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This recipe is published as it is referred to in the article entitled Cooking without Recipes. If you have not done so the article is well woth reading.

Because this is an uncooked sauce, only the freshest, pasteurised eggs should be used for food hygiene reasons.

Mayonnaise is an emulsion sauce - by the means of an emulsion agent (egg yolk) oil and water that don't normally mix will combine forming a creamy cold sauce. Mayonnaise may be used as a cold sauce with cold appetisers or cold buffets, alternatively it may be thinned and used as a salad dressing also.


egg yolks
oil - soya


  • Place egg yolks, vinegar and mustard (approximately 1/2 teaspoon) into a bowl and combine well with a whisk

  • While whisking (in a figure of eight movement), very slowly add the oil a little at a time until completely combined

  • Once all the oil has been added, continue whisking for a further minute to ensure a complete emulsion

  • Taste, correct seasoning, add more vinegar and / or mustard if required

  • If the sauce is too thick it may be thinned with a little boiling water, if too thin more oil may be added

Chef's Tip:

Sometimes the emulsion will not work, when this happens we say the sauce has split or curdled, mayonnaise will curdle or split for a variety of reasons:

  • the oil is too warm or too cold
  • the oil was added to quickly
  • the whisking was insufficient
  • the yolks were stale

This can be corrected by one of two means:

  • a little boiling water is placed into a bowl and the curdled mayonnaise slowly whisked into it
  • a fresh egg yolk and a little vinegar or water is placed into a bowl and the curdled mayonnaise slowly whisked into it

The consistency of this sauce can be varied by the addition of hot water to thin, adding more oil will only thicken it.

The vegetable / soya oil can be replaced successfully with virgin olive oil or a 1:1 ratio of virgin olive and vegetable oil.

Extra virgin olive oil should not be used as it has too strong a flavour.

Derivatives include:

Mayonnaise is a mother sauce from which many derivatives may be obtained (amounts are best added to taste)

  Andalusian/Andalouse tomato purée (or juice) and brunoise / julienne of capsicum
  Aioli for recipe <click here>
  Cocktail Sauce tomato purée and Tabasco (this is a generic sauce to which other additives may be added: chopped onion, chives, etc)
  Genoise purée of herbs, pistachio and almonds, seasoned with lemon juice
  Green purée of herbs and spinach (sieved)
  Gribiche bruise of gherkins, capers, chervil, tarragon, chopped egg yolk and white
  Mousquétaire chopped shallots (blanched in white wine), chives and cayenne
  Remoulade as for tartare with chopped anchovies
  Russe lobster / New Zealand crayfish coral, caviar purée, mustard and
Escoffier sauce
  Suédoise apple purée and horseradish
  Tartare chopped capers, gherkins, parsley, chives

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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