This recipe is my earliest food memory. I remember standing in my living room in New Zealand, four years old, and I could see out the window that it was already dark outside. My parents were trying to put me to bed, but I caught a glimpse of a late-night snack in the kitchen. I wanted one too.
“You won’t like this, Catherine,” my mother insisted. “It’s avocado. The flavour is too strong for you.”
Issue a challenge like that to a child, and you will get a declaration of war.
When she did give me some, a soft green avocado half with a little spoonful of soy sauce nestled in its hollow (“And don’t spill it on the carpet, Catherine.”), I sat carefully on the couch with it and finished the whole thing, bite after bite of salty umami richness.
Today is the inaugural post of Two-Ingredient Tuesday. Forget the five-ingredients-or-less movement, this recipe series is about the challenge of simplicity in its finest form. When I told several people that I had planned this series, most of them scoffed that I would run out of ideas after three weeks. The truth is that an incredible number of dishes can be found at this most elemental level, running the gamut from surprisingly complex to humble and undemanding (like this recipe), gentle on your precious supplies of time, groceries, and energy—just an unpretentious, delicious dish.
As far as snacks go, avocado belongs solidly in the “very substantial” category, but it still makes good choice due to its healthy fats, high fiber (20% per half!), and high content of vitamins and trace nutrients. Put those cookies down. They can’t love you like avocado loves you.
The Rules: With Two Ingredient Tuesday, I place no limitations on the complexity of the recipe itself, but the entire dish from start to finish must contain two ingredients only. However, there are four freebies that don’t count as ingredients: water, oil, salt, and pepper. I don’t count these because they act as integral seasonings and vehicles for common cooking methods, rather than acting as ingredients. And besides, everyone has them in their kitchen.
Recipe notes: It’s important to use a good-quality avocado, and to make sure that it’s properly ripe, but not brown. I prefer light soy sauce, but your preference is key—you could substitute another sauce entirely, like teriyaki. The best eating method is to hold the avocado in your left hand and scoop out the avocado with a small spoon, starting from the hollow so each bite is sauced properly. You might need to add more as you go, depending how saucy you like your avocado.
Additional ingredients (If you’re cheating): A pinch of cayenne or wasabi wouldn’t go amiss on the top. Gari (pickled ginger) would go nicely on the side.
Avocado Halves & Soy Sauce
- Cut avocado in half lengthwise. With a sharp and heavy knife, rap the blade firmly into the seed so that it lodges tight, then gently twist the knife to loosen the seed. The riper the avocado, the easier the seed will loosen.
- Spoon a little soy sauce (about a tablespoon) into the hollow of each avocado half. Eat with a spoon, adding more soy sauce to your liking.