All ingredients need to start at room temperature (I don’t refrigerate my eggs) – the jury’s out if you should, but as ours are kindly donated from the hens in the garden, we trust them implicitly. Break one egg into a tall vessel, one which the electric blender stick can slot into so the mayo won’t splatter out of. The reason to use the whole egg and not just the yolk is it emulsifies well, giving a lighter texture.
A Foolproof Technique
To whisk or blend? That is the question. Traditionally you’d whisk of course, but you can use an electric hand blender for speed. Let’s face it, few want to laboriously beat for ten minutes.
I initially blitz a little mustard and a quarter of a clove of garlic with the egg. Now the mix is ready to receive the oil.The trick is to add the oil painfully slowly, drip by drip, whizzing all the time (don’t stop for a second and keep the stick still!). It will begin to emulsify. Then you can commence with a steady drizzle - never a slosh.
Choosing Your Oil
Regarding your oil choice, all flavours become exaggerated in mayo so extra virgin olive oil can make the end result grassy and bitter: I’d suggest 75% insipid veg or sunflower oil and 25% olive oil.
Towards the end of the process, retain a steady stream of oil. Once it thickens and pushes up around the edges you can finally move the blender up and down a little. To finish, add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Taste. Serve.
What To Do If It Splits
Curdling normally happens from moving the blender around too much or continuing when it’s reached its peak. Don’t be dispirited, it’s straightforward to rectify. Try squeezing in lemon juice if ribbons appear, this sometimes brings it back. If that doesn’t work, save the mix and reboot the process. Crack a new egg into a clean dry vessel and extremely slowly, as you did with the oil, trickle in the unsuccessful mix, buzzing calmly and continuously until it thickens and emulsifies.
- 1 egg
- Approx 260ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
- Approx 50 ml light olive oil
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- ¼ to ½ garlic clove
- Zests from lime or lemon
- Tarragon or chives
- A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- For a chilli kick, 1tsp sriracha at the end
Different Riffs ...
Mayo maketh an equation. Just remember, it’s an acid (a vinegar or citrus) + an oil + an egg.
1. Walnut mayo: 1 egg, 1tsp dijon mustard, around 300ml walnut oil, and finely chopped parsley.
2. On the Med: Egg yolk, light olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
3. French aioli: Egg yolk, light olive oil, garlic, lemon and salt
4. Japanese inspired: A different beast, sub the squeeze of lemon with a slurp of rice vinegar. Stir in a little miso at the end or wasabi.
5. Marmite mayo: A umami tsunami from the marmite makes this mayo fabulous with everything from pork chops to roasties. Whisk in 1tbsp marmite at the end of the above ratio.
6. Eggless: In Spain, I frequently eat aioli made with no egg - it’s a Catalan recipe, delectable with rice dishes, bread, seafood. Beat the garlic clove and salt until creamy. Whisk in the olive oil (or I’d suggest sunflower) drip by drip. As it stabilises you can put in more and more.
The 5 Min Mayo Conclusion
- You can make it to the texture you want, runnier and lemony for asparagus, lamb chops or chorizo and peppers; thicker for roast chicken and chips.
- Oils to use include rapeseed, walnut, sunflower, olive oil, grapeseed, peanut.
- Adding 1tsp of water to the egg before dripping in the oil can make it even easier to make.
- To improve shop-bought, add in a squeeze of lemon juice or a kiss of garlic.
- I call this 5 min mayo but my personal record is 1minute 6 seconds!
Chloe Scott-Moncrieff is a food columnist & cofounder of the Young British Foodie awards, celebrating new food and drink talent across the UK. Instagram: @chloescottmoncrieff