio when subbing frozen minced lemongrass (see below) or store-bought lemongrass paste for freshly chopped lemongrass.

For advance prep, freeze trimmed stalks in a zipper-top bag for up to 3 months. Or, chop the stalks into 1/4-inch pieces and then blitz in a processor, 1 cup at a time, to a fine texture. Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil and pulse to combine. Freeze in a storage container for up to 3 months.

— From “Vietnamese Food Any Day: Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors: A Cookbook” by Andrea Nguyen (Ten Speed Press, $24.99)