Tinola is Filipino comfort food and perfect for cooler weather. This hearty chicken soup features a gingery broth that is so warming and smells amazing! Each bowl contains a whole piece of chicken and tender chunks of green papaya; a scoop of steamed rice is read more
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
It’s time we settled the old Hellman’s vs Miracle Whip debate once and for all; Japanese mayo is the best mayo hands down. Richer, thicker, and with more yolky goodness than its American counterparts, it is essential to this Roasted Sesame Dressing. (And this Potato Salad too!) Japanese mayo has a mild, sweet tang from rice vinegar, and its thickness makes it a perfect addition to dips (try it with Fried Chicken) and dressings. You can find it in the international aisle of well stocked grocery stores, or in Asian markets and online. Kewpie brand is the original but there are a bunch of knock offs that taste identical.
Once you have the world’s best mayo, you can make a batch of this Roasted Sesame Dressing and use it enhance everything from simple salads, coleslaw, or use it as a dip for veggies. All kidding aside though, you don’t have to go out and buy another mayonnaise. This dressing has so much flavor that using what you have in the fridge is just fine.
Making Roasted Sesame Dressing
This roasted dressing is what I would equate to Japan’s version of Ranch dressing. It’s everywhere and every salad dressing/sauce brand has their own version. It’s creamy, deeply sesame flavored, and goes with so many more things besides salad. Like ranch, you can use it as a dip for all kinds of fried goodies, top it on some grilled veggies, or use it to baste simple roast chicken. And it has so much more flavor! Move over ranch, a new player is here.
Whipping up this dressing couldn’t be more simple. It gets its depth of flavor from freshly roasted sesame seeds, and pantry essentials like rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. I start by toasting the sesame seeds, even if they are already roasted. (If you can get your hands on raw unhulled sesame seeds, it’s even better.) Nothing beats the flavor and fragrance of freshly toasted seeds. This takes just a few minutes.
Roasted Sesame Dressing keeps well for a week. Just keep it in the fridge and give it a stir before you drizzle in on salads, veggies, even sandwiches.
Try this easy dressing and let me know what you think. Rate and comment on the recipe and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup japanese mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce*
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 large clove garlic finely minced
- Place the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat.
- Lightly toast them for 3-5 minutes until they are a golden color and fragrant.
- Place them in a mortar and grind them coarsely. (Alternatively, you can also place the sesame seeds in a heavy duty plastic zip top bag, squeeze out all of the air, and crush the seeds by using a rolling pin until you have the right ground texture.)
- Brush the sesame seeds out of the mortar and into a bowl.
- Add the mayonnaise, sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic. Mix well.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. Roasted Sesame Dressing keeps well for a week. Stir before using.
*to make this gluten free be sure to use a GF soy sauce
*use a vegan mayonnaise to make a vegan friendly version
*if you can find unhulled sesame seeds, you are such a lucky person and I envy you! Toast the sesame seeds exactly the same way but for several minutes longer until they are a medium golden color. They should be very fragrant. Turn the heat down a little if you see the sesame seeds getting too dark.
Keywords: dressing, salads, healthy, japanese, summer, sesame