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The Secret To Making PERFECT Guacamole
Food & Drink
It's almost a law of nature: Where there are parties, there is always guacamole. And no wonder. This classic dip has just five essential ingredients, and they combine to make an addictive mixture that pleases pretty much everyone. Perfectly ripe avocados provide an unctuous, buttery base, and a squeeze of lemon or lime adds acid that balances out the fattiness of the fruit. Jalapeños give a welcome dose of heat, and any kind of chopped allium (onion, scallion, chives) offers savory bite. Add a sprinkling of salt to wake up the flavors, and all you need is a handful of chips.
Most folks usually stop right there. But the mild richness of avocado plays well with a range of flavors, so the Epicurious Test Kitchen decided to take the beloved dip on a world tour. We combined the flavors of Mexican street corn (grilled corn kernels, queso fresco, chili powder) with our basic guacamole base, and of course it was a hit. Then we went all-American with a BLT-style combo of chopped romaine heart, ripe tomato, and crispy bacon. Pretty pomegranate, toasted pumpkin seeds, and chopped mint made a stunning Middle Eastern-inspired dip.
Many recipes include sour cream, so we tried a splash of coconut milk to add creaminess to our Thai guacamole, along with zesty grated ginger and herbaceous cilantro. Our Japanese rendition incorporates chopped edamame for texture, a touch of pungent wasabi, and drizzle of rich, nutty sesame oil. Diced cucumber, radish, and chopped dill made a fresh and bright version that tastes surprisingly Scandinavian.
CHOOSE YOUR AVOCADOS WISELY
Too many guacamoles are marred by under-ripe (or overripe) avocados. Look for uniformly black, pebbly-skinned Hass avocados that yield slightly to gentle pressure with no mushy spots. If your avocados are not quite ripe, place them in a sealed paper bag at room temperature and wait a day or two; it's worth it.
RESIST THE URGE TO OVERMIX
Guacamole can go from chunky and creamy to gluey and gloopy in a matter of seconds. Mash and stir just enough to combine the ingredients and achieve a scoopable consistency.
Guacamole is best when eaten the day it is prepared, but it can be stored overnight. To keep your guacamole from turning brown in the fridge, place it in an airtight plastic container and smooth out the surface. Pour a little water on top to cover the exposed dip. Cover with plastic wrap and seal with the lid. When ready to serve, pour out the water and give it a stir. If you are making guacamole with toppings like crispy bacon, you'll want to add them just before serving.
THINK OUTSIDE THE CHIP
Serve other dippers like whole grain or rice crackers, pita, sliced cucumber, or crudité, depending on what flavor profiles have inspired you.