How to Make a Good Mayonnaise

Jul 31, 2011
Veronica Brandy

As it is very easy to mess up mayonnaise, we decided to give you tips on how to achieve good results without undue frustration.  Below you will find the needed ingredients and the steps for you to succeed with your homemade mayonnaise.  Then, simply repeat the process a couple of times until you master the technique perfectly.

Mayonnaise, its preparation and its secrets

As far as ustensils, you’ll need a whisk, a bowl or any circular container, as well as a glass to put the egg whites.

The ingredients in mayonnaise

Of course, the quantity may vary depending on tastes and preferences, but we give you just the basics so you have an idea of the ideal proportions.  You will need the following:

  • Fresh egg
  • One teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper (preferably white)
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar (from wine if possible)
  • Oil (olive oil is particularly recommended for a better taste)

We cannot emphasize the freshness of the egg enough; the quality of the emulsion primarily depends on it.

The steps in the preparation of mayonnaise

1. First, separate the yolk from the whites because it is the main ingredient of mayonnaise.  To do this, cut a small hole in the egg and let the whites run into a glass.  Once the cast is completely white, break the shell in half and pour the yolk in the bowl.

2. It’s not a big deal if there is a little egg white in the mixture.  Next you have to beat the egg yolks with mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar.  When the mixture is smooth enough, start to whisk gently (circular motion in one direction) and slowly pour in a little oil.  The mayonnaise should begin to rise.  If you have no one to help you, you can block the container with a wet cloth so you can whip in one hand and pour the oil with the other.  The mayonnaise should thicken until it has the consistency of pudding before it is ready, however you can always adjust the consistency by adding lemon juice if it’s too thick, or continuing to whisk while adding oil if it is too watery.

The key to the success of this recipe is dependent on you not pouring in all the oil at once, but instead adding it gradually.  The chefs also recommend that the ingredients (egg, oil, vinegar, mustard) are heated a bit, but not too much. This will facilitate the mayonnaise rising.

Be creative, give color to your mayonnaise

If you want to change some of the color and taste, we have some ideas for you.

You can have green mayonnaise by mixing the final result with parsley, chives, basil, or tarragon.  It is an ideal accompaniment for cold fish dishes.
If you want to highlight a little yellow, you can mix it with curry or turmeric; great with salad or stuffed tomatoes with rice.
If you prefer red, add Espelette pimento with a tablespoon of tomato sauce.
Lastly, to get pink mayonnaise, mix with a little ketchup; it pairs quite well with chips.

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