Adding the heat to the Caribbean Red papayas was an assortment of peppers and chilies.
The sriracha used in the Curried Chicken and Papaya Salad is potent with only 1/2 teaspoon giving the pronounced jolt of heat. It's a Thai hot sauce made of a paste of chili peppers, vinegar and garlic. In Thailand, sriracha is popular as a dipping sauce for seafood, topping for sushi rolls and glaze for chicken wings. It may not be at your local grocer's. Besides an Asian market, you'll find this at Whole Foods.
Bird's eye chili (or bird chili) is a dried pepper used as a spice to deliver fiery zing in Filipino, Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese cuisine. It measures around 50,000-1000,000 Scoville units which is in the lower range of the hotter habanero chili. It got its name because birds like to eat it. This chili is popular in marinades and sauces for meats, poultry and seafoods. It may not be at your local grocer's. Besides an Asian market, you'll find this at Whole Foods.
For the heat in the Frozen Papaya Coconut-Rum Cocktail and the Chilled Papaya-Watermellon soup, I used habanero peppers. In Central American, pureed or in a salsa, this pepper accompanies most dishes served at meals.
For my friends who are the milder sort, I used hot cherry peppers for chili in the Frozen Papaya Coconut-Rum cocktail. These peppers have one of the lowest Scoville scale rating of any chili pepper. These peppers are juicy and a bit sweet. Rumor has it, these peppers are the secret ingredient in authentic Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches where they are sliced, grilled or sauteed with thinly sliced meat.