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Guacamole With Grilled Corn

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Guacamole With Grilled Corn

25 minutes, plus time for grill to heat
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This simple summer dip combines guacamole with sweet grilled corn and tangy Cotija cheese. The key to great guacamole is to pound the aromatics in a mortar and pestle or molcajete with salt, producing a guacamole with deep flavor from minimal ingredients.

Featured in: J. Kenji López-Alt’s Summer Staple? Guacamole With Grilled Corn


Yield: About 3 cups
  • 2ears corn, shucked
  • ½medium yellow or white onion, roughly chopped (scant 1 cup or 4 ounces)
  • 1serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded and roughly chopped (more or less to taste)
  • 2cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 4medium or 3 large avocados
  • 1tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 4ounces crumbled Cotija (scant 1 cup)
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Step 1

    Prepare a coal or gas grill so it’s at high heat. Add the corn and cook, turning occasionally, until the kernels are lightly blackened in spots all over, 5 to 15 minutes. When corn is cool enough to handle, hold one ear upright in a large bowl and, using a sharp knife, cut off the kernels. Discard the cob, then repeat with the other ear. Let cool completely before adding to the finished guacamole.

  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a large granite mortar and pestle or molcajete (see Tip), combine the onion, chile, cilantro and salt. Pound into a rough paste, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the paste to a large bowl.

  3. Step 3

    Add the flesh of the avocados and the lime juice. Crush the avocados into a chunky dip using the pestle or the back of a large spoon. Once corn kernels are completely cooled, add them and the Cotija to the large bowl, reserving a little of each for garnish. Fold together the guacamole, corn and cheese, and season to taste with more salt and lime juice. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, Cotija and corn. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. (Try to eat in one sitting. Leftover guacamole stored in the fridge turns brown quickly.)

  • A granite mortar and pestle or molcajete crushes plant cells more effectively than a knife or a food processor, which, in turn, lends more flavor to the guacamole. If you don’t have a granite mortar and pestle or molcajete, combine the onion, chile, cilantro and salt in a small bowl and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes to draw out moisture. Transfer to a cutting board and chop very finely with a chef’s knife, then, using the side of the knife, smear and crush the ingredients until they form a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and continue as directed in Step 3.
  • To broil, heat the broiler to high and adjust an oven rack to 4 to 6 inches below the broiler element. Place the shucked corn on a rimmed baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until kernels are lightly blacked in spots all over, 5 to 15 minutes.