Never fail mayo

Mayonnaise is not easy. I’ve gone through more egg yolks and olive oil than I care to remember, trying to perfect a wobbly, pale yellow emulsion. Not easy, but it is possible with a bit of mayonnaise know-how and a failsafe recipe.

It may seem like more effort than it’s worth, but the reasons for making your own mayonnaise well outweigh the reasons for buying it. I love knowing that my sauce has only eggs, oil, a splash of vinegar and some seasoning (mustard and salt and pepper in this instance). No stabilisers, or preservatives. I can adjust the flavours to suit me: want aioli? Add garlic. Wasabi mayo? A squeeze of wasabi. Most importantly it tastes like real mayo should – not too eggy, a tang of acid, and just enough salt. Perfect on a sandwich with chicken still warm from the oven.

The key tips are these:

  • Use super fresh egg yolks (freeze the whites to make meringues later)
  • Use an electric beater. Most of us aren’t professional chefs, so¬†electric beaters offer¬†more consistent results with less hard work than a hand whisk
  • Measure everything. Be precise with the amount of oil you use. Too much and the mayo will split
  • Add the oil drop by drop until the sauce starts to come together and thicken. You can be more liberal with the pour after that. This is super important!!

Good luck!

2016-08-10 14.20.14.jpgPERFECT MAYONNAISE

4 large egg yolks (size 7 or bigger)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
250ml olive oil
350ml ricebran oil (or canola)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

  1. Place egg yolks into mixing bowl with a pinch of salt
  2. Beat until combined and starting to thicken
  3. Add vinegar, beat until combined
  4. Begin to add the oil, drop by drop, beating continuously, until mixture begins to emulsify
  5. Slowly pour in the remaining oil, beating continuously, until mixture is very thick and all oil is incorporated
  6. Taste mayonnaise. If it still tastes of egg yolks (rather than mildly of olive oil), add another 50ml oil. Taste again.
  7. Mix in mustard and season. Spoon into large jars, cover and keep in the fridge. Mayonnaise (if refrigerated) should last for approximately 1 month.


  • If the olive oil flavour is too strong, you can just use neutrally flavoured rice bran or canola oil
  • I find extra virgin olive oil too strong for this recipe, so just use standard olive oil.
  • If you do not have cider vinegar, try white wine or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar makes for a reasonably tart mayonnaise. This is to my taste (and my family’s). You can add more or less vinegar to suit your own taste without unduely affecting the final result. You can also omit the mustard if this is not to your taste.
  • I used a Kitchenaid stand mixer with the whisk attachment to make my mayonnaise. You could also use an electric hand beater and achieve the same result

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