Basic Guacamole {recipe} and a Culinary Confession

Basic Guacamole - with avocado, lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and jalapeno
No doubt, at least one person will be bringing guacamole to your barbecue this weekend. If not someone else, then it’s on you because a BBQ is not a BBQ without guacamole, even if you’re serving a food that seemingly has nothing to do with guacamole. No one will not eat a burger, steak or even grilled lobster with a little guacamole smeared onto it.

You think I’m kidding? Try it. Serve sushi this weekend. Or Korean barbecue. Or even a Boeuf Bourguignon. If you put guacamole out on the table, it will get eaten.

Unless there are tomatoes in it.

See, we never understood the addition of tomatoes to guacamole. (We never understood cilantro, either, but that’s sort of a different topic.)

If You Say Tomato, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

Our guacamole has never been tainted with the ripe red of chopped tomatoes. It has always been (and always will be, now that we’ve actually developed a very real allergy tomatoes in the last year) bright creamy green, confetti-ed with different shades of green only from jalapeno peppers, sometimes scallions, and sometimes parsley (yes, we know, totally wrong, but we can’t, just can’t eat cilantro).

Guacamole is made from avocados; salsa is made from tomatoes.

And now that we’ve gotten that off our chests…

Culinary Confessions

We have a confession to make about our guacamole.

We also use an ingredient that embarrasses us (and it’s not the substitution of parsley for cilantro). It’s not that we’re ashamed to keep the ingredients locked away in our spice cabinet, all the way in the back, dark corner where no one who happens to be guest-cooking in our kitchen might see it. No, we just don’t think anyone could really trust us if we ever admitted that one of the ingredients we use in our basic “fresh” guacamole is…

garlic powder.

Gack! We admitted! We admitted it! We can’t take it back now! Yes! We use garlic powder in our guacamole! We can’t believe we confessed!

Wow. That was strangely liberating.

We used to make guacamole with super finely minced fresh garlic which tasted great, except for those few times when we’d bite into what felt like an entire whole clove of garlic. Because let’s be real, no matter how finely you mince, no matter how hard you press the garlic with coarse sea salt into the chopping board with the side of your knife, you will inevitably have that once piece that will render one bite of guacamole as above – like you’re biting into the whole clove.

So one day when we were making guacamole, we discovered that we were out of garlic so we desperately added a generous pinch of garlic powder hoping no one would notice. The guacamole tasted good, maybe even better than usual, and because we are never out of garlic in this Korean-based kitchen, we took it as a sign from Dios that perhaps this entire lifetime, we should have been making guacamole with garlic powder.

But still, never with tomatoes.

Do you make your guacamole with something somewhat “unconventional?” What is it?

Basic Guacamole

This entire recipe will eventually depend on your taste, as in you will have to keep tasting as you go along, adding more of this or that, to make sure it tastes good to you. If you’re going to serve as a dip with chips, taste it with the chips. Some chips are a lot saltier than others, so you may need less salt in the guacamole.

Some people add chopped tomatoes to their guacamole, but did you not read the entry above?!


2 ripe large avocados
juice from half a lime
½ teaspoon finely ground garlic powder
about ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
about ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
¼ to ½ mild or sweet white onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped (obviously, normal people would use cilantro here)


Cut avocados in half lengthwise, remove pits, and scoop flesh out into a large bowl. Add lime juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then mash avocado with fork until chunky. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Add onions, jalapeno pepper, and parsley (or cilantro — gag), and stir to combine.

Serve immediately, since it doesn’t keep well at all.

However, if you have to, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole, and store in fridge. Still, I wouldn’t do this. Just make it right before you’re going to eat it. Unless, of course, you don’t want anyone to see you using putting garlic powder into your guacamole.

by Sarah J. Gim on May 29, 2011 · 19 comments

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