Cooking the Classics: Homemade Mayonnaise

I think this is another basic recipe that “everyone should master”, like Béchamel. (By the way, I’ve made a béchamel a couple of times since I posted about it and I have to say, my roux is now a thing of beauty.) I was really keen to try homemade mayonnaise because I always get annoyed when I see the unnecessary preservatives on the store-bought stuff.


Mayonnaise is a stable emulsified sauce, which means that it’s a mixture of two liquids that would normally separate.


To make it, you simply combine an egg yolk with mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Then, you pour in the oil, a very little bit at a time, constantly whisking energetically. This means that you are not letting the oil separate from the egg mixture and form a separate layer, instead, you are combining it in. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to use an electric beater at this point. Once you add the oil, the mayonnaise is ready; it should have a firm texture but in general it will look more yellow than store-bought mayo.


Because homemade mayonaise has no preservatives, you should have it within 48 hours of making it. Keep it in the fridge, covered so that the cling film touches its surface.


I used my mayonnaise in some sandwiches we had for a quick lunch last Saturday. They were so simple and so good!


You just slice some white bread and spread plenty of mayo on each slice. Then add some sliced tomatoes. (We had to make do with only one tomato.)


Top with some chopped lettuce leaves. Cucumber and sweetcorn would be good too.


Add two rashers of fried bacon, to make things nice and crispy.


On top of the bacon, add some shredded cooked chicken. I had made a roast chicken for our dinner on new year’s day so I just pulled some meat off the bones (which I later used for stock) and heated it up in the oven. You could stick a piece of chicken (breast, drumstick, whatever you fancy) under the grill and then cut it into small pieces.

For variations, you could skip the chicken and add a hard boiled egg. Or a fried egg. Or some grated cheese. The possibilities are endless. But don’t skip the bacon!

Top with another slice of bread and it’s ready. Delicious!


12 thoughts on “Cooking the Classics: Homemade Mayonnaise

  1. Beth F says:

    I’ve made homemade mayo a couple of times and it really is so much better than store bought. On the other hand, I am *not* a mayo fan, and even making my own didn’t really change my mind.

    • bookworm says:

      Hm, to be honest it doesn’t bother me at all (I’m equally unconcerned with having un-pasteurised cheese).
      However, in my French Cooking cookbook I read that if you add an extra splash of vinegar to the mixture once all the oil is incorporated, it reduces the risk of salmonella.

  2. Louise says:

    I like mayonnaise but have never got around to making my own. Thanks for the reminder. I should do it sometime soon. A cup is a lot though, and it would be a shame to waste such a glorious prize.

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