Tropical Guacamole

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(Note: this post was originally published on January 26, 2020, although some additional photos were added subsequently. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

A Love Story

I'm incredibly excited to introduce you to a very special and sentimental dish: the most awesome, interesting, complexly-flavored, tropical guacamole. This Hawaiian-inspired spin on guac incorporates tropical fruit for an unexpected pop of freshness and sweetness.

This dish holds a very special place in my heart since we have it every year on our anniversary. Dave and I eloped and got married on Kaua'i, Hawaii, years ago. Each year, exactly on our anniversary, we go back to the same spot on the same beach to celebrate.

Our anniversary celebration always includes three things. First, Mai Tais! Second, a big bag of tortilla chips and this Tropical Guacamole. Third, watching the sunset (see the photo below!). It's perfect and I hope we keep repeating our tradition for many more years to come.

Fruit in Guac???

I know the idea of tropical fruit in guac may seem strange, but I promise it's absolutely divine. The key is balancing the sweetness of the fruit with roasty, complex flavors. I always use a grilled red onion to bring some char, a dash of cumin for complexity, and cilantro for freshness. The end result is the perfect harmony of flavors, which will make you feel like you're sitting on a beach (even if it's just in your imagination).

In terms of fruits, you can use what you love. Some of my favorites are papaya and mango, since they're both incredible with avocado. I also like to use passionfruit and sometimes starfruit while on Kaua'i. Pineapple is a nice addition too, although use restraint since it's so acidic. Kumquat? Pomelo? Tropical fruit is so beautiful and diverse, so the options are really endless!

Serving Suggestions

When we make this at home, I love to stuff it inside a tropical fruit! This works great with anything big; pineapple and pomelo are my favorite vessels, although a huge grapefruit or papaya can work too. It really adds some extra flair to the dish, and it's fun to scrape out additional fruit with your dipping items.

If you're new to hollowing-out fruit, use a really sharp knife and patience. A serrated grapefruit spoon is useful toward the end of the process.

Serve this up with all your favorite salty snacks! I love tortilla chips, especially interesting ones with flax or chia seeds. Plantain chips are also delicious, and some macadamia nuts on the side would be totally on-theme. Oh, or maybe taro chips!?! And Mai Tais are always a good idea.

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Red onion. So important for balancing the sweetness of the fruit. I love to grill it for that charred flavor, but if you really love raw onion, you can leave it uncooked. Just beware that it might overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.
  • Avocados. They absolutely must be ripe!!
  • Cumin
  • Salt! Avocados love salt. I prefer a flaky finishing salt like fleur de sel.
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice. I'd say it's optional here, since the fruit carries a lot of acidity. I suggest making your guac without it first and see what you think. Add a squeeze of lime if you think it needs more pop.
  • Garnishes of choice. Whatever makes you happy. Cilantro? A lime slice? Plantain chips?

Closing Thoughts

This dish holds such a special place in our hearts and I'm so excited to be sharing it with you. It's fun, colorful, and unexpected. You can make a small batch for two, or an absurdly large batch for a party, using whatever tropical fruits you love best. Just remember to serve it with lots of salty tortilla chips or plantain chips for dipping!

As you enjoy this tropical riff on guac, imagine you're sitting on the beach. Are you sipping some Mai Tais? Maybe feeling the warm sun on your face, or watching a colorful sunset? Are there dolphins frolicking in the waves, or maybe a Hawaiian monk seal or sea turtle snoozing on the beach? This dish will help take you there, even if it's just in your imagination.

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Coconut Paloma

Chai Tai

Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers

No-Cook Rainbow Black Bean Salad

Tropical Guacamole

A fresh and fun take on guacamole, this tropical version combines sweet, juicy tropical fruit with succulent grilled red onions. The perfect date night nibble!

Author:
Lee

Ingredients

  • Small red onion
  • A few ripe avocados
  • Pinch or more of cumin powder
  • Salt
  • Half a mango
  • Quarter to half a papaya
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Garnishes of choice

Instructions

  1. Slice the red onion into rounds about half an inch thick and grill them (either outdoors or indoors will work). Rotate them part-way through to get nice grill marks, then flip them and do the other side.
  2. Let the onion cool! You don't want to mix hot things in with your avocado. Then dice it finely.
  3. Meanwhile, prep your fruit by peeling and de-seeding as necessary, then cut everything into small cubes.
  4. Set aside anything you want to use as a garnish; maybe a particularly pretty slice of fruit or onion, a few perfect cilantro leaves, or a wedge of lime.
  5. Combine your avocados, cumin, and salt, and mash gently with a fork to your desired texture.
  6. Give your cilantro a fine chop with a very sharp knife. Then add to the avocado your diced onion, cubed fruit, and finely chopped cilantro. Give it all a gentle stir so that you don't bruise the fruit.
  7. Serve with your favorite salty snacks!

Leave a Comment

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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