(Note: this post was originally published on January 26, 2020. It has since been updated with a few tweaks).
Tropical Guacamole: A Love Story
I'm excited to introduce you to an incredibly sentimental dish: a very 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, Hawai'i, in 2013. Each year, exactly on our anniversary, we go to a Kaua'i beach for an evening picnic. Our anniversary celebration always includes three things. First, Mai Tais (i.e., the iconic Pacific rum cocktail). Second, a big bag of tortilla chips with this Hawaiian guacamole. Third, watching the sunset (see the photo below, from the beach where we got married).
This colorful, fruity guacamole is a very nostalgic recipe for us, yet it's a non-traditional take on guac that few people have tried. I can't wait to share it with you!
I know the idea of tropical fruit in guac may seem strange, but I promise it's divine. It gives guacamole a decidedly beachy vibe, plus some exciting sweetness and juiciness.
The key to this Hawaiian guacamole recipe is balancing the sweetness of the fruit with some roasted, complex flavors. I always use a grilled red onion to bring some charred taste, a dash of cumin for complexity, and cilantro for freshness. The end result is the perfect harmony of flavors.
In terms of fruits, you can use whatever you love. You'll see in the recipe card below that I suggest mango and papaya, since they're my favorite fruits to pair with avocado. My recommendation is to start with the recipe as written the first time you make it, then branch out and see what else you enjoy. I like to use passionfruit and sometimes starfruit while we're on Kaua'i. Pineapple can be a nice addition to this fruity guacamole too, although use just a small amount since it's so acidic. Kumquats? Pomelo? Tropical fruit is so diverse and the options are really endless.
Tropical Guacamole Serving Suggestions
When we make this Hawaiian guacamole 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, particularly for a special occasion.
Serve this fruity guacamole with all your favorite salty snacks and dipping implements. Tortilla chips are of course perfect with it. Plantain chips or taro chips (taro is a Hawaiian root vegetable) are delicious and totally on-theme. It's also great with raw veggies, including cucumber slices, baby bell peppers, and carrots.
And don't forget the cocktails! We always make Mai Tais to go with this guac on our anniversary (see the photo below for inspiration), but it would also be delightful with my Planter's Punch (a historic rum punch recipe), my famous Coconut Paloma, or this colorful Blackberry Coconut Margarita. Tropical guacamole absolutely needs a beachy cocktail to go with it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here's what you'll need for this Hawaiian guacamole 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. This is important for balancing the sweetness in this fruity guacamole. 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 could overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.
Avocados. Absolutely must be ripe!
Lime juice. Feel free to omit this if you tend to like a less citrusy guac, since the fruit already has some acidity. Or, make your guac without it, taste, and adjust as you see fit.
Cilantro. If you're not a cilantro lover, try using fresh mint.
This tropical guacamole 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 date night or a double batch for a party, and you can use whatever tropical fruits you love best. It can be as simple or as over-the-top as you desire.
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 sleeping on the beach? This Hawaiian guacamole will help take you there, even if it's just in your imagination.
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.
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Slice the red onion into rounds about a quarter of an inch thick and grill them on a well-oiled rack or grill pan. Rotate them part-way through to get cross-hatched grill marks, then flip them and cook the other side.
Let the onion cool completely, then dice finely.
While the onion cools, peel the mango and papaya and cut both into small cubes.
Combine the avocados, cumin, salt, and lime juice, then mash gently with a fork to your desired texture.
Chop the cilantro finely with a very sharp knife.
Add the grilled onion, diced fruit, and cilantro to the guacamole and stir gently. Serve immediately.