food rules & the secret to homemade mayonnaise that tastes like s&w

mayonnaise mayonnaise

Michael Pollan is one of those food writers that I’ve been meaning to read for years. But there’s something that’s always held me back. I think it’s the whole food-intelligentsia vibe with his titles. Does anyone else feel a bit intimidated by the thought of ‘In Defense of Food’ or ‘The Omnivore’s dilemma’?

Recently, however, I stumbled upon a copy of his latest publication, a cute little book called ‘Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual’. At last. Something approachable.

I did feel a little disturbingly smug as I read through Pollan’s 64 food eating guidelines. I like to think that my diet is relatively healthy. But I would never have been able to capture it so succinctly. You have to admire his overarching answer to the eternal question of what to eat. Simple really:

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.

I couldn’t agree more. So I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite ‘rules’ from the book. I’m not a qualified nutritionist, they’re just my personal views (although I did take a couple of nutrition subjects at uni).

But before we get into it, reading food rules got me thinking about my guilty processed-food indulgence. Yep. The pictures above have probably given me away. I have a bit of a mayonnaise addiction.

For years I tried to make my own, but it always tasted a little funny and never as good as the stuff out of a jar of S&W or Hellmans. I had pretty much resigned myself to a life of factory mayonnaise, consoling myself that at least the S&W claim to use ‘cage free’ eggs. But reading this book and reflecting on my food choices inspired me to at least have another crack at making mayonnaise that tastes like S&W.

Studying the ingredient list gave me my a good start: Whole eggs, neutral oil, vinegar, lemon, a touch of sugar. (If you’re wondering, the rosemary extract is an antioxidant, not used for flavour). And I’m happy to say that the results are pretty good. I can’t promise I won’t ever buy another bottle from the supermarket, but at least it will be happening on a less regular basis. Oh, and if you’re looking for the secrets to homemade mayo – skip to the recipe preamble below.

the stonesoup ‘Food Rules’ – adapted from Michael Pollan

Avoid food products containing more than five ingredients.
Great minds? Just as with my [5 ingredients] series, it’s not so much the number 5 that’s important. It’s about food that is as simple as possible.

Avoid food products that make health claims.
If it makes a health claim then it generally need a package which means it’s probably not something you’d find at your local farmers markets.

Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not.
Hello margarine. A good rule of thumb for life in general, and people in particular.

Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.

Eat like an omnivore.
This isn’t saying that people shouldn’t be vegetarians. It’s a gentle reminder that variety in our diets is the best way to ensure we are getting everything we need.

Eat well-grown food from healthy soil.
This one is for my Dad, who has spent many long hours lecturing me (and anyone within earshot) on the importance of healthy soils to grow healthy sheep (and all food ultimately).

Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacteria or fungi.
It sounds a bit disgusting to think of things like yoghurt, cheese, vinegar and wine(!) as being predigested. But I love food that has been helped with a little fermentation and I believe in my heart that they are good for us.

Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
Cold oil potato chips anyone? Or homemade peanut butter?

Be the kind of person who takes supplements—then skip the supplements.
I’ve always felt that supplements aren’t only a waste of money, but they can actually have a negative impact. Our digestive systems are so complicated and all based on reactions that have equilibriums or ‘balance’. It’s always seemed to me that the balance of the nutrients we eat is as important as the absolute amounts so bombarding with mega doeses found in supplements seems a little risky. Better, and more fun to focus on getting your nutrients from healthy food.

Stop eating before you’re full.
This is a new one for me. But I’m planning on giving it a go. It’s about giving your body a chance to register how much you’ve eaten (it takes a while) and how full you are.

Eat slowly.
It’s all about enjoying your food and being mindful and in the moment when you’re eating. For those of you that missed it, I wrote a piece on how to master the art of mindful eating for Zen Habits earlier in the year.

Eat meals.
When I was working in the food industry, every year there would be more and more talk of people moving from 3 meals a day to an increase in mini-meals and all-day grazing. Interesting that this trend is rising along with the incidence of obesity. Coincidence? I think not.

Do all your eating at a table.
This is linked to the whole mindful eating thing. But it’s also about making the time and space in your life to enjoy your food.

Break the rules once in a while.
My favourite rule of all and one that should be applied to life in general, not just food.


Whole Egg Mayonnaise

large batch: makes approx 3 1/2 cups
small batch: makes approx 1 1/2cups

A few secrets to homemade mayonnaise:
i. Everything needs to be at room temperature.
ii. If making with a food processor you need to have enough egg at the beginning so the oil gets dispersed evenly. I’ve had many tears over split mayonnaise when I thought I was being clever and halving the recipe. That being said, I have made this small batch with one whole egg successfully in the food processor.
iii. Olive oil is too strongly flavoured for mayo. I’ve tried even just a little and it always overpowers. Stick to neutral oils.
iv. If it does split, it’s time to switch over to hand beating. Mix a tablespoon of the split mixture with a tablespoon of mustard then start adding the mixture back in very slowly. A trick I picked up from the formidable Julia Child.
v. It’s ok to season with a little sugar. I often add sugar to my salad dressings so why not mayo. It definitely makes a difference in reaching the S&W benchmark.
vi. The fresher your eggs, the longer your mayonnaise will last.

One of the things I love about this mayo, apart from that it tastes almost like S&W, is that you won’t have to find a home for leftover egg whites.

***NOTE / UPDATE:***
I’ve read that eating raw egg white can be difficult to digest so I’ve recently been making mayo with just egg yolks. The method and secrets above still apply but see below for egg-yolk mayo ingredients.

Large batch:

2 whole eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups peanut or other vegetable oil

Small batch:

1 whole egg at room temperature
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups peanut or other vegetable oil

1. Whizz eggs, mustard, vinegar & lemon together with a pinch salt.

2. With the motor still running, add the oil a few drops at a time, then build up to a thin stream and then a slightly more daring stream until most of the oil is incorporated.

3. Taste and season. Feel free to add a pinch of sugar or more vinegar, lemon juice or mustard if you like. Whizz to combine.

4. If the mayo is a little too runny, add the remaining oil. Too firm, add a little water.


Egg Yolk Mayo

This recipe can be halved, but if your food processor is very large you’d be better making the half batch by hand to make sure it doesn’t split. And I like the flavour that onion powder gives but it’s totally optional.

makes: about 3 cups
takes: 10 minutes
2 egg yolks at room temperature
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rice, sherry or white wine vinegar
1 scant teaspoon onion powder (optional)
3 cups rice bran, peanut or other neutral flavoured oil

1. Whizz egg yolks and water together with a big pinch of salt. Add mustard and vinegar and whizz again.

2. With the motor still running, add the oil a few drops at a time, then build up to a thin stream and then a slightly more daring stream until most of the oil is incorporated.

3. Taste and season, adding the onion powder now (if using). Feel free to add more vinegar, onion powder or mustard if you like. Whizz to combine.

4. If the mayo is a little too runny, add the remaining oil. Too firm, add a little water.

SUPER IMPORTANT: Mayo made with raw egg shouldn’t be eaten by pregnant ladies or children because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.
UPDATE: I’ve since found by using boiling water you can pasteurize your egg yolks and make safe mayo for pregnant ladies… hooray!



  • Hi Jules!

    I’ve only recently started making my own mayonnaise after years of feeling intimidated by the process, then a couple of botched attempts, and I now feel I have it more or less under control (I make mine by hand with just one egg yolk, but I’ll try yours next time!).

    The one problem I have, though, is that you can’t just make a small amount, you have to make at least a cup, or a cup and a half. And although we do like mayo, it’s a lot more than we’re naturally inclined to consume in my household of two before I feel it’s no longer safe to eat (raw egg and all), so I usually end up tossing about half of what I’ve made, and this bothers me greatly.

    If you don’t mind my asking: when you make yours, which I notice makes 3 1/2 cups, does it mean you’ll eat something mayo-based at every meal over the next 2 or 3 days? Or do you keep the mayo around for longer than that? Or do you only make it when you know you’ll be feeding a lot of people?

  • A fun and easy way to get started with Michael Pollan is to watch his talks on YouTube (Google Talks) and TED. He is a good and entertaining speaker – you won’t get bored easily. I must confess I have not yet read his books, but they get good reviews (except “Food Rules” which appears to be just a short version of “In Defense of Food”).

    • There’s several natural preservatives that would work for this- vitamin e oil in paticular would be great since it’s so good for you. Pick up a little bottle (they sell it cheap at Trader Joe’s if there’s one near you!) and just add two or three drops. There’s also rosemary extract and grapefruit seed extract.

  • nicky
    thanks for sharing your link – good idea with the hand held blender

    good question about the quantity. This time I am planning to be feeding a lot of people but I was planning to experiment with keeping it for at least a week to see how it goes. The other thought I had was to give it as a gift – always better than throwing food away.

  • stupid question from a central European: what do you mean S&W? I suppose it’s neither Smith & Wesson nor Strunk & White.

  • I’ve been wondering about the raw egg; everyone feels good after making and eating this, right?

    We’d love a little mayo, but I’m ready for a less processed, homemade kind.

    I also recently read Food Rules, and the eat until you’re not hungry was a BIG one for me.


  • I’m not a fan of mayo, but I do like these rules. I think I’ll try the “stop eating before you’re full”, too. But I always eat very filling foods so I don’t know how that would work out :S


  • I picked up ‘Food Rules’ as a gift to my mother after reading book that is about 10 times the size (and therefore a little overwhelming.) I read it in an afternoon, and I can safely say that it is incomparable to the book I originally read. Try ‘Good Health in the 21st Century’ by Dr Carole Hungerford (fitting name.)
    It is incredible. Not only is she Australian (for some reason I get overwhelmed by food writers, in both blog and book form, from the US- slightly different eating culture) but it is possibly the most succinct, informative and practical book I have ever read.
    It looks at health (and therefore eating, which I’m sure you’d agree is a fundamental factor) at every level; from the molecular, to the political.
    Seriously get your hands on it!!!

  • I get pretty defensive about anyone who claims to have the proper “rules” for eating (“Blueberries are a superfood! Fruit is full of sugar! Lean protein is so good for you! Eating animals leads to heart disease!” Don’t tell me what to eat!), that even though I like Michael Pollan, I’ve been really hesitant to pick up “Food Rules”. But these seem much more conceptual. You may have changed my mind.

  • regarding the “predigested foods” — there’s actual (scientific, peer-reviewed) evidence out there that fermentation (both bacterial and fungal) plays an important role in making nutrients available and digestible. A good starting place is Ulf Svanberg and Wilbald Lorri’s 1997 article in the journal Food Control.

  • I couldn’t agree with the rules more! Although I object to your classification of peanut butter as junk food (assuming it is made only with peanuts, and maybe some salt… no sugar!). :)

  • I too just discovered Michael Pollan! Like you, I started with Food Rules, and found they were the basic guidelines I was already following, but put so much more eloquently! Then I went on to In Defense of Food, which really, again, connected with me and my own views on the foods I choose to eat. I just last week finished reading the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and I highly recommend it!!! The first few chapters are a bit of a snore (he talks in way too much details about corn), but they he moves on the cattle and commercial farming vs. local sustainable farming, and it was just so informative and interesting and eye opening! Really changed something for me. You should definitely pick it up. :)

    I actually HATE mayonnaise. It makes me feel sick every time I eat it. At least store-bought mayo does. I made my own a few months ago (Alton Brown’s recipe), and it was fantastic! No icky sick feeling afterwards. Apparently my body doesn’t like all the preservatives and stabilizers in the fake stuff. Mayo isn’t evil, processed foods are! Hehe. I’ll definitely have to give this recipe a try!

  • The beauty about making your own is that you know exactly how much salt or sugar is going into the finished product, rather than trying to guess from a nutrition label or having to believe what they claim on the outside of the packet.
    “Food rules” sounds like a great intro. If you’re looking for a little more information, especially about Australian farming, try “the ethics of what we eat” by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. It looks at three families, their average diets and what farming practices that translates to, both in the USA and Australia. Really interesting and certainly makes you think.

  • Used to make my own mayo years ago with a whisk, before food processors became commonly available. I can’t believe I once had the stamina & co-ordination to whisk the living daylights out of the egg, mustard, vinegar, & sugar mixture with one hand while simultaneously pouring in a thin stream of oil into it with the other hand. Using a food processor is SO much better!

    I’m a fan of Michael Pollan’s work, but agree with another comment that the first bits of Omnivore’s Dilemma are on the dry side. His assertion that Americans are now mostly corn gave me nightmares, but he’s probably right.

    Great “Food Rules” list–especially like “eat like an omnivore” and “be the kind of person who takes supplements, then skip the supplements.” You’ve got a great food attitude.

  • I loved In Defence of Food and went out and bought the whole Michael Pollan oeuvre…I think it is fair to say that it is probably the best of them all (Omnivore’s Dilemma is great once you cut through all the sentimental anecdotes, and the Botany of desire…well, once you get rid of the sentimental anecdotes there’s not much left of what promised to be a very interesting and entertaining book).

    For me, the most succinct of the rules which captures so much of all of the others is simply this: Don’t eat anything your Grandmother (or Great-Grandmother, perhaps) wouldn’t recognise as food (by which in many cases he means wouldn’t recognise as food ocne you looked at the ingredients list…like supermarket bread).

  • Hey Jules,
    I particularly liked your “do all your eating at a table” comment. I went around to my sisters last night for dinner with 2 ingredients to start with. Chicken and pumpkin. She is a wiz at throwing stuff together to make things taste delicious and we ended up making a thai soup. It was during our eating and chatting that the next thing I knew, she had all her spices out on the dining table and we were talking about spice combinations, making pastes from scratch and great recipes. All because we sat and enjoyed each others company and food at the table! Food is so good for so many reasons. Tthanks for reminding me!
    See you in Melbourne next time! maybe in my new kitchen? – I am planning to become a domestic goddess! Cheers, Jo

  • Love the food rules – I particularly agreed with the “eat junk food as long as you make it” – in that I almost always make all the sweet things that my children eat because then I know exactly how much sugar/butter etc goes into each piece and can monitor their intake, plus it also means I know all the food is preservative free – something I avoid as much as possible. I think cooking from scratch and trying to be economical also helps with a balanced eating ethic – meat is simply too costly to eat a lot of, and bulking out small cuts with lots of different vegetables means that your proportions are more likely to be healthy than when/if you buy ready prepared processed food.
    I haven’t sucessfully made mayo yet – a totally inedible failure put me off some years ago, but I think this gives me the courage to try again! (And I was thankful that you said it tasted like S&W or Hellmans – the only brands I tend to buy, rather than some of the squeezy bottles that claim to be mayo.. )

  • I am a huge fan of home-made mayonnaise. One issue that I have experienced, though, is that it may not thicken in wet or humid weather! (This made for a very grumpy Christmas morning in Cairns a few years ago. :-P )

  • I can’t help but respond to the “Eat meals” rule; while I generally agree with the idea that all day grazing can be very bad for your waistline, I also know that 3 full meals a day makes my stomach go blech. *Note; GERD is horrible to live with, though it’s a hell of a motivator for healthy eating habits.

    I tend to eat 5 or 6 small “mini-meals” throughout the day, and this seems to work much better for me. I just can’t eat very much at one time (rule #10, Stop eating before you’re full? check!), so if I stick to the traditional 3 meals, I spend most of my day starving :(

    *Oh, and if I could, I’d like to suggest an additional “rule”; Make time for rest, stress will do horrible things to your body. See above note re: GERD

  • Ah yes, home-made takeaway is my favourite. It’s cheaper, healthier, and comes with the soulwarming effects of cooking yourself a meal. I’ve been having home made fish and chips lately, and experimenting with different ways of doing both the F and the C. Good fun, and so much better than takeaway.

  • I too felt a bit alienated by Michael Pollan at first, but I do think those food rules are things we can all agree on! I love the one about eating junk food as long as you make it yourself.
    I always make small batch mayonnaise, sometimes in a food processor and sometimes by hand. I usually use a whole egg in the food processor and just the yolks with the hand method. I’ve never tried adding sherry vinegar though, I’ll have to do that next time! My recent mayo write-up:

  • I don’t like rules; my favourite rule is “There are no rules” but these seem more like common sense to me, so they are not too bad :)

    Honey is regurgitated from bees, so there’s another good pre-digested food.

    I disagree about supplements, though – it’s true that we should aim to take our nutrients from food, but it seems that nowadays even fresh food may lack nutrients, for several reasons (conditions of the soil, food not eaten straight after picking, etc.). So I aim for a varied diet, with organic food when I can find it (and afford it…) but I also take a multivitamin & mineral, and vitamin B12 (I have low levels of VB12).

    I also think that 3 meals a day is not good for everyone; some people have a high metabolic rate and need to snack frequently, some people have digestion problems…so again it should be a matter of being aware of what works for you.

    Mayo is one of those things I’ve always been afraid to tackle…must give it a try, you make it sound quite easy to do :)

  • Count me in as a Pollan fan. If you aren’t looking for a scientific journal, and you’re an avid gardener, Botany of Desire is a good read – it’s the history of man’s relationship with 4 (or maybe it was 5, it’s been a while) plants.

    On the subject of supplements, I truly believe that most people are throwing money away on them. It is highly likely that, once removed from their normal means of consumption – i.e. food – that our bodies don’t quite use them the same way. Some unidentified other nutrient? The need for certain combinations in order for absorption to occur? Who knows? Nutrition scientists change their minds every 10 minutes, leading me to believe the speak from some oriface other than their mouths.

    Favorite ‘Food Rule’: If a breakfast cereal changes the color of the milk, it’s not food…

  • I stumble onto your site after seeing Jacob from ERE post the link. I’m having a blast reading through all the recipes (and trying to make some in the process) I saw you mentioned some of your emails are not “light”. After sitting at my table enjoying the awesome tasting food, I thought, “Who can think about anything negative while eating something so delicious”? Must be something wrong with that person lol. Keep the recipes coming. This foodie is always hungry (and my daughter too) :)

  • Hi Jules, I have made my own mayo for years with the immersion blender & it never fails me. One thing I haven’t read any where that is an important step is to leave the mayo out at room temp for four to twelve hours! I believe I learned this from Alton Brown in his early recipes on making mayo. The reason given is that the acidic ingredient e.g. vinegar, lemon juice will remain active and do it’s other function of killing any bacteria. When you refrigerate immediately you stop this action. What do you think of this final step, I’d love to know your thoughts?
    This is my first visit & love your site!

  • I did a quick google on this and found something on chowhound. The link to the Alton show isn’t good any longer but here is what I found:

    I remember seeing Alton Brown make homemade Mayo and he let it sit out at room temp of 4-8 hours before refriderating, this is supposed to kill the salmonella bacteria


    Permalink | Reply
    JC Jun 20, 2002 11:22PM

    This is word-for-word from his show: re: Wendy Leonard

    “And there we have it. Ah, good body, nice cling, and the flavor, mm, just try to get that out of a jar. But it does fit in a jar. Now I usually cover my fresh Mayo and leave it at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours. [camera does a double-take on the jar] Now take it easy. Take it easy. I know. Leaving raw eggs in this zone sounds like crazy talk. But here’s the thing. There’s a small, tiny, infinitesimal, little chance that, uh, that egg yolk was contaminated with salmonella. Now the cold of the refrigerator would prevent that salmonella from breeding but it will not actually kill it. Acid, on the hand, will. And with a pH of, wow, 3.6 this is a decidedly acidic environment. But for reasons that still have lab-coaters scratching their heads, acid does its best bug killing at room temperature. So leaving this out for 8, 10, even 12 hours is sound sanitation. After that, straight to the refrigerator for no more than a week. You can even put it in the door.”

    I heard this somewhere else recently too. He does a good job of backing his statements up with science.

    Tater Jun 21, 2002 10:51AM

  • bobby
    that’s fascinating about the acid not working in the fridge – would love to find out why that was so. thanks for the links.

    cristina & heidi
    thanks for sharing your thoughts on supplements and the 3 meals a day thing – I guess the most important things with these rules is that they’re personal and what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for everything

    how have you been cooking your fish? I love f&c and now that I have my chips sorted need to work on my fish.

    thanks for the book recommendation

    thanks for the scientific proof for bacteria and fungi being helpful – I knew it ;)

    you’re right – it’s a bit harsh to call PNB junk food

    S&W is an american brand of mayo that’s also sold here in australia. funny I’d never wondered what it stood for

  • peanut oil is a really odd thing in my opinion (for a mayonnaise). If you find olive oil strong in flavour, I’d suggest sunflower oil instead (more neutral and healthier also…)

  • I am from the U.S. and have never heard of “S&W”. I will have to look that up. Anyway, the mayonnaise looks gloriously fantastic. I’ve yet to make my own mayonnaise for fear that it would go bad since I don’t consume it often enough. One day I will try this out, though…but without the alcohol.

  • First off, I have been totally obsessed with making mayonnaise at home this summer. It is a great way to enjoy fresh produce as crudites. I have a interesting variation on my blog.

    Back to the post:

    @jules – great tips: I also have had poor results with olive oil and halving the recipe.

    David Tanis has an aioli recipe with half olive oil and half neutral oil, but I haven’t gotten it to come out right. I think it really depends on the olive oil. Supermarket variety was not cutting it.

    @clotilde – I agree, there is always more than we can eat in one sitting and I am not sure that it is okay to keep it for later.

    @Laura – I always buy fresh eggs before making mayo.

    @Meg – I find it much less tiring to use a fork in a tiring glass than a whisk in a bowl, if you want to try it by hand again.

  • So far I’ve only done the fish in the fry pan, just trying out a variety of coatings, seasonings, batters etc. I am a bit wary of using a lot of oil (part nutrition, part safety!), so I really only use enough to wet the pan and brown the food. The first time I tried, I just used flour and pepper to coat and season, and found it left the fish a bit dry. Obviously that’s partly because of overcooking! But since then I’ve had a combination of flour and breadcrumbs for the batter, using egg to bind it to the fish, and it seems to help steam the fish inside a bit of a crust. Seasoning varies each week but the one that comes to mind was using a bit of tarragon in with the batter. When I get really fancy I’ll probably leave the fish plain and make up a nice sauce, but I’m cooking for one and sauces can be a bit wasteful.

    ps. sharpened with the furi fingers last night, thanks for the tip, they are great!

  • Hi Jules, I find the best use for too much ‘leftover’ mayo is Mayonnaise Cake! SOOO moist and the crumb is great. I confess to making mayo just so I can make the cake not the other way around!!

  • I’d be weary about using peanut oil, only because I am (and more and more other people are today) very allergic to peanuts, and I would never expect to have a reaction to mayonnaise.

  • Okay. Having just said that I thought I’d do a little research on peanut oil and it seems like while people can still be allergic it’s less likely. Maybe I’ll have to look into it a bit more.

  • What I’m usually told is that you should eat many small meals rather than a few big. That will do more to keep you in energy all through the day. Have a hearty breakfast, some fruit or similar mid-morning, lunch, another fruit/ wholemeal break in the afternoon, supper and one more thing.

    I don’t know the truth of the matter, but I certainly get hungry mid-afternoon if I don’t have anything to eat.

    Which reminds me of a rule for both this list and the “how to eat cheaply:”

    “Don’t shop when you’re hungry.”

  • Hi Jules I often make my own mayo and like Clotilde, my recipe calls for one egg yolk or, to be more precise, 1/2 of an egg yolk. Additional ingredients are the same as your list, just in considerabley smaller quantities. I use about 3/4(+/-) of a cup of oil, a mixture of olive and canola oil. The end result is about 3/4 to 7/8 of a cup of mayo, so it is the perfect amount for an great tuna salad for 4 to 6 people and a little left over for use the rest of the week. Karen

  • Hi, I’ve made mayo twice before (2nd time being yesterday)- turned out great, no splitting or anything. I used a whisk blender and ONLY egg yolk(s) – no whites. Since I found your recipe and thought the advantage of having no spare white was a pretty good one, I gave it a try. It was a complete fail. Using the whole egg didn’t let me achieve the same consistency – it was as runny as Bernaise sauce. So unless this magically thickens into mayo in the refrigerator, I really don’t get why my attempt does not like the mayo in your picture.

  • Hi Diana

    I’m sorry your mayo didn’t turn out… the whites do make the texture a little softer… usually I add more oil until it looks how I want it to.

    and I’m wondering if we were using the same sized eggs? If your eggs are larger then you’d need more oil to get the same thickness

    All the best

  • Yahoo! I just made Mayo! It’s yummy. Never going back to the bottle, no offence Hellman’s, its just not nearly as creamy and rich as my own. Thanks Jules.

  • Thanks for your recipe bastardised it a bit.

    My recipe
    2 eggs
    1 small lemon knicked from the next door neighbours tree juiced
    1 small tablespoon of white vinegar
    3 rough tablespoon of mustard
    3 cup of veggie/peanut oil (ran out of peanut oil)
    salt and pepper to taste

    turn out yummy and should be lush as a substitute for butter on my burger rolls tonight.

  • Avoid all seed and vegetable oils like the plague. The healthiest oils to use are olive oil, if unheated, and for cooking, use ghee and coconut oil. The latter two have a very high proportion of saturated fat which, contrary to prevailing dogma, is actually VERY good for you. Unsaturated fats, when heated, turn into TRANS fats, which are the main reason behind heart disease! Saturated fats on the other hand, are very stable and don’t break down when heated. More and more scientific research is coming out proving this to be the case. Ignore all the misinformation about saturated fat = heart disease. This was a myth begun by the charlatan “scientist” Ancel Keys who did a bogus study many decades ago by leaving off all the countries whose inhabitants didn’t follow the dogma of high saturated fat = higher incidence of heart disease. And ever since, the soy industry and agricultural industry that produces seed and vegetable oils has tried its darndest to convince consumers that saturated fat is bad. For God’s sake people, wake up and do some research on the matter!

  • I’ve made some great homemade garlic mayo many times. Whenever it comes out too runny though I just blend in an avocado and it becomes fluffy flavored mayo.

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  • I’m a bit late adding to the idea of allowing the mayonnaise to stand for 8 hours at room temperature but I add a couple of tablespoons of thick kefir to my finished homemade mayonnaise and it preserves it for many weeks. The lactic acid bacteria in the fermented kefir milk ensures that no detrimental bacteria can grow. I have often eaten the last of my six week old homemade mayo with no problem at all.

  • leave the salt out and bring a small amount of heavily salted water to a boil and add 1-3 tablespoons (large or small recipes) to the finished recipe in lieu of salt earlier on. this helps stabilize the mayonnaise.

    • Great minds Jo!
      I’ve been adding boiling water up front recently to pasteurize the egg yolks because I’m pregnant… works a treat!

  • Hi – I love your recipes and will recommend them to my son and his wife – who lead very busy family lives.

    With the mayonaisse, you can actually cook it over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring often, just be sure not to ‘boil’ it. That may help the pregnant ladies. kind regards, Corry.

  • I’ve been thinking of making some mayo using this recipe for some months now. Yesterday I ran out of my store bought mayo and today I made it. Not exactly neutral as I’ve found out but I decided to use avocado oil. Unfortunately I didn’t have quite 1.5 cups/375 ml. I had about 360 ml. It wasn’t runny; it wasn’t nearly as thick as the commercial mayo I’ve been buying. It tastes a bit strong and is a bit green. I put it in the refrigerator before I read all the notes that tell me not to do that. I’ve tried it out in a salmon sandwich and it was ok. The avocado flavor did not overwhelm the tomato and onion flavored salmon. Next time I’m going to try Macadamia oil.

    • Thx for sharing Gina
      I’m not a huge fan of avocado oil for that reason but I’ve been told some brands don’t taste so green.

  • CHi Jules
    Thank you very much for posting about homemade mayonnaise. I also have found homemade to be a bit funky in taste so I will try using a less flavoursome oil than the best olive oil I have been using. Also I like the idea of a touch of sweet seasoning, I might try a dab of honey or maple syrup.
    Just as an interesting aside, I follow the hand-mixed process of the late Joan Wolfenden who wrote many books including `Recipes to Relish’ in which she very generously gave away some long held secrets. In the 1950s she ran Peacock Vane restaurant on the Isle of Wight just off the coast of Britain. She was a very Christian lady and her books are warm and encouraging, full of knowledge and wisdom. She is the mother I never had.
    Her recipe: a dry bowl and wooden spoon,
    two egg yolks at room temperature (using the whites for meringues – another successful recipe),
    6 fl oz olive oil (of which I don’t like the taste so I will experiment with other oils)
    1 level teasp salt (which I found too much so I use half a teasp),
    1 level teasp English mustard powder;
    black pepper
    and enough good malt vinegar or wine vinegar or lemon juice to “sharpen the blandness”.
    Her process – which takes about 15 minutes by hand is to first “relax” and “be at peace” while combining egg yolks, salt, black pepper and mustard powder stirring with the spoon IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY throughout.
    When thoroughly combined, add the oil very, very slowly at first until the mayonnaise emulsifies then oil can be added “with abandon”. If the mayonnaise does curdle, start again with one egg yolk, mustard powder and pepper and add the curdled mayonnaise very slowly – though a little more oil will be needed.
    Though the olive oil taste is not to my liking, I made this recipe more than once and it was a success – it didn’t curdle and the finished consistency was spot on. I know most people will dismiss this hand stirred recipe, but it is worth spending 15 minutes and getting a really controllable satisfactory result.

    • Thanks for sharing Jane – I haven’t come across Joan Wolfenden – :)

      And you’ve reminded me that I’ve since switched to using my stick blender to make mayo. It’s revolutionary and only takes about 5 minutes – I’ve been meaning to post the recipe on Stonesoup – thanks for the reminder! Although I’m sure Joan wouldn’t approve.

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