I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are read more
Category: Small Plates
One of my favorite things to do is to take a classic dish and add an unexpected twist. This Spicy Guacamole is an especially fun one. It looks like the regular dip we all love, but one bite and you know this is no ordinary guac. My Asian twist is a little spicy with from fresh Thai chilis, zesty with the scallions and cilantro, and lime juice adds citrusy pop. But it’s the dollop of fish sauce that adds a surprising blast of umami. It’s just as easy and fast to make as regular guacamole, but it’s so much more exciting, so let’s get into it.
Making Spicy Guacamole
Great guac starts with great avocados. We are in the middle of our avocado season here in Florida, and I have access to really great ones from my friends at LNB Grovestand. I love how many different varieties they grow. Usually the season starts in July and if we’re lucky and there’s a long season, we’ll still have them in January.
Although Florida avocados have a bad rep for being watery and less dense than Haas avocados, I would say that not all Florida avocados are the same; some of them are just as creamy and rich as the Haas varietal. At the same time, I would encourage you to embrace the good with the bad. Sure some of them are watery, but they also have a sweet vegetal flavor that’s just as enjoyable in its own way. Plus they’re much fresher than imported avocados, offer great value, and have not been affected by the scorching heat waves in Mexico. Pick up some Florida avocados people 😉
Florida avocados are huge, so if you have access to them you’ll only need one. If using the Hass varietal, you’ll need 2-3 depending on the size. Pick avocados that are heavy and firm, ripening them on your kitchen counter for a couple days. If you buy already soft avocados from the grocery store, you run the risk that some will be overly ripe and brown inside.
Now I just mix it really well and season to taste with salt and pepper. This takes less salt normally than traditional guacamole because the fish sauce is salty, plus I factor in the salt level of the chips I will be serving with it.
This spicy guacamole LOVES being served with my Yuzu Margaritas or as a starter for these Smoked Wings! Let us know in the comments what you serve it with, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations.
- 1 Florida avocado or 2 large haas avocados
- 3 scallions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large or 1 ½ small lime
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 or 2 fresh thai bird chiles, minced (optional)
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and halve the avocado. Scoop the flesh out with a spoon and place in a medium bowl. Discard the seed and skin.
- Mash the avocado coarsely with a potato masher or a fork.
- Cut the lime in half and juice it over the avocados.
- Trim the scallions and chop fine. Add it to the bowl along with the minced garlic, fish sauce, thai bird chiles, cilantro, and ground black pepper.
- Combine with a fork and then taste. Adjust with a little salt or ground pepper as needed.
- Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the guacamole. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve spicy guacamole with tortilla chips, rice crackers, or shrimp chips.
Keywords: avocado, guacamole, spicy, appetizers, party food, pan asian
Watermelon Rind Kimchi? Well, I love watermelon. We eat an embarrassing amount in our house. We even used to have watermelon eating contests…and not even as a fun thing to do with our kids. Just me and my husband, don’t judge. But with copious amounts of watermelon, comes copious amounts of watermelon rind. Seeing the inside of the garbage can made me feel a little guilty. So I took some inspiration from the South and came up with this Watermelon Rind Kimchi. This quick crunchy side dish is perfect as an Asian condiment but equally at home on a summer table with BBQ, grilled foods, and other hot weather eats.
So next time you cut up a watermelon, don’t throw out that rind! This Watermelon Rind Kimchi adds bright, spicy sweet flavor to anything it touches. Cutting down on food waste has never been so easy and delicious…
Making Watermelon Rind Kimchi
Watermelon Rind Pickles are a Southern tradition. They are made in the same way that you might pickle cucumbers- using a salt brine with vinegar and classic pickling spices. My version takes a detour through Korea, adding gochugaru, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. This is not a traditional kimchi by any means but has many of the same flavors. It’s more like a mashup between kimchi and a pickle. You know how I love a good mashup! I start by prepping the watermelon rind.
It’s important to cut enough of the outer skin off so you don’t have tough pieces that are hard to chew. There’s plenty of rind on a watermelon, so don’t be afraid to skin a little more deeply than usual. Also, depending on how much watermelon flesh is left on the rind, your pickle will be a little more sweet or a little more savory. I love the color contrast and I’m also one of those who cuts out only the reddest part of the watermelon, so my rind is always very colorful.
Now it’s time to make the dressing. This is a quick little vinaigrette using familiar ingredients. It shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes to whip up.
I like to serve this watermelon rind kimchi with anything that could use a little blast of acidity. Try it as a side with some simply grilled fish, Omusubi Rice Balls or Korean Fried Chicken. Honestly I love to just snack on them right from the fridge, they are so refreshing!
Give them a try and let me know what you think. You can rate and comment on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your beautiful food pictures @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 2 1/2 pounds watermelon rind, about ¼ of watermelon with the red edible flesh removed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gocharu)
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Peel the outside skin off of the watermelon. Cut the rind into 1 inch thick pieces. Cut the rind “sticks” into ½ inch cubes. You should have about 6 ½ cups of cubes.
- Put the watermelon in a storage container. Add salt and toss to combine.
- Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, sesame seeds, and black pepper together in a cup and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Pour the mixture over the watermelon cubes, and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours and then toss again.
- Let the watermelon rind kimchi marinate for at least 4 hours before serving though it is best the next day. It will last in the fridge for about 1 week. Serve cold.
Keywords: kimchi, watermelon rind, korean, condiments, pickles