How to: Homemade Mayonnaise

October 12, 2012 § 3 Comments

Easy homemade mayonnaise

Most mayonnaise that you can buy is pretty underwhelming, if not entirely horrible. And although I think Thomy is ok, making mayonnaise at home is so easy and it’s so damn tasty. I favour a more Japanese-style mayo, with rice vinegar and a nice lightly-flavoured oil such as peanut or canola or rice bran. I can’t tell you anything about their respective health benefits (or otherwise), you’ll have to work that out for yourself. Olive oil, I find, is too strong for mayonnaise and overwhelms the all-important egg flavour.

People are weird about mayonnaise being challenging to make, it’s not, you just need a tiny bit of patience and a rudimentary understanding of emulsions. Like creaming butter and sugar and eggs, mayonnaise needs you to go gently so that all the tiny molecule-things can cling on to each other and not separate. Once it starts emulsifying (thickening) it just gets easier and easier. The key is simply to add the oil just a little at a time.

This is a small recipe, it makes only 1 cup of mayonnaise and you have to use a small vessel to blend it in as a result. But I get nervous about the whole raw-egg-product thing, and prefer to use the mayonnaise within a few days after it’s been made, so I don’t need much. Nevertheless, this recipe is easily doubled.

You need: A blending thing. I use a stick blender, but it’s even easier with one of those blenders with a hole in the top.

1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon hot english mustard (or similar, wasabi even?)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (roughly) of canola/rice bran/peanut oil
warm water

In a small jug (or in your blender) mix the egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of the rice wine vinegar, the mustard, salt and sugar.

Start blending this, then add drops of the oil slowly in. A steady trickle of oil is also generally fine, but start slowly (you can get a bit more hasty at the end once the emulsion is well-established). It will take a while before it starts looking like mayonnaise should, but after about a third of the oil has gone in, you should see it noticeably thicken and lighten in colour.

Just continue to add the oil slowly until it’s finished. It should be very thick now. Add the other tablespoon of rice wine vinegar and taste it for salt etc. If you want a runnier mayonnaise add a few teaspoons of warm water (mix well). Consume.

N.B. Despite the rice wine vinegar, this mayonnaise is perfect with all the possible mayonnaise-based foods. And don’t be afraid of gussying it up with roast garlic, or pickles and capers, or lemon juice, or crushed chipotle chiles, or maybe wasabi…

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§ 3 Responses to How to: Homemade Mayonnaise

  • Sarah says:

    I love making mayo! I add all types of different flavourings – I add wasabi or dill to have with fish, or some smoked paprika for something spanish, or my personal favourite, picked jalepenos or chipotle chillis to put on burritos. Yummmmm. It keeps forever too (well maybe not forever forever).. I like to add garlic to make it an aioli – it’s great with chips 🙂

    • Cat McInnis says:

      Yeah, I like to add El Yucateco chili sauce to mayonnaise to have with tortilla chips or roast potatoes, and mixing in pickles/capers/lemon juice/parsley/dill for a tartare.

      I wonder how many people know that mayonnaise is made of raw egg? I guess if you’re buying Kraft it’s not though…

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