Why? Well because if you don’t pay attention to certain rules here, you will fail every single time you try it. First off: what kind of oil should you use? A neutral flavored oil such as corn oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. I like to use groundnut oil, also known as peanut oil or arachis oil.
Can you also prepare mayonnaise with olive oil? Sure thing! Depending on what type of olive oil you use, the mayo might be just a tad bitter and it will look very yellow. But it is still delicious though! My husband always uses olive oil if he makes mayo and I like that bitter flavor, especially in combination with juicy oven roasted chicken.
Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
Here’s another rule: make sure that the egg yolk, the oil and any other type of ingredient you want to add (like mustard, lemon juice, vinegar or garlic paste) are not too cold. Better leave the ingredients to rest at room temperature for a couple of minutes before you start making your homemade mayonnaise recipe.
The most important rule though: once you have beaten the egg yolk add just one drop of oil and whisk again. Just one drop! No kidding, because the creamy beaten egg yolk needs time to incorporate the oil slowly first. If you add too much oil in the beginning, the mayo will split right away and it’s hard to get it right again. So add drop by drop and beat the yolk well in between. I usually add at least about 10 single drops of oil before I start adding more oil at a time. You will see that the mayo will start to thicken very slowly. Good job, your mayo will be great.
Watch my video of how to make my homemade mayonnaise recipe from scratch!
Don’t let the yellow color put you off because the yolk is the reason why. But as soon as you add the lemon juice or vinegar, the mayo will become paler instantly. Here’s another very important rule: only add the lemon juice or vinegar right in the end when you have added all the oil to your mayo. You can add peper, salt, garlic paste or mustard from the beginning. Do you think the mayo is too thick? Add half a teaspoon of lukewarm water and whisk until you get the consistency you like.
So here it is, mayonnaise from scratch! You wouldn’t believe the number of people who look at me in awe when I tell them that I make my own mayonnaise at home. Some even don’t know that it is even possible! Like jars of mayonnaise grow in trees.
If you fail: don’t worry. Honestly, I still mess this homemade mayonnaise recipe up as well from time to time, believe me. It’s just a very tricky thing to make. And even I don’t know sometimes what I did wrong. However I have heard of tricks to save a split mayo, the most popular one is adding a teaspoon of very hot water. What the water will do is kind of ‘melt’ the split olive oil and make it homogenous again. This trick worked once for me.
Other tricks: put the split mayo in the fridge for an hour. The olive oil will set and maybe pick up again if you stir it again. Another trick I have heard of: add a teaspoon of store bought mayo. Look, except for the hot water I have no experience with the 2 other tricks so I can’t guarantee that those will work. I just picked these ideas up along my 8 years of food blogging. If you know another trick, leave a comment on the bottom of this page! I’d like to know.
Let me show you my easy homemade mayonnaise recipe from scratch!
- 1 medium egg yolk at room temperature
- 1 cup groundnut oil (240 ml), at room temperature
- strong mustard or garlic paste at room temperature
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar at room temperature
Add the egg yolk and mustard to a large mixing bowl. Season with a little pepper and salt.
The yolk should be at room temperature. If the ingredients are too cold, the mayo will split easily. Beat the yolk quickly for a minute using a large balloon whisk.
Now comes the tricky part where most people make a crucial mistake. Add the groundnut oil: drop by drop. I always add at least 10 single drops of oil in the beginning. Whisk the yolk mixture for 20 seconds after every time you add a drop. If you add too much oil in the beginning, the mayo will split.
The yolk mixture will be runny for a while but after those 10 separate drops, the mixture will thicken a little.
Keep on whisking the yolk and oil mixture firmly until it becomes creamier and thicker.
From now on you can add more drops of the groundnut oil at once. The mayo should gradually come together and start to look glossy. Take your time. Once you've added the oil, then add the lemon juice or vinegar. This will make the mayo paler.
Check the seasoning of the mayo and add extra pepper, salt, mustard, garlic paste, lemon juice or vinegar to taste. Forget the soar arm: you just made homemade mayonnaise from scratch… Then pour the mayo in a clean jar or container and store it in the fridge for up to one week.
I have come across some people over the years who claim that making mayonnaise will work or fail depending on which container or bowl you make it in. My honest opinion: I don’t agree because I believe that it just depends on what you like best to use to make mayo in.
My husband always makes mayonnaise in a deep plate just like his grandmother used to do (she even used 2 forks instead of a balloon whisk!) and I prefer to make my mayonnaise in one of those popular metal Ikea bowls. Whatever you use, be careful though: rinse your bowl or plate under warm running water for a second and dry it extremely well using a fresh and clean kitchen towel to remove any grease that could easily make your mayonnaise split.
A trick if you have difficulty keeping your plate or bowl fixed on your kitchen counter while whisking with one hand and adding oil with the other hand: place your plate or bowl on top of a wet kitchen towel to keep it better in place. I always roll a kitchen towel up, make a circle on my kitchen counter and place the bowl in it. Works like a charm.
From Scratch or Store Bought?
Now I can hear you ask yourself: do you always make mayonnaise from scratch at home whenever you need some? No, not at all. I do keep a small jar of store bought mayo in my fridge most of the time. Some recipes ask for just a teaspoon of mayo and I’m not going to waste an egg yolk on that. Plus making mayonnaise at home isn’t something that is done in just a minute. It needs time, patience and lots of love!
I am mostly adding mustard, garlic paste (or mashed fresh garlic) and lemon juice or vinegar to my mayonnaise. Other great flavors you can add: chili powder, paprika powder, fresh or dried thyme, Old Bay Seasoning (for seafood and fish), anchovy paste and tomato paste. Oh I also love to make pepper mayonnaise with loads of freshly ground black pepper in it. Great dip for fries or chicken wings!
Recipes with Mayonnaise
Some of my most popular recipes that contain a good amount of mayo? Here we go. Waldorf chicken salad, Belgian shrimp stuffed tomatoes (tomate aux crevettes), pan fried artichokes with cilantro mayo, French potato and herring salad, vitello tonnato, Japanese stir fried yaki udon noodles, appetizer mackerel rillettes, my shredded brussels sprouts salad… and coleslaw!
And I couldn’t possibly talk about mayonnaise without mentioning fries of course! Just not any type of fries… the real Belgian fries! Check out my Belgian fries recipe. I prefer mayo when I’m ordering fresh Belgian fries from a fries shack. Even though you can choose from at least 10 other types of fries sauces. Fries and mayo, you just can’t beat that glorious combination. And I mean a bunch of mayo with my fries. Pretty sure my liver doesn’t approve of it though. Oh well once in a while, why not.
A Bit of History
Mayonnaise, the king of cold sauces and without a doubt a fixed ingredient in roughly 9 out of 10 fridges at this very moment. Why? It’s just delicious! Sounds like a good reason to me, no? It goes way beyond that though. Mayonnaise is older than you might think. Apparently it appeared for the first time in the 18th century.
Mayonnaise was allegedly invented on the Mediterranean island of Menorca. Mayonnaise was called ‘salsa mahonesa’ referring to the city of Mahon, literally meaning ’sauce from Mahon’ or ‘Mahon style sauce’. The French started to call it mayonnaise (as in bernaise) and that’s how it is known pretty much everywhere nowadays. In Belgium and The Netherlands we spell it with just one ’n’, mayonaise. The Spanish call it ‘mayonesa’.
Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe
Mayonnaise is originally made with an egg yolk, oil and vinegar or lemon juice. If you’re brave enough you can exercise you biceps and make your mayo from scratch using a balloon whisk (see recipe above). Or just do it the easy way and use a stick mixer or a blender (see recipe below). I love to add mustard to my mayonnaise.
For this 5-minute mayonnaise recipe you need one whole raw egg. Why? Because the reason why this quick mayonnaise comes together in just a couple of seconds time is the magic between the egg white and the oil. The egg white will work its magic. Without it, the mayo would not come together so quickly. So no egg white, no mayo. And the yolk is there to add creaminess and color, it will make the mayo creamy and give it some color.
So! You are looking for a homemade mayonnaise recipe but you only have about 5 minutes to make some… Well here is the good news: you are on the right track! Let me show you how to make mayonnaise real fast.
True, making mayonnaise at home isn’t something that is done in just a minute. It needs time, patience and lots of love! But here’s a shortcut if you run out of mayo but don’t have the time to prepare some from scratch: homemade mayo in 5 minutes! Using a whole egg, oil and a blender or stick mixer. Great alternative as well. Scroll down for the speedy 5 minute mayonnaise recipe below this first one!
Making mayonnaise is a basic cooking skill and it’s much easier than it looks. True, making mayonnaise at home isn’t something that is done in just a minute. It needs time, patience and lots of love! But here’s a shortcut for those moments when you run out of mayo but don’t have the time to prepare some from scratch: homemade mayo in 5 minutes. And it works! Using a whole egg, oil and a blender or stick mixer. Great alternative as well.
Homemade mayonnaise recipe in 5 minutes flat, fail proof!
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (room temperature)
- ¾ cup groundnut oil (180 ml), room temperature
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 ml), room temperature
- 1 tsp strong mustard (room temperature)
Use a pretty high mixing or measuring cup for this recipe or you risk coating your entire kitchen with a layer of oil while blending the ingredients for this mayonnaise. Add the whole egg (yolk and egg white) to the cup. The yolk will make the mayo creamy and give it some color. The egg white will work its magic. Without it, the mayo would not come together so quickly. Also add the lemon juice or vinegar, the mustard and a good pinch of pepper and salt.
- Now pour in the oils.
Plunge the stick mixer in the ingredients.
Start blending. After a couple of seconds you will see that the mixture starts to turn white. Keep going, don't stop. Mix until all of the oil is incorporated. This should not take more than 25 to 30 seconds or you risk beating the egg white for too long and it will become runny again.
Remove the stick mixer when the mayo is finished and check the seasoning of the mayonnaise. Add extra mustard, lemon juice, pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Don't blend the mayo at this point (or it will become runny again) but use a spoon to stir it well. Then pour the finished mayo in a clean jar or container and store it in the fridge for up to one week.