Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Mayonnaise- Lacto fermented

I used to think that homemade mayonnaise was a condiment best left to the experts, as I'd heard that making it was fraught with difficulties. On a do-it-myself kick a few years back (well before I started being extremely frugal), I was bold enough to try making this and have never looked back since.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Everything needed to make mayonnaise
1 egg
1/2 c oil (any kind will do)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp prepared mustard (optional)
2 tbsp whey (optional)

Equipment Needed:
Whisk/Beater/Mixer/Immersion Blender
AND a Deep Cup or Bowl

OR Food Processor/Blender

Step 1. Beat (I'm using this word to mean whatever it is you'll be be doing with your beater, blender, mixer, or food processor) your egg for one whole minute or longer. Do not skip or cut short this step, or your mayonnaise will fail.

What your egg should look like after being beaten well enough.

Step 2a. If you're using a blender, food processor, or mixer on a stand, or if you have an assistant to give you an extra set of hands, after that first minute is up, pour a very slow steady stream of oil into your egg while it is still being beaten.
Step 2b. If you don't have your hands free, because, like me you're using an immersion blender or beater or whisk, pour one teaspoon of oil into the egg, beat for 10 seconds, add 1 more teaspoon, beat some more, until all the required oil has been combined with the egg.

Partially made mayonnaise. 

Note: When you've already poured in a quarter of your oil, the egg should start thickening up. If it is still as runny as when you started, the mayonnaise has most likely failed- but DON'T THROW THAT OUT YET!- see the flop fix tip at the bottom of this post.
Step 3. When you've finished adding all your oil, you should have a mayonnaise, albeit a very bland version, the same texture and consistency as the store bought variety. If it looks like mayo but is a little looser, add more oil, incrementally, until it is the thickness you desire. (Yes, paradoxically, the more oil you add, the thicker it will be, provided you don't add the oil too quickly.)
Step 4. Mix in the salt, lemon juice, and mustard, adding more or less to taste.
Step 5Making it lacto fermented. (Optional) Add 2 tablespoons of homemade whey to the mayonnaise, and then leave it on your warm counter for 24 hours, before putting it in the fridge. Doing so allows the lactobacillus probiotics in your whey to multiply and changes your mayo from a simple condiment to a probiotic. This has the added benefit of extending its shelf life, as the lactobacillus colony doesn't allow spoilage causing bacteria to spread as quickly.
To make whey, take your homemade yogurt and strain it overnight in a cheesecloth, catching the liquid that drips out. This liquid is whey, and what remains in the cheesecloth is yogurt cheese, a delicious cream cheese alternative.

The finished mayonnaise

Oil types- Any oil or fat will work for this, provided it is at a liquid state when preparing the mayo. Vegetable oils, coconut, palm, nut, olive oils can all be used, as can liquefied animal fats such as lard, beef tallow, ghee, or chicken fat. Keep in mind that if you plan on refrigerating this condiment or anything made with the mayo, that only oils that remain liquid when cold will allow the mayonnaise to keep its texture once refrigerated. Mayonnaise made with more solid oils, like tallow or palm oil will develop a butter like consistency once refrigerated, and therefore should be prepared right before consumption.

Flop Fix Tip- If your mayo flopped, you'll have a thin runny liquid instead of the desired condiment. This isn't a problem. For your re-do, you can reuse the same ingredients as before, just add an extra egg. To fix your flop, beat your new egg, but for longer this time than you originally did. Now you simply use the flopped mayo instead of the oil this recipe calls for. This time, add the oil much more slowly than last time. Adding too much oil at one time is usually the reason for the flop. To ensure that the mayo doesn't flop the second  time around, make sure to beat the egg longer, and beat the mixture for longer in between each time that you add your very scant teaspoon of oil.
Given up on making mayo once it flopped? I can understand. Once it took me till try number 3 to get it right!
Instead of throwing out the flopped mayo or trying again to make mayo, you can use the flopped mayo in most recipes that call for oil. The flopped mayo works especially well in salads, etc.

Have you ever made homemade mayo? How do you make it? How many tries before you got it right?
This is part of Pennywise Platter ThursdayFight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

If you liked this post, you might also like:
Lacto-fermented recipes:
Homemade Easy Sauerkraut
Lacto-fermented Pickles
Homemade Yogurt
Don't Throw That Out Yet:
Marinated Cucumber Salad- using up soft and wilted cucumbers
Chicken Scrap Soup
Vegetable Scrap Soup
Spoiled Milk Pancakes- using spoiled milk as a buttermilk replacement


  1. I tried this with EVOO (the only oil I use in my home). Happy that my mayonnaise didn't fail, but YUCK, lol. The taste of oil was overpowering. Will try again with another oil more pleasing to my taste buds.

    1. Mari, try 1/2 EVOO with 1/2 organic safflower oil. I used to use organic canola but recent reports say even much of the organic canola has been contaminated with GMO's so it is best avoided all-together. Not sure about organic corn oil. Anyway, this seems to taste MUCH better. Another idea is to use a "light" (tasting) olive oil, but I have never found one that was organic.

  2. Do you do anything to avoid potential bacteria from the raw egg?

    1. Hi Brian,

      I am a nutritionist and I've made homemade mayo for over 30 years without a problem. But I have never used conventional eggs which I believe could be more likely to be contaminated with salmonella.

      I buy "real" pastured, organic eggs, but over the ears I have used organic mass-produced eggs too. I wash the outsides of all my eggs before cracking or even boiling them and I keep them well refrigerated. I keep a good thermometer in my refrigerator and make sure the temperature runs just above 32 degrees. The health department will tell you 40 degrees is best, but this is too low for my taste, and your food WILL keep longer at a lower temp... just be sure to keep your leafy greens in a lower bin and learn where the "cold spots" are so you don't put anything there that could freeze. Tweak the setting until you learn the perfect setting. The idea is to get it as cold as possible without freezing. If you or anyone in your family are fragile then don't feed them anything with raw eggs.

  3. Do you do anything to avoid potential bacteria from the raw egg?

  4. Hi Penny! I love this mayo recipe you posted, as well as your eggless mayo! I have also switched to a primarily plant-based diet this last year after I decided to quit smoking and drinking all together and started going in the healthy and unprocessed, from-scratch lifestyle to detox from all the years of awful nasty stuff I was putting in my body. Plus it really does save a lot of money avoiding processed foods and making meals with healthy, organic ingredients myself, and the peace of mind knowing exactly what is in my food is well worth it even if it didn't save me a single cent. I don't consume any dairy anymore, and the only animal product I consume in very small quantities are eggs that are from pasture raised hens, so for this recipe I was wondering if in place of the whey if the juice from my home-made fermented veggies would work to make this a probiotic food and increase its shelf life? Thanks so much Penny! Your amazing :D Blessings to you and your family.

  5. If you don't have access to whey, or are allergic (like I am), use pickle juice instead of whey (I eat Bubbie's pickles, so I use the juice as my source). Works like a charm!


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