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11 strange ways Malaysians get the PEDAS out of their mouths

but wait theres moreMalaysians are no stranger to anything pedas la, let’s be honest. We grew up eating sambal ikan bilis, almost all the hawker dishes are served with cili padi, and our international fast food restaurants even automatically provide us with cilisos! (Which, btw, isn’t a norm overseas as they only serve tomatosos.)

So when Maggi came to us with their new product – Maggi Letup (‘Goreng Kari Berasap’ & ‘Kari Cili Api’) – and told us that it’s ‘pedas meletup’, we were kinda skeptical.


Sure or not, Maggi meletup?? 

To be honest, our first thought was that it’s purely a marketing gimmick. Mass product lar, where can so spicy one? (Sorry Maggi, we’re just being honest k.) But then our editor tried it…

editor eats

K, we did NOT see that coming. It was surprisingly quite meletup, both the dry and the soup versions!

We also found out that Maggi Letup is made with pure extracts of dried chillies and curry spices, so that’s why it made us sweat just as much as our favourite roadside kari laksa. (Which, by the way, is the one on Batu Tiga, Jalan Ipoh!) And we immediately had an idea for this sponsored article – why not ask our readers about their own special ways to cure the pedas in their mouths?

Looking at the answers, some of them were kinda ‘macam yes’ (a.k.a. questionable). And because we’re research freaks, we decided to try some of them ourselves 😀 Kk enough sponsored message. Now to the pedas cures!!

Disclaimer: What works for these flers may not work for you, so if it doesn’t work if you try it, err… like this lor 🙁 


1. Eat a cube of belacan

“Take a few small cubes of belacan (raw or grilled) mix it with hot rice (or take it as it is) and gobble it down quickly. It works every time for me! After eating a handful of cili padi with rice or Maggi mee I mix it with belacan. Works like a charm!” – Azie Damiri

Unedited image taken from

Unedited image taken from

Who would’ve thought this stinky brown shrimp paste could be any more amazing?! For those who don’t know, belacan is like one of the most iconic things in Malaysian cuisine… coincidentally also the smelliest next to durians. It’s used in many dishes, with sambal belacan being the most common.

So what does Google tell us about belacan as a pedas-cure? Nothing, even with all sorts of keywords. All we got were a bunch of recipes for sambal belacan, fried rice and kangkung. -___-

Anyway, we’re not convinced by Azie’s claim. We try it out ourselves, featuring Angelyn our new intern 😀

belacan test 1

“Even before consuming it, the lingering shrimp paste scent was a turn off. We all know belacan is an acquired taste, and to have it raw… the thought of it is nastehhh. Eating and chewing wasn’t as bad as expected. Salty beyond words yes, and it reminded me of the salted egg yolk in mooncakes, like the really dry and almost-stale yolks.

I was distracted momentarily from the spicy sensation that was burning in my mouth, on my lips, and stomach. It was nasteh, but not good enough to reduce the spiciness so I noped out of the scene for a glass of milk kthxbai.” – Angelyn, new CILISOS intern 

By then the guys in our office wanted to kepoh, so our editor and writer tried Azie’s claim themselves:

belacan test 2

“It smelled so bad but it tasted even worse, like something dying but it’s something really salty dying. Uihua took another bite because he’s a freak but I had to spit it out.

Whether or not it worked against the spiciness, yeah it did… but only because it was so disgusting and distracting.” – Chak


2. Drink milk, yogurt or lassi

“A glass of milk or a cup of yogurt will the job.” – Eric Liew 

Ok ugaiz… this was like the most popular answer we received! But we picked Eric cos he was the earliest k, fair play la 🙂

drink milk

There’s more to dairy than strong bones and teeth, but just cross your fingers that you ain’t lactose intolerant, cos strong bones doesn’t mean strong bekside yo. But… what if you don’t have milk or yogurt?

“Best solution. Believe me this would work. Just drink some condensed milk.” – Paartiban Paneerselvam

Wonderful image from

Wonderful image from

If you wanna know why these milky treats work, IFLScience explains that it’s because milk contains casein, a substance that has a detergent effect on capsaicin (the active ingredient in chilli which irritates your eyes, lungs, skin etc.), just like how soap has on grease. It’s important to note that capsaicin is not water-soluble, but rather fat-soluble. They also said: the milk has to be from a mammal (i.e. cow, goat) as coconut milk doesn’t have casein. Read more here.

But actually right… we’ve been told that soya bean milk works too. In fact, once we were halfway dying while eating the Chilli Rush Challenge Level chicken wings. We were asked to drink some soya bean milk and found that it resuscitated us pretty instantly. Syukurlah CILISOS masih hidup.


3. Chew on (some really gross) mint leaves

“Chew on mint leaves lor” – Michelle Phoon

Ok lor. But actually, when we tried looking online for some answers, it seems like chewing mint leaves is more commonly used for stomach upsets from indigestion and gas. So… can this soothe one’s burning, volcanified tongue? We try:

mint test

“Mint really did the trick. The minute I started chewing, the coolness took over the spiciness. It was like Antartica swallowed Hades and put out its fire. Instantaneous effect!

But one problem… chewing mint right after eating is waaaay gross wei! I felt like gagging. It’s nothing like chewing gum. It was just plain gross-never again-gross!!” – Jolyn

Also, cool thing to learn, didja know that the cooling effect of mint is actually nature’s way of conning you? For the technical explanation watch this video, but for now mental_floss explains: that woah-so-cool-so-fresh feeling is just a thermal illusion, kinda like how hot water sometimes feels cold!


4. Suck on something sweet

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, untunglah you. Another popular answer we received was… sugar!

look at all the candy

“Make a concentrated sugar solution and make it into ice cubes. Take some each time you need a ‘cure’.. 1 or 2 cubes will be enough, you will be looking for plain water after that :p” – Manee Eh Qurut

Umm… sure or not??? Well, it actually makes sense if you think about it. According to Greatist, the Scoville scale (which measures levels of spiciness – cili padi is from 100,000–225,000 SHU) is actually based on the amount of sugar water needed to dilute a chilli. Although they also noted that it doesn’t work using water, soda or beer, we have a hero here:

“Drink some cold sweet ice water (eg. ribena,orange juice, apple juice) . Then lie down on ur bed for the rest of your life.” – Martin Chiang

But be warned: Food site CHOW says that heat will creep back at yer mouth when the sugar (in their case, a candy) fully dissolves, but it’s still a lifesaver if you don’t have milk with you.

5. Eat chocolate!!!

This bird knows what it's like. Screencap from Jack & Jill

This bird knows what it’s like. Screencap from Jack & Jill

“I have my own method..first wipe your poor tongue with a piece of tissue..then soothe it with a cool milk chocolate bar or a white chocolate bar. That way, i get both hot and cold guilty pleasures to make my day!” – Ken Robert 

As if our day couldn’t get any better. Chocolate may fatten the crap out of you, but who cares about that when your mouth feels like the sun…

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the high fat content in chocolate will help remove the capsaicin from the mouth since it’s actually fat-soluble. Plus, milk chocolate is apparently better than dark chocolate cos it’s got more fat and casein content. Woohoo!

6. Eat an egg yolk

“The egg yolk from a half-boiled egg works for me. If critical, then use a raw egg. I have never been that desperate.” – E Lye

We also tried to Google scientific evidence to back this cure up, but…

y u no appear

Not a fire-breathing cure in sight

But what we do know is that egg yolk has an impressive portfolio as Best Friend to All Mankind. While there’s been an ongoing debate about whether or not egg yolks are healthier as opposed to egg whites (cos cholesterol, duh), studies have shown that this soft, yellow goodness can reduce risks of stroke and heart diseases, improve eyesight, assist in weight-loss and muscle-building (cos, protein) and more. Read more here, here and here.

21 Malaysian commenters on Facebook – which one are you?

So since we couldn’t find an exact reference to how it helps with pedasness, we had to try it out ourselves.

egg test

“I boiled the egg first coz I had not guts to swallow raw egg yolk. Ain’t no way I was risking salmonella for this. (But it turned out 1/2 hard 1/2 soft so… yay us?)  So anyways, how did the egg yolk work? Like a charm… in adding flavour to the spiciness that is!

It didn’t actually relieve the spiciness, it just made it yummier. Err, and I suppose you could say it distracted my taste buds from full blown spiciness, so it kinda, sorta works? Just not as effectively as chewing mint, as far as relieving spiciness goes.” – Jolyn


7. Make it worse

“Gargle and rinse you mouth with Listerine (the original ones that makes your tongue numb).” – Michael Lee

What the…! Who’d do that?!

“Just eat more chillies to kill the heat.. :D” – Albert Ong 

MORE CHILLIES?! WHAT IS THIS WEI?! Ok maybe these Albert and Michael fellas have Jupiter-sized bebolas la…

So obviously this is some mad unorthodox method, so we decided to put it to the test. Fight fire with fire? Caaaan. *checks bebolas* Ok lesgo. We started with an alcohol-based mouthwash, cos y’know, don’t wanna KO just yet.

listerine test

This method works, but whether or not you should use it depends on your personality type. Imagine the sensation of spiciness together with the prickling sting of an alcohol-based mouthwash. Yeah, it actually makes it worse .___. The good news is that once the sting goes away (in about 10 seconds or so after you spit), the spiciness is gone as well.” – Uihua

And then we levelled up and tried the chilli…

chilli test

“I’m honestly surprised that it worked. No question. In fact, it worked so well that the sides of my mouth which didn’t kena the chili juice had a significantly longer and more noticeable sensation of spiciness. I give this method 5/5.” – Uihua

“I was just waiting for Uihua to start regretting his actions, but after he said it worked like a charm, I wanted to kepoh and see if it actually works. And OMG IT WORKS! I thought I’d be suffering! But I doubt we’ll have the same effect if we used cili padi instead…” – Lydia

8. Drink hot water

“The best working method for me is drinking hot water or hot Chinese tea. Not too hot like boiling water though, hot enough for you to swallow it down. Lukewarm water will not work.” – Kenny Ong

………. oi Kenny you ok ar?! Oredi kena bakar still wanna bakar again, you Indonesian tree issit?? #jk #treeswherecantalk

Unedited photo from

Nothing. Sorry. Unedited photo from

While we couldn’t find specific info online on how hot water soothes chilli burn, we’re guessing it could be cos hot water generally (and very modestly) breaks down oil and fats so maaaaybe it can break down whatever layer of spiciness in the mouth? Whatever, we try ourselves la:

hot water test

“Errr nope nope nope and NOPE. I took a big sip and swished it around my mouth, but it was pure torture. I even started tearing! It went from pedas to holey-crap-my-mouth-is-on-fire in a second.

Then Uihua told me to gargle with mouthwash. I barely hesitated – which felt really dumb at the start cos it burned even more – but once I spat it out, I felt sooo sejuk and refreshed. Like a polar bear diving into the Arctic ocean.” – Lydia

Although it didn’t work for us, seems that people have sworn by gargling warm water in their mouth (then spitting it out) to dilute and remove the spices coating their tongue. Whichever way, hot or warm water, we ain’t tryin this again yo!


9. Kiss an ice cube

Not this one tho... Unedited image from

Not this one tho… Unedited image from

“One ice cube 2-3 tissue papers. I would clam my lips together like a clam, wrap the ice cube with tissues, rub my lips with it like you’re applying the sexiest lipstick in the world. Honestly it always becomes worst so my lips will look swollen after rubbing HAHAHAHHAHA and then call mama for help” – Amelia Lim

Yeaaaah…. Ice cubes are a familiar help since they’re served everywhere, but have you noticed that it only relieves the burn but doesn’t get rid of the spiciness? Anyway, just make sure you don’t end up looking like this:

And you can actually BUY these sosej lips! Click to view product

P/S: You can actually BUY these sosej lips! Click to view product


10. Let your air liur meleleh a.k.a. Be Super Gross


“Go to the toilet.. open ur mouth and let your saliva flow from your mouth.. it will help to reduce the spicesness.” – Norhidayah Ismail

Ok, this we haven’t heard, but apparently someone else kinda has:

“When you eat something pedas, your saliva will make it hotter. You can just stop swallowing your saliva and the pedas will balik kampung.” – Justin Kuan

How does this work? Well, we found this post on a forum for chilli freaks, which explained that increased saliva production is our body’s defense to exterminate intruders (i.e. capsaicin!). One guy commented that neither milk nor yogurt nor ice cream helped, but when he drooled it out, he felt so much better – as though the saliva was carrying the capsaicin away!


11. Distract yourself

These two memang champion la.

“If nothing else works, grab your tummy with both hands and start shaking it like a protein shake. you’d definitely not feel pedas anymore after you finish wiping vomit off the floor.” – Darren Ben

We actually agree with this logic, and because there is no scientific backup for distractions as pedas cures, we tested it out… by trying to induce vomit thru the power of rock. Keyword, try.

“Okay, I didn’t get to read the actual instructions but I was supposed to shake till I threw up (versus the two-finger diet). Perhaps due to the lack of a gag reflex which made me very popular in school, I failed to induce puking.

Unless the distraction of a massive headache from all that jumping around is the actual cure, I’m gonna say this method doesn’t work.”Uihua

For the record: it was REALLY scary filming this because Uihua got into character (he does theatre on the side) and was headbanging like some siaolang. Buuuut if you’re not so keen on vomitting and shaking yourself, may we interest you in this consolation-prized entry?

“This is ‘The Secret’ I discovered by chance when my tongue caught on chilli fire. I rushed to the kitchen in search of the common H2O cure when my toe kicked against a cabinet corner. An immediate nuclear explosion took place, with an overwhelming pain that made me suddenly realized, I couldn’t feel the spiciness anymore! So the theory is that it takes a greater force to distract and divert the attention of your brain from a smaller impact!

Of course, there are other better ways to distract yourself from the spiciness other than bodohly inflict more pain:

1. Place a live tarantula on your neck

2. Watch Nicki Minaj’s Stupid Hoe two inches from the screen

3. Rewatch Lion King scene where Mufasa fell

4. Google image Trypophobia

The possibilities are endless. Take that, you evil irresistible hot stuff!” – Jeremy Song

With that, he wins Most Imaginative Entry! To thank him, here’s a bad photoshop of a popular Jeremy being congratulated:

Unedited image of Jeremy from Tony Edenden/Sportsphoto Ltd.

Unedited image of Jeremy from Tony Edenden/Sportsphoto Ltd.



If none of those work out, including the one with the vomit? Well…..

*BONUS* Just embrace it, yo!

“Ultimately in my opinion, if you like (and voluntarily consume) the spice, you should embrace it. And by that, I mean just sit there and regret eating too much pedas while your mouth feels like its being blown off your face by a psycho with a flamethrower and then proceeding to stuff your face with more cili because go hard or go home. Right?” – Beverly Leong

Someone give it up for this girl right here… Enjoy the ride and make it count – if you do it enough times you’ll adjust! \m/ #hardcore #dontmess

Screenshot 2015-09-30 19.57.56

Anyway, congrats to all our pedas-lovin’ winners! You guys have won 10 packs of Maggi Letup each! (5 goreng, 5 soup) We’ll be in touch so don’t forget to check your emails. Once you collect your prizes from us, go say #tenkiuMaggi at their FB page, k? 😀 And if it burns too much and you wanna make it less pedas, perhaps you wanna try out these tricks too 🙂

The CILISOS team had a lot of chilli to eat today so we gotta go nurse certain parts of our bodies now. In the meantime, if you know any other tips to put the pedas out of your mouth, let us know in the comment section! Maybe can get them to sponsor another story… Hurhur 😛


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