Mayonnaise Recipe

Supposedly the first mayonnaise recipe was invited in France about 250 years ago by a chef who didn't have the right ingredients for his meal plan. He was ordered to create a feast to celebrate a war victory, but discovered he had no cream for the sauce. He substituted olive oil, and mayonnaise was born.


The secret to making mayonnaise

I don't know how he figured it out, but the key to making mayonnaise is to add the oil very slowly. The first time I made it, I thought OK very slowly and added it more slowly than I'd pour a glass of milk. This did not work out. Very slowly, means exceedingly slowly. Starting out with drops and ending much later in a drizzle.

Health Considerations

Because homemade mayonnaise is made with raw egg yolk, you should not keep it for long in the refrigerator. Three days maximum. It is recommended that pregnant women skip the homemade mayonnaise. If you're scared off by the health risks posed by raw egg and opt to buy prepared mayonnaise, look at the ingredients. The more the ingredients resemble homemade mayonnaise ingredients, the better it should taste.

Mayonnaise Recipe

You can experiment with using different oils to get mayonnaises with different tastes. This recipe makes one cup of mayonnaise.


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 cup oil (safflower, corn, olive, or other)


Place the egg yolk in a deep, heavy mixing bowl that will not move across the counter (you need both hands for the next step).

Using a hand mixer, beat in mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Very slowly (remember very slowly) pour in the oil. Watch in amazement as the mixture turns to mayonnaise.

That's it. And you thought it was tricky!

Learn more about French sauces.

Return to French Sauce Recipes.

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