Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Avocados are a rare commodity in Korea... more so even than cheese and deodorant. For my birthday at the end of last month, my friend in the Air Force called me and said, "I'm at the commissary at Yongsan Base, what do you want?". The American army base in Yongsan (central Seoul) has a commissary (supermarket for military types only) fully stocked with the normal things you'd find in an American grocery store, at American prices (in dollars, not won, no less). At this I leaped at the opportunity, "avocados, please!". He knows me well enough that he had already picked them out before asking. I wound up getting three avocados. I had dreams of a good California roll (my version). Well, I made my California roll with one avocado (actually only half of an avocado, but the other half went bad too fast for me to make more...

With two avocados left I weighed my options... actually there's not a whole lot of recipes that involve avocados. When I was in Chile, they'd put it on a hot dog, and while that's delicious, it seemed a bit of a waste of a good avocado. So, of course I decided to make guacamole. I should have taken a photo, but I didn't think of it. But, though it was my first time to make it, I think it turned out ok. Here's what I did:

Mashed two ripe avocados into a bowl.
peel one tomato, chopped and mashed into the avocados
1/4 of an onion, finely chopped and mashed into the avocado mix
a heaping spoonful of minced garlic that I mashed a while ago and keep in my freezer
a generous helping of lime juice to keep it fresh

Then I ate it with 'Ricos' nachos... aka, the only nacho chips that I've ever seen in this country. They are a little salty for my taste, and a little expensive, but it does the trick.

I hope it's still good tomorrow, I have a lot left!


  1. Wonderful opening sentence!

    You couldn't find any cilantro (Chinese parsley) to go into your guac? They usually have it here ...

    Rico's is a big brand in the States too, usually sold to the bulk market for restaurants, etc. That's what the concession stand at my old school used. Also Rico's Nacho cheese sauce in the gallon can.

    PS: What do you call cheese that doesn't belong to you? Nacho cheese.

  2. A fun add to guac is chopped cabbage. Fills it out nicely.

  3. What else do you want that is "american"??