A good eggy mayonnaise

Not all mayonnaise are created equal. Some are too oily, some use oil substitutes, some exclude egg altogether. We have a vegan mayonnaise-like dressing that I really, really like for a not-so-standard coleslaw.

What if you just want a good, egg-based mayonnaise but without all the fuss? Well, here’s an almost foolproof recipe. I say almost foolproof because there are two tricks:

  1. Let your egg come to room temperature before you start. Cold eggs are no friend to mayonnaise making. It also helps to check that your eggs are okay.
  2. Use a light flavoured oil that you could eat by the spoonful. You don’t have to eat it like that, but if your olive oil is too strong to savour straight, then it’s too strong for mayonnaise.

I have a third trick in this recipe. We don’t like a lot of oil, so a tablespoon or two of ground almonds helps the mayonnaise thicken more quickly with less oil. Sure, it’s cheating in fancy-chef mayonnaise world, but is it cheating if that’s the taste everyone likes? If you wanted to be more of a purist, leave out the ground almond and add a little more oil, and whisk for longer.If you wanted to be a purist of a purist, you’d use vinegar instead of lemon juice.

A smooth, creamy egg-based mayonnaise. The flecks are ground almond.

A smooth, creamy egg-based mayonnaise. The flecks are ground almond.

Do you like the flower in the photo? We’d had a bit of a storm—enough to black out three or four suburbs, not ours though. It also shook the snow gum (E. pauciflora) flowers out. They’re rather beautiful, aren’t they? I couldn’t resist including one here.

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup of light olive oil (save your extra virigin oil for when you want a strong, olivey flavour)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder (or dijon mustard)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground almond meal
  • a pinch of salt
  • about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice


  1. Mix the egg, mustard powder, salt, and ground almond together with half of the olive oil.
  2. When it’s completely mixed together, drizzle in more of the oil, a bit at a time, until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the oil slowly, because it will thicken rather suddenly.
  3. Once you have the consistency you like, stir in however much lemon juice you need to create the flavour you like.


Start with fresh, room temperature eggs. If the mayo goes into serious civil war (also known as curdling or separating) just as it should be getting thick and creamy, Stephanie Alexander suggests beating another egg yolk separately, then slowly add it to your battling mayonnaise, whisking well after each tiny spoonful. My Good Housekeeping book says to stop beating, make a new base (which could be an egg yolk or 1 teaspoon of any of these: hot water, lemon juice, vinegar, or dijon mustard), beat the separated mixture into that, then when you’ve reconciled the warring sides, continue drizzling in the oil to your now perfect mayonnaise.

Source: Everyone has a good, basic mayonnaise recipe. Most use just egg yolks, for example: The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander (1996); the  Good Housekeeping Cookery Book (1985) . The Whole30 website and The best mayo you’ve ever made uses the whole egg, as does this recipe here.

A smooth, creamy egg-based mayonnaise

A smooth, creamy egg-based mayonnaise

3 thoughts on “A good eggy mayonnaise

  1. Have neva tried homemade mayo. Homemade goodies are in their purest form and have a unique flavor of their own! Isn’t it?


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