I think it’s hilarious how much guac is misunderstood. The best guac isn’t complicated, and it’s definitely not hard to make well. It’s a humble little dish, with a handful of complimentary ingredients that join hands and SING in a brilliant symphony of chunky, tangy goodness.
There are two (maybe three) secrets to making exceptional guacamole:
- Use perfectly ripe avocados.
- Don’t add any nonsense.
- Chop onions, jalapeños, and cilantro neatly and evenly.
- Salt and lime appropriately.
- Don’t over-mash.
Okay, so 5 secrets. They’re all equally important. Allow me to explain:
- Use perfectly ripe avocados.Without ripe (or with overripened) avocados, your guac will flop. I’d recommend buying almost-ripe avocados a few days in advance, letting them ripen on the counter, and then sticking them in the fridge until you’re ready to guac-ify them. If you need a ripe avocado ASAP, remove the little nub where the stem used to be. Use this trick to determine whether the avocado you’re buying is perfectly ripe or too ripe.
- Don’t add any nonsense. You’ll see “guacamole seasoning” packets in the grocery store. Give them to your worst enemy. Guacamole needs 1 seasoning: salt. The rest of the ingredients speak for themselves. Put it down.
- Chop onions and jalapeño neatly and evenly. If you don’t know how to chop an onion evenly, here’s your opportunity to learn. It might take a couple tries, but it’s a very valuable skill in the kitchen. Even chopping = even cooking. Of course, you don’t cook guac, but even chopping = even flavor distribution (and pretty guac). To chop a jalapeño, slice off the top and bottom, slice it in half length-wise, scoop out the seeds and white part, then lay it into a flat strip. Cut thin slices, and then chop those into tiny squares. Ta-da!
- Salt and lime appropriately. Learn to add each of these a little at a time, tasting as you go, until you find the delicate balance between the acidity of the lime and the saltiness of the… salt.
- Don’t over-mash. Chunky guac is the best guac. To ensure proper chunkiness, place all your ingredients in a large bowl, and then start to mash it together. Don’t pre-mash your avocados, because you’ll do plenty of mashing when you’re mixing it all together.
Learn to make a good guac, and you up your cool factor by at least 7 points. Here’s my go-to recipe, to enjoy at your next fiesta. Happy Friday! Enjoy.
2 ripe Haas avocados
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 fresh jalapeño, small-diced
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
- Cut avocados in half and squish them out into a large bowl. Add your diced red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and half of the lime juice, and a pinch of salt.
- Mix together gently, then add salt and more lime juice to taste. Be gentle when you mix, to ensure you aren’t turning your guac into a big pile of mush. Serve with anything your heart desires. (I recommend my 10-minute taco salad, or on top of a simple grilled flank steak. Or a big pile of nachos. #yolo)