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Long Island restaurants that kick up the heat

This is the chicken with chili peppers at

This is the chicken with chili peppers at Yao's Diner in Centereach. (Jan. 2012) Credit: Newsday/Joan Reminick

With high heat in the forecast for the next few days, I’m thinking about the folk wisdom of fighting fire with fire. In that spirit, here are four mega-hot dishes to light you up and cool you down this weekend:

At Southern Spice in New Hyde Park, which serves the cuisine of the Chettinad region of India, the appetizer called “chicken 65” is a real firecracker. It’s made with spice- marinated boneless white meat cubes sauteed with three different peppers. $10.
Southern Spice is at 1635 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park, 516-216-5448.

The Penang chicken curry at Thai Angel in Islandia is done with homegrown chilies. Order it “Thai hot” and prepare to have your world shaken. $14.95
Thai Angel is at 1812 Veterans Hwy., Islandia, 631-348-2555.

Almost everything is pleasingly palate-searing at Yao’s Diner, a hyper-authentic Northern Chinese restaurant in Centereach. Try the sauteed sliced chicken with chili and peppers, chunks of poultry fried to a crunch and heaped with killer red chilies. $6.95.
Yao's Diner, 2503 Middle Country Rd., Centereach, 631-588-2218.

When customizing your chicken, steak, pork carnitas or vegetarian “baja bowl” ($6.95-$9.95) at Cabo Fresh in Stony Brook, ask for some habanero salsa. It’s made from freshly roasted chilies and it’s white hot.
Cabo Fresh Mexican Grill is at 2182 Nesconset Hwy. Stony Brook, 631-751-2226,

Above: Chicken with chili peppers at Yao's Diner in Centereach

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