This One Ingredient Totally Changed How I Make Guacamole

You probably already have this spicy condiment, and it instantly upgrades the game day dip.

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February 11, 2022

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Photo by: Heath Goldman

Heath Goldman

Guacamole might be one of those dishes to which the cliché adage applies: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I remember when the New York Times published a guacamole recipe that contained peas, and Twitter, Obama included, erupted in anger. I’ve tried various guacamole hacks, including mixing in chopped pistachios for je ne sais quoi delicious flavor or mayonnaise for creaminess, and I’ve concluded that classic guac is best. But recently, when I stirred in a dash of chili crisp, I changed my mind.

The savory, crunchy, spicy Chinese condiment might not seem like it belongs in guacamole. But my favorite brand of chili crisp, Mr. Bing, is so darn tasty — herbaceous almost, full of sweet and salty notes — that I look for any vehicle with which to eat it. The branding, in fact, encourages consumers to cook with it in unexpected ways. So, when making guac one day, I just so happened to fold in some chili crisp and stopped in my tracks. Rather than overwhelm the avocado flavor, the chili crisp rounded it out with savory spice.

Now chili crisp is my go-to way to achieve flavorful, balanced and impressive guacamole in less than five minutes. It provides a solution to a couple *serious* guac-related conundrums:

1. The back and forth tasting and adjusting. Even when I follow a recipe to a "t" I taste and adjust the guacamole with more salt, lime, jalapeno — you name it — several times until it’s perfectly balanced. I also enlist at least one other person to taste it. Every good guac chef knows that the second designated taster is inherent to the process.

When you stir chili crisp into your guacamole, it instantly adds balanced umami to the dip. Just like that, the guacamole is finished.

2. Chopping up jalapenos and having spicy hands the rest of the night. Spicy guac is a must for me but slicing jalapenos is mildly annoying. Sometimes, I want to make guacamole spontaneously and don’t have a jalapeno. And when I do have one, I dislike chopping them with bare hands. Despite handwashing, that spicy residue seems to cling, and I forget and touch my eyes.

Conveniently, chili crisp has tons of heat built in (most brands are made from proprietary blends of dried chiles). Add some, and there’s no need to mess around with jalapenos.

If you’re wondering how to make chili crisp guacamole, I assure you, the process is simple: stir some in to taste.

Photo by: Heath Goldman

Heath Goldman

Chili Crisp Guacamole

  1. Make your favorite guacamole recipe, omitting the jalapeno. Mash up the avocados, stir in the cilantro and lime juice and season it with a tad less salt than you normally would.
  2. Transfer the guacamole to a serving bowl.
  3. Fold in the chili crisp. For every two avocados, I like to use 1 tablespoon of chili crisp (though feel free to scale up or down depending on your heat tolerance). Drizzle the chili crisp over the top of the serving bowl, then stir it just a few times until it’s strewn in pockets but not thoroughly incorporated (or else the guac will turn green-brown).

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