Wood-Grilled Avocado with Ponzu Sauce

Menu PartSide Dish
Cuisine TypeAsian
Grilled avocado halves

Chef Robbie Wilson

Bird Dog Restaurant

Palo Alto, Calif.

Grilling pumps up vegetables with another layer of flavor, and Chef Robbie Wilson makes the most of the technique by tossing avocado halves on the barbie. He starts with semi-firm avocado halves, brushing them with olive oil then once done, filling the cavities with housemade ponzu sauce for a Japanese twist. Grilling time is super-short.


Ponzu Sauce

1 piece (3 by 2-in) kombu seaweed or kombu kelp

1½ cups bonito flakes

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. soy sauce (7 oz.)

¾ cup lemon juice

6 tbsp. mirin

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. rice vinegar

Grilled Avocados

12 semi-firm avocados

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. freshly grated wasabi or horseradish

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. For ponzu sauce, combine all ingredients in stainless steel bowl or nonreactive container; stir and refrigerate 24 hours or up to 2 days.
  2. Strain well, pressing on solids to capture all the liquid. Discard solids. Keep sauce refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. For avocados, preheat grill to medium high. Cut each avocado lengthwise in half; peel and remove pit. Brush each side of avocados with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place avocados cut-side down on grill; grill 30 seconds to 1 minute to get grill marks. Turn avocado 90 degrees and grill 30 seconds to 1 minute longer to get a crosshatch pattern. Gently flip avocado halves and grill 30 seconds to warm underside.
  5. To serve, place 2 avocado halves on each plate; fill cavities with ponzu sauce, about 1 tablespoon for each half. Serve with fresh grated wasabi or horseradish.

Photo courtesy of California Avocado Commission

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