"Hot, medium or mild?" The answer to this critical question, especially as it relates to Southeast Asian food, boils down to peppers. Fresh or dried hot peppers add the fire to Szechwan stir-fries and soups, Thai and Indian curries, Vietnamese sauces and Korean Kimchee. And what's "hot!" in the West is more like mild or medium in the East. Even some varieties of Asian sweet or green peppers pack a little punch. In Japan, sweet peppers are delicious fried in a tempura batter or robata grilled.