We all know and love our dear, dear friend: guacamole. Why would anyone mess with a classic like that? Here are two good reasons: 1) avocados are dang expensive and 2) guacamole oxidizes, turning brown quickly. Enter, Guacamame. I had the fine fortune of meeting Guacamame at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and was wowed by how closely this soybean-based dip resembled the real deal. I came home to Brooklyn determined to figure out how to make this to share with you all.
Mimicking the flavor profile of guacamole was pretty easy since soy, lacking a strong flavor of its own, is a blank slate for all the usual add-ins of guacamole: red onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime, tomato, jalapeño and a little cumin.
My challenge was clear: without using any avocado, how would I achieve the rich, green creaminess of guacamole?
To achieve the signature guac texture, I started with a foundation of thawed and shelled edamame (soy) beans. For the creamy element, I thought firm tofu would do the trick. I blended these together and added the distinctive acid of limejuice. I also added some olive oil to help with the richness and ensure a smooth texture.
With my food processor on high, I let that baby roll for a while, hoping to blend it to the max, for an ultra smooth, creamy consistency. What I ended up with was a stiff rendition that was pale green. The flavors were spot on, but the texture and color left more to figure out.
If firm tofu wasn’t working, maybe sour cream or a firm silken tofu would. I tried both. The sour cream batch, looked too wet and soupy, the one with firm silken tofu was much closer to what I was looking for, however, it still lacked a little creaminess. Why not add a dollop of sour cream? The base of well-blended edamame beans, firm silken tofu and a tablespoon of sour cream was the winning combo for the creamy consistency.
The last puzzle now, how to infuse the necessary green color into this concoction? I first thought to add a drop of green food coloring but wanted to push beyond that easy way out. The other green elements that I had to work with were cilantro and jalapeño. I decided to add these two ingredients during the blending process, hoping that the pigment in the green herb and pepper would diffuse and lend a greener shade to my guac. Turns out, this easy solution added both green and an even stronger guac flavor. Bonus.
Now, with some frozen edamame on hand, a creamy, delicious dip, reminiscent of your favorite Mexican topping, is always close at hand. The pluses of guacamame: it’s about a quarter of the cost of traditional guacamole, you don’t have to wait until you have a perfectly ripe avocado and the – biggie – it lasts for a week or more, not that it will with how tasty it is.
This dip mimics a beloved favorite. It can easily be doubled or tripled. Will last for at least a week.
Yields 2 cups
1 cup thawed edamame
¾ cup firm silken tofu (6oz)
1 tablespoon limejuice (half a lime)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup cilantro
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste
hearty pinch of cumin
2 tablespoons tomato, small dice
2 tablespoons red onion, small dice
1 tablespoon sour cream
1. In a food processor or blender, add edamame, tofu, limejuice, olive oil, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Blend on high for three minutes, scrapping sides half way.
2. In a small bowl add the blended mixture with the tomato and onion. Stir in sour cream.