Guacamole is one of those recipes that, to some North Americans, may be seen as an expensive burrito add-in at Chipotle or a staple for Super Bowl and cinco de mayo parties. (Please don’t get me started on cinco de mayo parties.)
I majored in Spanish in college and was involved in a student organization for Spanish speakers, native and non, with most members hailing from Latin America. I also spent a couple summers in Ecuador in college, so any excuse during the school year to hang out with Spanish speakers in North Dakota of all places was a big deal for me. This organization did so much together – marched through the homecoming parade, free salsa dancing lessons for students and faculty, cookouts, movies, and more.
My favorite events with friends from this group involved dancing and food, but especially making guacamole. My friends always put so much love and thought behind it, from picking out the best produce to chopping the ingredients and talking about how their moms prepared it. I did my best to internalize the way my friends’ made it, and this recipe is pretty close.
There are trillions of guacamole recipes out there, but in my opinion (and Kelvin’s), this recipe stands out!
By the way, everyone has their own way of chopping stuff, but if you want to get technical, check out my post on how to chop some of the ingredients!
The White Wong Guacamole
3-4 ripe Hass avocados*
1 tsp lime zest plus juice of one lime (use one lime for both zest and juice)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp red cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t want so much heat)
½ tsp or 1 clove minced garlic
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ chopped onion
½ seeded jalapeño or serrano pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Prepare the ingredients by peeling, chopping, and/or seeding the garlic, tomatoes, onion, pepper, and cilantro. I recommend not cutting open the avocados until after you complete the next step to maintain freshness.
Zest before you juice! Zest about half of the lime into a medium bowl. Juice the whole lime into the same bowl.
Cut open, de-pit, and roughly chop the avocados and put them into the bowl of lime zest and juice. Mix them around until all avocado pieces are coated with the juice and zest. This will help them stay green. I prefer a chunkier textured guacamole, but if you like a creamier texture, use a potato masher or molcajete (mortar and pestle) and mash until the avocados are your desired texture. The avocados will break down a bit as you mix in the rest of the ingredients, too.
Add in the sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic. Mix until evenly distributed.
Throw in the tomato, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño or serrano if using and mix all ingredients until evenly distributed.
Enjoy with tortilla chips (like us!), on toast, tacos, in a salad, or whatever may tickle your fancy.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
*There are a few ways to check the ripeness of avocados. Many sources say it’s best to remove the little stem on top and check the color underneath. Per my friends’ advice, I go by firmness. If it has a little give to it all the way around the avocado, then it should be ready. If it’s really soft, it’s likely overripe and nasty inside. If the avocado is hard with a smooth exterior, you could buy it and keep it until the exterior has a little give to it. You can also speed up the ripening process by putting the avocado(s) in a paper bag and sealing it at the top. I don’t know how or why this works; it might be a superstition or old wives’ tale, but somehow it just works!
Do you like guacamole? Do you have any recipes that go beyond just making food? Please do share!