There are recipes we make because we have to feed our bodies, and there are recipes we make because we want to feed our memories.
While guacamole with Sriracha seems basic and simple, every time I make it, I think of my husband’s late Uncle David, his wife Lucy, and the few days we gathered in their Los Angeles kitchen in August of 2005 to remember David.
I sadly had only met David once in 2003. Tim and I had just graduated from college and were taking a two week cross-country road trip. Visiting David and Lucy in Los Angeles was our first stop. Both were avid foodies, amazing home-cooks, well-read and well-traveled, and self-described hedonists.
As a budding foodie, aspiring world-traveler, and constant fun-seeker, Tim knew I would love them. When we left their home, I assumed I would have many more chances to share a meal and swap stories with David over the years.
Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The next time we went back to their home, David had passed. Tim and I were in vacationing in Spain and didn’t make it back in time to say goodbye. When we arrived in LA for the memorial service, I was expecting a somber few days.
Instead I arrived to a scene of people preparing for the most delicious party, the way David would have wanted us to celebrate him.
Trays of Sprinkles cupcakes, perhaps one of the happiest foods on earth, decorated the breakfast table. Wine was poured and enjoyed. Lively stories of David were told.
The kitchen bustled with friends and family cooking David’s favorite foods. Lucy put me in charge of everyone’s favorite party food – festive guacamole. As I mashed the ingredients together, she asked, “You want to know my secret ingredient? It’s Sriracha.” She handed me the rooster bottle.
Remember this was 2005, years before Sriracha had reached the mainstream. David and Lucy were always way ahead of the culinary curve, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that they 1) owned this Asian condiment and 2) were already using it in non-Asian dishes. I put in a few squirts, tasted, and thought of David and how much he would have enjoyed this guacamole.
Till this day, it is the only way I make guacamole: add the Sriracha, taste, and think of David, Lucy, and those days in LA.
- Use avocados with different ripeness levels for different textures, and learn how to prep avocados, shallots, and cilantro with the videos below.
- Prevent browning by covering guacamole with a layer of saran wrap.
How to Chop Avocados
Watch this simple how-to video for chopping avocados.
How to Dice a Shallot
This short video shows you how easy it is to chop shallots, which lend a lot of flavor to your cooking.
How to Chop Parsley
Learn how to chop parsley using the 'pivot-and-fan' chopping technique with this short video.
- Garlic press – the only time I use this tool is to make guacamole. Perhaps it’s because that’s the way Lucy had me do it, but I also think the resulting crushed garlic just tastes better in the guac.
- Shallots – 1 bulb, minced
- Garlic – 2 cloves, pressed
- Avocado – 2 ripe, halved, seeded, and scooped out of skin
- Cilantro – ¼ bunch, chopped
- Limes – 1, juice of
- Sriracha – To taste
- Tortilla chips
- Using a knife, mash above ingredients together with lime juice and plenty of salt. Season to taste with Sriracha and enjoy with chips!