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Ultimayo 500: The Ultimate Homemade Mayo

I’m a regular reader of Kenji Alt’s Food Lab column on Serious Eats. With this great recipe for homemade mayonnaise from a post in early October Kenji continues to deliver the goods.

None of the usual bs of slow drips of oil while balancing a giant metal bowl on your lap and whisking with the other hand or trying to manage the barest, steady stream through the feed tube of a food processor. All the ingredients go into a container at once, they settle for a few moments and then an immersion blender is put to work magically turning them into mayo. Every time.

Anyone who publishes or posts a recipe for homemade mayo that uses the food processor (or even worse the bowl-and-whisk) method deserves a stiff dose of public shame and a life of sandwiches made with the foul-tasting Miracle Whip.

For the annual Meatluck (a pot luck where every dish features meat) I decided to add some ingredients to the recipe and then pair the mayo with beef cooked in a beer cooler and blowtorched, but that’s another post entirely. All of these extras are either good at increasing the meaty taste of a dish or sharpen and carry other flavours. Parmesan cheese, anchovies, garlic (sort of), truffle/porcini oil, and tomato paste all fall into the “umami bomb” category; lemon juice, mustard (in the original recipe and including for other reasons as well), star anise, and whiskey are all flavour enhancers.

If you're going to make Ultimayo 500 is there really any point of putting it in any bottle other than a Shake Shack style, three spout bottle?

If you're going to make Ultimayo 500 is there really any point of putting it in any bottle other than a Shake Shack style, three spout bottle?

I know I’ve taken a simple recipe, increased the ingredients and therefore added some steps but generally I think it’s worth the effort. Obviously, adapt as you choose but I’ve listed the non-essential flavour additions (all but the first five ingredients) from best to most-optional. Use the same grater for the garlic and parmesan cheese or the same mortar and pestle or spice grinder for the star anise and garlic and you’ll cut down on cleanup.

Why the star anise? Not only does it hold a place on the very long list of alleged aphrodisiacs but Heston Blumenthal and I agree that it enhances the flavour of meat. In particular I find that it helps add interest and length and cut the anchovies.

The tomato paste and truffle are near the bottom of the list because I think you have to add way too much of them to make a difference. I wouldn’t mind a version that only includes truffle flavour here I actually think it is overwhelmed. Note that the photo of the ingredients at the top of the post is for a double batch and if you’re counting I ran out of little prep bowls so the water and mustard are in the same bowl.

Ultimate Homemade Mayo: Ultimayo 500

Adapted from the Two-Minute Mayonnaise recipe on Serious Eats The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt

Adapted from the Food Lab’s 2-Minute Mayonnaise this is my umami-heavy recipe for the ultimate homemade mayo.

Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 5 minutes

Yield: a bit more than one cup, close to 300 ml

  • 18 g (1) large egg yolks
  • 240 g (1 cup) vegetable or canola oil
  • 5 g (1 tsp) dijon mustard
  • 15 g (1 TB) water
  • 15 g (1 TB) lemon juice
  • 3 star anise, finely ground
  • 8 g (1 clove) garlic, grated
  • 9 g (small knob, about a TB, grated) parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 g (about 3 filets) anchovies, roughly cut
  • 4 g (1 tsp) whiskey (I happened to have Irish but anything other than single malt Scotch will do)
  • 5 g (1 tsp) tomato paste
  • 4 g (1 tsp) truffle or porcini mushroom oil
  • salt, to taste
  • Place the clear plastic cup that came with your stick blender (or a 1 litre/quart Mason jar) on your digital kitchen scale and add ingredients, hitting tare between each one. (This is the perfect example when it is much easier to use a digital scale than volume measure even if accuracy is not critical.)
  • Remove the container from the scale and after about ten seconds the oil will have floated to the top. Put your immersion blender all the way into the cup so that it is touching the bottom and turn it on. Run for about a minute or two, slowly moving the blender up and down after the emulsion has started to form at about the twenty-second mark.
  • Because of the anchovies and cheese I doubt you will have to add additional salt but taste just in case and season to taste.
  • Serve or refrigerate immediately. The base recipe states a refrigerated shelf life of two weeks but I’d say that with the addition of the garlic and anchovies this drops to about a week.

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  1. Sheldon says:

    Your mother is quite put out about about your Miracle Whip comment and she also noted that the pictures of the ingredients show dishes that she is not familiar with!

  2. Andrea says:

    David, have I ever told you that you’re one of my heroes? :D
    I heard the Ultimayo story from your mouth – I’ve even told a couple people about it – but that was like a teaser to the post.

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