Mexican Chopped Salad

This Mexican Chopped Salad might just be the freshest, healthiest, most delicious salad you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting! It’s the perfect side for grilled chicken, seafood, pork and beef and pairs wonderfully with Mexican entrees!

We’ve been spending a bit of time dusting off some recipe posts that have been super popular with our readers over the past 6 years. Some of them need new photos, as we didn’t know a thing about food photography when we started this blogging venture. Others just need a bit of sprucing up. With over 900 recipes in the Café arsenal, many have gotten lost in the deep, dark archives. We shared this Mexican Chopped Salad almost 3 years ago, to the day. It’s way too good to be forgotten and I thought it would be perfect for all those fun, summer picnics, parties and potlucks you might have coming up! Enjoy!

Image of dressing being poured on Mexican Chopped Salad .

This might seem a little strange, but it makes me really happy to come home from the grocery store or farmer’s market loaded down with all sorts of beautiful, fresh produce. And if I find it for a super duper price, well, let’s just say I’m like a little pig in mud.

I always have fun deciding what to do with my stash of fresh goodies. I’ve been thinking about a Mexican Chopped Salad for a while now, and when I found tiny sweet peppers, red onions, fresh succulent corn and zucchini all on sale this week, I did a little happy dance, knowing it was time to make that south of the border salad happen. I just needed to find one more item; the item that could very likely could win “the ugliest member of the produce aisle” award. Can you guess what i might be?

One small jicama (pronounced hē-kə-mə) is what I need to complete my salad . Jicama is often used in South American cooking. The plant is native to Mexico and jicama is used commonly there in all kinds of dishes. I love to use it in salsas and salads as it gives a lovely, slightly sweet crunch, and doesn’t loose it’s crispness over time.

MY OTHER RECIPES


If you’ve never used jicama before, don’t be surprised when you finally find it looking like a speckly, brown, misshapen potato. There’s lots of goodness hiding under that humble surface. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, potassium, iron and vitamin C. I would describe the taste and texture as a cross between a Asian pear, a potato and an apple. Pick one up next time you’re at the grocery, you may discover a new friend as jicama is not only wonderful diced in salads, but can also be cut in sticks and eaten with dips like hummus and dips.

Back to my Mexican Chopped Salad. It’s the kind of salad I can never get enough of; fresh, vibrantly colored, loaded with flavor. Eating it, makes me feel energetic and healthy. The dressing is light and bright, with just a few ingredients; fresh lime juice, honey, a clove of garlic and a splash of oil. A pinch of cumin along with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper finish it off perfectly. I love simple recipes like this.

If you like a little crunch in your salad, like we do, be sure to pick up a package of corn tortillas. That’s what you’ll use to make the crispy topping for this wonderful salad. Just slice them up, drizzle with a bit of oil and pop the pan in the oven till they’re gloriously golden brown; a perfect complement.

Closeup image of Mexican Chopped Salad.

Okay, and one little secret I have to share. See how all the veggies are chopped perfectly to the same size. That’s not me. Nope, if I was doing the chopping, they’d be all random sizes. I have this Vidalia Chop Wizard that I’d have a hard time managing without. When I want to make a pot of soup or a salad with lots of chopped veggies in a hurry, I just pull out this little magic chopper and 1-2-3 I’m done!

Collage image of Vidalia Veggie Chopper

What to serve this Mexican Chopped Salad with:

  • Perfect with any Mexican entree; tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, etc
  • Delicious spooned on top of nachos.
  • Serve it with chips (just omit the lettuce).
  • Delicious with grilled chicken, seafood, pork or beef.
  • A wonderful side to serve with burgers.
  • Ideal for potlucks and picnics.

If you’re craving fresh and delicious, be sure to add these ingredients to your grocery list. Make this Mexican Chopped Salad and enjoy it for dinner along with some grilled chicken, pork or seafood. Then pack it up for lunch the next day, as it keeps quite well. Just a warning though; all your co-workers will be drooling over your delicious, brightly colored lunch. Enjoy!

Café Tips for Making this Mexican Chopped Salad…

  • This video demonstrates the microwave corn technique. It’s really quite amazing. The corn husks and silks just pull away. The corn is clean and just slightly cooked, perfect for salads like this.
  • For a pretty presentation, try to chop all the ingredients about the same size.
  • Although fresh corn is ideal in this salad, you can substitute frozen corn when fresh is not available.

 

Image of Mexican Chopped Salad in a bowl with crisp tortilla strips.

P.S. Do you love South-of-the-Border cuisine? Be sure to check out our Homemade Flour Tortillas. We’ve gotten over 800 comments from cooks all over the world who have fallen in love with these easy tortillas!

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Mexican Chopped Salad

Image of Mexican Chopped Salad in a bowl with crisp tortilla strips.

5 from 38 reviews

This Mexican Chopped Salad might just be the freshest, healthiest, most summery salad you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. And it’s loaded with fabulous Southwestern flavor!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Southwestern

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for the dressing:
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • taste and add salt if needed
  • Ingredients for the tortilla strips:
  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Ingredients for the salad:
  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce , chopped in approximately 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced in 1/4-inch pieces**, any color (I used orange)
  • ½ medium red onion, diced in 1/4-inch pieces**
  • ½ medium jicama, peeled and diced in 1/4-inch pieces**
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced in 1/4-inch dice**
  • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch dice**
  • 4 ears corn (if fresh corn is not in season, substitute 1 1/2 cups of sweet, tiny frozen corn)
  • 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus whole cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, combine lime juice, honey, cumin garlic and salt.
  2. In a slow, steady stream, add the oils, stirring continuously with a fork or small whisk.
  3. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside.
  4. For the corn tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F.
  5. Stack corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut in half. Cut each stack of halves into thin strips, widthwise, about 1/4-inch thick.
  6. Transfer tortilla strips to a sheet pan. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool.
  8. For the salad, place corn, two ears at a time, in the microwave and cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
  9. Remove from microwave with a hot pad and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  10. After cooling, cut bottom end of corn off, about 1 1/2 inches from end. Pull back husk and silks (almost all of the silk should easily pull away). Cut kernels from husks and set aside.
  11. Combine corn and other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Add dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.
  12. Serve with tortilla strips on top or place a bowl on the side and let guests help themselves.

Notes

See notes above

 

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The freshest, healthiest, most summery salad with lots of Southwestern flair!


154 thoughts on “Mexican Chopped Salad”

  • Hi Chris,
    I just discovered your website and I love it! I like interacting with other believers in this way, I feel like I can trust the information. I’m making the Mexican Chop Salad and I’m going to use Trader Joe’s baby white frozen corn. It’s delicious. Would you cook the corn before adding it to the salad or just use it frozen right out of the bag?
    I made the dressing first and it’s delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe, I know it will be
    good. ❤️

    • Hi Gail, so nice to “meet” you! 🙂
      I wouldn’t cook the corn, just let it thaw. Frozen corn has already been blanched so it should be just perfect, once it’s thawed! When it’s thawed, if there’s any extra liquid, just discard it so the salad doesn’t get watery.

  • Oh, how I love this recipe. Since discovering it a year ago it’s become a favorite. It’s so versatile it works a a side for so many dishes. It’s also a great main dish if you add a little grilled chicken or shrimp. It’s also become the thing everyone insists I take to any potluck. Thanks again for the fantastic recipe!!

  • This is one of the prettiest salads around Chris, love jicama and all the fresh veggies in this. Making this salad next week-end for a potluck, , will let everyone know where I got this recipe from . Thanks for sharing!

  • Hi Chris, May I ask how often do you use your Vidalia Chopper/Wizard and do you still love it? My sister has issues with her hands and does not like to chop. She bought ready-made mirepoix, but she said it was not worth buying because the veg lost their flavor before it sells. I would like to get her this chopper, but only if it works well and not just another gadget in the cabinet. Thanks.

    Oh, and the salad looks delish sans cilantro. 🙂

    • Hi Madonna,
      I do use my chopper A LOT! It’s wonderful for soups, salads, etc. That being said, if your sister has problems with her hands, you do have to give this chopper a good whack each time you bring it down. I guess it just depends what she can do. It does a wonderful job and they’ve come up with a heavier duty version for the same price as I guess some people found that with the whacking, this one could eventually break.

  • Excellent recipe. I’ve been making it again and again. The sauce really makes it. Lately I’ve been using maple syrup instead of agave and its wonderful!

  • Just loved this recipe. Also, couldn’t resist the siren song of the Vidalia Chop Wizard. I used it to chop the romaine as well, but it seemed to bruise the leaves. Do you use it for the lettuce? Any suggestions for doing so?

  • We eat chopped salad often, but made by Dole. They have several tasty combinations that we use. The two of us make a meal from the bag so we usually have it by itself. Great easy meal. Too many ingredients for me in your recipes (I am disabled) but your recipes look good. Just have to improvise a little. I signed up for the email thing so I look forward to that. Karen

    • Thanks for leaving a comment Karen. You just have to do what works best for you and your lifestyle and situation. I know Dole makes some wonderful, healthy salads. Welcome to The Café!

  • Hi – has anyone successfully substituted anything for the jicama in this recipe? I just went to buy one at my local grocery store, and they were all kind of soft and a few had mold on the outside…..didn’t want to take a chance on that!!!!

    • Hi Beth!
      You could make the salad without jicama or you could substitute some diced Asian pear which has a similar crunch. The salad dressing is a bit sweet so I think that would be delicious. You could also use Daikon radish, diced, also a nice crisp crunch.

  • I made this last night, and it was very good. Thank you! I doubled the recipe so I could bring it to another family, and it made a ton. My changes: I used 1/2 the amount of honey because I don’t like sweet dressings, used 1/2 bell peppers and 1/2 shishito peppers from my garden because I didn’t have enough bell peppers, and left out the beans because our other dish included beans. It still was really good. I appreciated learning a new way to cook corn. I thought it could use a little longer in the microwave, but that’s probably because my microwave is ancient… Thanks again!

  • How far in advance do you think I can make this? I am going camping and wanted to make it. Not sure if I should bring everything there and prep there or prep/make ahead. It’s so tasty and I would love to share with others.

  • This salad was fantastic! Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I will definitely be making it again.

  • I was making this early this morning so it would be ready when we got home and missed the part about microwaving the corn and was too tired to make the tortilla strips. Guess what? It was still amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • I made this salad 3 nights ago for my husband and adult son. Both loved it, which surprised me because they really like meat! Making it again tonight. So glad I came across this on Pinterest — it’s a keeper!

  • After a visit to our local farmer’s market I decided to make this along with grilled chicken breasts for Saturday’s dinner. I also visited a local festival and picked up a jar of Alfalfa Honey for the dressing. Can I just say that I wanted to (but eyes were on me, so I didn’t) lick the bowl! The dressing is light, fresh and balanced. The combination of fresh vegetables with the black beans is oddly filling yet light. The flavors meld wonderfully. My mouth was happy, happy, happy!

    Today I had the leftovers for lunch, and they were just as good. Frankly, I was surprised that the lettuce remained crisp, but Romaine is the hardiest lettuce, I think. The flavors had really blended over night. I kept the dressing separate and did not toss with the salad until I was ready to eat.

    THIS is on my weekly menu for the summer – especially while the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and even onions are so fresh and readily available.

    THANK YOU for sharing!

  • I made this for dinner tonight with some simple chicken enchilada, and it was wonderful…light and refreshing and bursting with flavor. We had unexpected company for dinner and everyone raved about it. I can’t wait to take the leftovers for lunch with a little chicken added.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Tari! It is so versatile and, like you said, very refreshing! Scott and I continue to be amazed that it has been pinned over a million times!

  • Tried this for dinner last night. It was good! Husband even liked it, but suggested next time to add a jalapeño for kick. Good call! I subbed ranch beans for the black beans. Also, subbed cucumber for the elusive jicama . Worked!

  • We made this for Superbowl 50. The dressing is divine exactly as written – don’t change a thing. Fresh limes are a must. We couldn’t source Jicama, but it was fine without it. Just a great healthy colorful salad. bon Appetit!

  • This looks supper yummy, but IDK why people called this stuff Mexican, I grew up in Mexico and never knew anyone that ate salads like this….

  • Love this salad! We had a few friends come over for a light supper after Christmas Eve mass this year –super simple, just tamales and this Mexican Chopped Salad. It was perfect — everything could be prepared and ready when we got home. Not only delicious and healthy, also a feast for the eyes. I made it again yesterday to bring to a friends house for dinner. She served a chicken and rice dish, everyone loved the salad and asked for the recipe. Definitely something I will make again and again!

  • Une salade si délicieuse et rafraichissante! Merci. Partager vos recettes ainsi est Un beau cadeau que vous nous faites. Notre veille du Jour de l’an fut santé grâce entre autre à votre salade…On a fini l’année en beauté! Bonne année à vous!

    A salad so delicious and refreshing ! Thank you. Share your recipes and is a gift you made ​​us . Our eve of New Year’s Day was healthy thanks in part to your salad … We ended the year in style ! Happy New Year to you!

  • This salad is fabulous and so delicious, I took it to a soup/salad meeting and I barely brought home a cup (no one ever wants to take the last) and I will make it again, it is crisp yet hardy, no meat needed and the lime dressing…well let’s just say it is to die for! Thank you, thank you , thank you!

  • just made this tonight! Super yummy. I charred my corn in a skillet , but forgot the bell pepper, but otherwise followed the recipe. I served it with soft tortillas, shredded rotisserie chicken and cheese etc, and my son added the salad to make his into a wrap :).

  • I fixed this salad for dinner tonight and it was amazing! I left out the tortilla chips for my husband and myself since we’re watching our carbs, but put them in the kids’ portion. I even added a little finely chopped jalapeño for some heat, and everyone loved it! It makes a lot for a side dish so I recommend adding the romaine to just what you’re planning to eat that night. We had this alongside barbacoa beef and guacamole and it was the perfect pairing. I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  • Hi Chris, I love that turquoise bowl, Do you know what the brand is? It looks a perfect size for an event I have coming up.

  • Filling fresh phenomenal salad! It looked so good, three days after seeing this recipe I made it for dinner. Its a meal! I think I might add cheese or grilled chicken next time. Thanks for the recipe! 😀

  • I tried this last year (2014). Most delicious mixed vegetable salad I have ever made. Great for pot lucks. People rave about this salad. Great!!! Great!!!!

  • I’ve made this twice since finding it on Pinterest, and it was a hit both times! That dressing – simply amazing!! I’ve enjoyed (and conversely, choked down!) my fair share of salads in my 50+ years on this planet, and this salad one is hands-down at the top of the list. Make this – tonight! – you won’t regret it!

  • I made this about a week ago, so good and fresh! My husband loved it!!! Where did you get the bowl that you have the salad displayed in? Thanks!

  • I made this without the black beans because I was serving it with a dinner with refried beans. I also omitted the lettuce, as I wanted it more like a vegetable serving. I added two diced avocados. 8 of us ate it and everyone loved it! I will definitely be making it again. It would serve 12 the way I did it.

  • Absolutely beautiful! The corn cooked nicely and peeled very easily. This is a good method for a few ears, but not when I have my family over. TOO many mouths! I sorta doubled the dressing, and at first taste the cumin and garlic are not coming through, but maybe with a marinade time the flavor will develop. I didn’t use the jicama because it was brown throughout, sort of like a potato. Thank you for sharing this. I will make this again.

  • Love love love this salad. I couldn’t find jicama so used some toasted pepita seedsand it worked great. Thanks for a great salad recipe.

  • Looks so fresh with the various colorful ingredients. I plan to make this for Memorial Day cook-out. About how many will this serve? There will be about 17 people. Thanks.

  • I was so excited to make this for a dinner party last night and it exceeded my expectations. Every single guest asked for the recipe! Now I can’t wait to explore some of your other creations. And I liked your microwave corn tip. Thank you!!

  • I made this to go with a Mexican meal, we ended up having more food that I had imagined so I only dressed a small amount. It was fantastic, light and fresh, that night & great as a leftover. We ran out of dressing & my husband put avocado salsa on it, also yummy.

    I eliminated the tortilla strips as we did not need those calories with the rest of the meal.

    FIVE STARS

  • Hi Chris and Scott!
    Just HAD to comment on the Mexican Chopped Salad! Served it with ‘quick cilantro lime chicken’ (found both on Pinterest) for dinner last night. DELICIOUS. It was an amazing meal! Thanks for healthy and yummy! The next time I make it (and there will be a next time!) I’ll make it closer to serving time as the vegetables released some of their water and diluted the wonderful dressing a little too much for me.

  • Omg… Did it at the Weekend for a big salad buffet and all People were so amazed by this delicious salad. This salad has a Special place in our favorite menues. I took some maple syrup instead of honey (because mine was too thick) but was yummy at all! Thanks for this recipe!

  • I found this recipe on Pinterest last night and made it for dinner with some blackened fish tonight. It went down a storm. All 4 of our kids loved it, even though it had their arch nemesis of foods in…onion! Thank you for a new staple in our mealtimes.

  • Question about the dressing: I made some, but it’s far too runny as if not enough oil. Is this how it’s supposed to be? I followed the recipe exact. Doesn’t stick to the salad this way, just runs off to the bottom of the bowl. Needs more viscosity. I’m going to play with it and add more oil, but just wondering if it’s intended to be this way. Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa, The dressing is not super thick although adding the oil in a slow, stream does help it to emulsify which is what causes viscosity. I created it to be decently healthy with not a ton of oil. You certainly could add more oil although the dressing does add lots of wonderful southwestern flavor to the salad just the way it is. Hope you enjoy it.

      • Wow can’t believe you replied to my post! Most bloggers don’t bother with that; I appreciate the excellent customer here 🙂 I see your point about the healthy aspect. I’m serving this to a dinner party of 12 tonight. We’re throwing calories to the wind, so I think I’ll add a little more oil. Thanks for your reply.

      • When it came to the dressing, I put it in the blender and it was prefect and stuck to the ingredients, This is the BEST salad I have ever ate !!!!

  • I’m not a huge salad fan, and I barely say that a salad looks delicious. But now that’s the case. 🙂 The pictures are great, and I’m sure the salad has an awesome taste. Will try it out for dinner!

  • Love the recipe and the photos are so good, wondered what kind of camera was used? Thanks for all the delicious recipes!!

  • This salad sounds great since I’m trying to watch my diet and eat more healthy food. I’ll add shredded chicken and put it in a wheat tortilla wrap.
    I love jicama, but not sure I can find it in Costa Rica….wish me luck !!
    Thanks Chris…great recipe.

  • This looks amazing and I like the idea of making the tortilla garnish! I have bought these already baked and they are expensive. The photos are absolutely beautiful and I wondered what camera are you using for these perfect pics! My daughter is getting into the business and it’s so confusing about which camera to buy. Thanks

  • This salad is a big hit in my house. My 13 and 7 year old have requested this 4 times in the last 2 weeks. For lunch we eat as is and for dinner they eat it with
    shredded chicken (not me I don’t eat meat). Also good as a snack, very easy to make. This will be on our menu at least 1 a week.

  • goodness is this salad super yummy! i found yer recipe through pinterest and made it yesterday w some adjustments due to allergies and it was a super hit! going to make it again for a large family dinner. thank you fo rsharing!

  • I’m so glad I found your site. So many yummy dishes! I am planning to make this for my mother-in-laws birthday party. I was wondering if it would be better to make it that morning before heading out or if the night before would work. I have never had jicama before but i imagine it probably turns brown after cut? I want the salad to look as pretty as your picture when I serve it!

    • Hi Connie,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      For the salad, it might be best to chop everything the night before and make the dressing but keep it separate until just before you leave for the party. The jicama doesn’t turn brown super quickly like some fruits and veggies, it’s really quite stable. Keep a little bit of chopped cilantro separate until just before serving and then sprinkle it over the top and your salad should look just beautiful!

      • Thanks for your help. I chopped everything like you said the night before but kept the lettuce, corn and beans separate. The next morning I mixed it all together about an hour before we ate. It was wonderful and looked pretty. Everyone loved it.

  • I made this for my husband and I and am going to do,it again soon. I want to make enough to share with my. Mother and kids too and looking forward to taking it next time were invited to a BBQ. Do you have any idea how many calories? I guess just the corn and beans would have calories, I don’t think the dressing is too high cal. Thanks of posting this!

    • Hi Donna,
      I know it’s not very high in calories but I don’t have a program that figures out the exact calories. I think you’re right, it would just be the corn, beans and also the honey that would have much calories.

  • Love this! Beautiful and healthy.
    Plan on getting lots of “oohs and ahhs” when I take it to a July 4th gathering later today.
    (Would love to see expecting number of servings on the recipe.)

  • This salad looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it. I am thinking I will leave out the tortilla strips and add a little bit of chicken breast to make a meal. I am also thinking about taking this to our family reunion this summer to balance out all of the yummy but high calorie comfort food that makes it’s way to the buffet tables.

    • I love your version. And yes, those family renunions buffets can be pretty high fat, high calorie and starchy. This would be the perfect dish to take and I bet you don’t bring a speck home 🙂

  • this was a delicious salad! because i made it just for husband and myself i divided it and added the lettuce in just before each meal so the lettuce would be fresh and not wilted. thank you for the recipe it was a big hit!

  • The salad looks wonderful! But as I read the recipe I noticed that you omitted putting down that you added cilantro….. I always find it frustrating when you find a great looking picture of a recipe and as you read the recipe it’s obvious that not all of the ingredients are included in the list. Just a pet peeve I have. I’m most definitely going to make this (cilantro included of course) ASAP! Thank you

  • Yes, ma’am; this is right down my favorite alley, and I already know that I’ll love it. Thank you!..

  • Is that cilantro or dill? It looks amazing. I would think cilantro but it looks more like dill. I want to make this for my family reunion.

  • Did you work some inside magic on my subscription? B/c after my complaint, I got this in my inbox, like nothing was every wrong! Woot! This is just LOVELY – you do the best things with your produce finds!!

  • I always look forward to seeing what you have to post Chris. Not only are your photos (or Scotts) stunning but your dishes are so appealing. Great recipe and perfect for summer.

    • I have made this salad for six weeks straight. As soon as one batch gone I make another.
      It is not ” zactly ” like this one but close cousin. Must be the best nutritious salad on the web. Taste is lively,
      I add garlic two cloves. To dressing.

  • Didn’t you tell us once that your husband does all your photography? He has outdone himself here. He should really be a professional photographer, if he isn’t already. I would nibble off of this all day!

  • A little pig in mud:-)
    That’s me in the garden right now..
    What a cute expression.
    Chris hope to make this this summer for my family.Thank you.

  • This absolutely looks divine… I – like you- get so excited when I buy many produce specially on sale. I go home wondering what to do with all these goodies but sometime they just go bad in the fridge 🙁 bad girl I know. I love your salad it is a keeper. I can add some black eyed beans and I have a meal :). Thanks

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