I spent about eight years living in the East and I loved it. My Better Half, or BH, and I were based in Taiwan which has a really rich culinary history influenced heavily by both China and Japan. I learnt so much about food while living there. I learnt to deep fry basil for chicken dishes and what a godsend panko crumbs are and how the dinky little bottles of soy sauce you buy in the west are never going to cut it if you’re going to really COOK with it. I learnt what rice is really supposed to taste like. I learnt to hate the cho tofu stand lady.
Most importantly I learnt to become self sufficient in the kitchen. Unless I wanted to make a really long journey through insane traffic to that one specialty store that might possibly have pesto at an exorbitant price, I was going to have to make it myself. The same went for curry sauces, pasta sauces, pie crusts, baked beans, pastry and chocolate peanut butter cups. Now that I’m back in the west, I must confess to buying all these in the store again. The one thing I won’t buy anymore though, is mayo.
Despite its reputation for being fickle homemade mayonnaise is one of the easiest things to make. It also knocks the socks off of any store bought variety AND it makes use of ingredients most of you have in your cupboards right now.
- 2 egg yolks ( I freeze the whites and use them for meringues)
- 1 heaped tsp of whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp of white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- 500 ml of vegetable oil
- a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper
Now the joy of these ingredients is they don’t have to be exact. It you don’t have white wine vinegar, use cider vinegar. Hot English mustard works just as well as whole grain. Play with the flavours until you find the mayo that works for you. I like adding about 25 gm of a hard sharp cheese like Pecorino Romano to give it a really nice savouriness.
Add all the ingredients except for the oil into a large bowl and break out your hand mixer. You can of cause use a food processor, but cleaning one bowl is easier than cleaning a food processor. If you’re trying to build upper arm strength, you could also try doing this with a whisk. Mix all the ingredients together to start the emulsion and then very slowly, drop by drop start adding the oil. Put the oil in a squeezey bottle. Using one of these helps control the amount of oil you’re adding.
Once you are confident the emulsion is holding, you can the oil a little faster. Keep on adding the oil until you’ve used it all. If at this point you find mayo a bit on the thick side you can thin it down with a tablespoon or two of boiling water. Oh, please remember, that although this is delicious, it is made with raw eggs, so keep in the refrigerator, and those with impaired immune systems, the elderly, expectant mothers and very young children should probably steer clear. Enjoy!