I could eat tacos every day! Guacamole is one of the most important parts of the perfect taco - And SO EASY to make!
I think we can all agree that a perfectly constructed taco should include a perfect guac.
Making homemade guacamole is easy! After you try it, you will never buy the store-bought stuff again.
The rich flavor of ripe avocados with just a few basic ingredients is one of the simple pleasures in life. Making perfect guacamole is as easy as using the freshest and best ingredients from the get-go. The hardest part of making guac is picking the perfect avocados.
How to pick perfect avocado.
Picking perfectly ripe avocados is the absolute most important step in making perfect guacamole. There is a huge difference in flavor and texture when avocados are under or overripe.
First of all, an avocado should have nice looking skin. It should be slightly shiny and have a nice even dark color. Anything that looks dull or ashy definitely does not qualify.
The perfect avocado should be slightly soft, not 'smooshy.' If you hold the avocado in your hand and gently press it with you fingertips, it should give - just a little bit.
Here is a detailed article complete with fantastic photos on how to pick the perfect avocado.
Perfect Guacamole: The Basics
After you have selected the perfect avocados what next?
Leave tomatoes out until right before you serve. Your guacamole should only have tomatoes are they are perfectly ripe and delicious.[/caption]
Salt and Lime
This is where the true magic happens. Avocados need the right amount of salt and lime to balance out their rich fats. Tasting is really important to getting a feel for the correct amount of salt and acid - don't be shy. Taste as you season.
Adding the correct amount of salt is crucial. DO NOT use iodized salt, I dare say, EVER! The flavor of iodized salt is just not what you want in food. Up your salt game and find a beautiful Himalayan salt or a nice gray sea salt. Start out with a good-sized teaspoon of salt and then do some tasting. Add more salt until it's just right. The flavor will go from bland to bright - and you'll know you've got it right.
Lime juice is the next critical element to perfect guac. I usually use about half of a tablespoon of lime juice per avocado. Again, this is a give or take. You want enough lime juice so that there is a balance of acidity and fat. But, you don't want your guac to taste lime-y. Again, the trick is to make sure you taste along the way!
The next elements of perfect guacamole are the aromatics. For guacamole; onions, cilantro, and jalapeños are the main aromatics used. No garlic, you ask? I don't use garlic in my guacamole. The competing flavors of garlic and onion can be distracting. I also use white onion because I like the fresh, crisp flavor of white onions in Mexican food.
Cilantro is highly controversial. People are either lovers or haters of this humble herb. I happen to be a major cilantro lover. As a result, I like a lot of fresh cilantro in my guac. Adjust the amount of cilantro to your own taste. Or...you can leave out. I will be really sad if you do; but I'll understand. Some of my best friends hate cilantro, too.
I will sometimes add a little bit of dried coriander to my guacamole if my avocados are on the blander side. Fresh, ripe avocados have enough flavor to stand on their own; however depending on the season, sometimes the flavor is just a little flat. Dried coriander gives it just a little flavor boost. (Coriander is dried cilantro seed. So if you are a hater, forego this as well.)
Jalapeños come in all sizes and varieties. I typically use two good-sized jalapeños. I like it spicy. Adjust the amount of jalapeño to your own preference.
A note on tomatoes
I like fresh tomatoes in my guac. However, mealy un-ripe tomatoes have no place here. If you can't find amazing, ripe, and flavorful tomatoes...leave them out.
Also, make sure to remove as much liquid from the tomatoes as you can. Dice them and then set them in a strainer for about 10 minutes to let the majority of liquid run off.
If you're making guacamole that will be stored or taken to a party, wait until the last minute to add the tomatoes. (The salt in the guacamole will continue to pull water out of the tomatoes and you'll end up with a runny mess. You definitely don't want your guacamole getting watery!)
How to keep guacamole from turning brown.
NERD ALERT: The act of oxidation is what turns our bright green friend brown. Oxidation happens in the presence of air. To keep your guac as green as possible, reduce its contact with air. You can do this by storing it in something that's taller rather than flatter. Also, add a layer of plastic wrap and press it into the top layer of the guacamole to ensure there is very little air contact.
Another trick that I use is to save my avocado pits and add them back to my guacamole. Just place them on the top, and pull them off before you serve. I'm not actually sure if this is one of those old wives' tale sorts of methods, but it does seem to work.
Check out our other recipes that NEED guacamole!
- Tequila Lime Fish Taco Beast Bowl
- Steak and Sweet Potato Fries Beast Bowl
- Char-Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Salsa Fresca
- Carne Asada Tacos
The Best Homemade Guacamole
- Half the avocados and scoop out the flesh. Place them in a medium bowl.
- Mash the avocados until smooth but still a little bit chunky. (I usually use a fork.)
- Add the diced onions, lime, salt, and pepper. Test the salt and lime content, adjust if needed.
- Add the cilantro and the peppers. Mix in.
- Tomatoes: If you're using tomatoes finely dice, drain as much liquid off as possible. Mix in just prior to serving.