For the most authentic guacamole recipe, we traveled straight to the source: central Mexico.
If you’re looking for a simple guacamole recipe, you’ll be happy to know that this version leaves out ingredients you might at one time thought essential. In this traditional Mexican recipe, there are no limes and no garlic. Don’t worry: You won’t miss them at all. (Read more about Milk Street's trip to central Mexico here.)
Cilantro, serrano chilies, white onion, ripe avocados and tomatoes.
First, skip unnecessary seasonings. For traditional Mexican guacamole, lime juice and garlic aren’t the only ingredients that don’t belong. Leave out any extras and stick to three seasonings: serrano chilies—seeds and all—white onion and cilantro. That’s it.
When you’re ready to get going, chop, don’t mince those three ingredients. Mincing ingredients will leave juices on the cutting board. Next, take the seasonings and mash them with salt in a bowl, not the cutting board. That’s another way to preserve all the juices—and the flavor.
Then add your avocados and mash them together with the seasoning using a fork or potato masher.
Finally, this recipes gets its acid from tomatoes, not lime juice. Acid is indeed important in guacamole, but not from lime juice. Acid should come from tomatoes, which complement the other ingredients rather than overwhelm. So stir in tomatoes, season and top with additional tomatoes and cilantro.
See here for the full recipe, including step-by-step video.
How to Store Guacamole
Store guacamole in the refrigerator in a container tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the guacamole to minimize exposure to air.
What to Do When Faced with Underripe Avocados
Chef Gabriela Cámara of Mexico City’s Contramar and San Francisco’s Cala suggests an unexpected ingredient when avocados aren't up to par. She adds a teaspoon of olive oil. “The oil helps it be more lush and unctuous,” Cámara explains. “It also helps to slow down the oxidation process, so the guacamole stays greener." See here for more.
No, the Pit Won’t Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown
The pit may shield a small portion of guacamole—the portion it’s in contact with—from browning because it’s blocking it from exposure to air. But the pit won’t prevent oxidation for the rest of the guacamole.
Colombian Avocado Salsa (Ají de Aguacate)
In Colombia, ají de aguacate—made with lime juice, vinegar and hard-cooked egg—is a fresher, tangier, creamer version of guacamole.
Mashed Avocado with Sesame and Chili
This dip is a sort of Levantine guacamole, where spices, yogurt and lemon juice add layers of earthy flavor and bright acidity to rich avocados.