While many homemade mayonnaise formulas call for only egg yolk, the version uses the whole egg. The final texture is silkier and airier and the mayonnaise is less likely to break when you make it. (Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

While many homemade mayonnaise formulas call for only egg yolk, the version uses the whole egg. The final texture is silkier and airier and the mayonnaise is less likely to break when you make it. (Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times)

Whip up homemade mayo for the best sandwiches and salads

Mayonnaise from scratch has a silkier texture and fresher flavor than the jarred stuff.

  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

By Genevieve Ko / Los Angeles Times

Making mayonnaise from scratch requires only four pantry staples and takes less time than running to the store for a new jar. Once you’ve got it, the BLTs, tuna and/or egg salad in your days ahead will be better for it.

While many homemade formulas call for only egg yolk, I prefer to use the whole egg. The final texture is silkier and airier and the mayonnaise is less likely to break when you make it. Like vinaigrettes and salad dressings, mayonnaise is an emulsification of oil and water, which naturally don’t want to mix. The key to preventing mayonnaise from turning into oil-slicked blobs is to add the oil in a very slow, very thin stream as you incorporate it.

I like it best in dishes where it gets to shine, like this potato salad. This is the kind you get at Korean barbecue restaurants, one little plate of banchan among the many. It’s perfect with grilled meat and shows off the richness of your homemade mayo.

Whole egg mayonnaise

Makes 1½ cups.

It takes only minutes to make from-scratch mayonnaise, which has a silkier texture and fresher flavor than the jarred stuff. Using a food processor or blender ensures a nearly foolproof outcome. Whether you’re whisking by hand or using a machine, be sure to drizzle in the oil very slowly to prevent the mixture from breaking.

1 large egg

2½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup vegetable oil

Blend the egg, lemon juice and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. With the machine running, add the oil in a very slow, steady stream. Blend just until emulsified.

Variations

Handmade whole egg mayonnaise: Whisk the egg, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a very slow, steady stream. Whisk until emulsified.

Olive oil mayonnaise: Substitute one-quarter of the oil with extra-virgin olive oil, slowly streaming the vegetable oil in first.

Note: The egg remains raw, which the USDA says isn’t safe because of the risk of salmonella. If you’re concerned, use a pasteurized egg.

Make ahead: The mayonnaise can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Smashed potato salad

At Korean barbecue restaurants, small dishes of this style of mashed potato salad are served with the grilled meat. Cool and creamy with mayonnaise and boiled eggs, it’s the perfect accompaniment to the smokiness of charred meat. Pops of crunch from quick-pickled cucumber add a refreshing note. Starchy Russet or other baking potatoes smash the most easily here; waxy ones, such as red, white or Yukons, will give you a chunkier salad. While this is ideal with homemade mayonnaise, it’s also tasty with store-bought varieties, especially the Japanese Kewpie brand.

1 Persian cucumber, scrubbed, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 medium Russet potatoes (1¼ pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 large eggs

1 carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

½ cup homemade mayonnaise or store-bought

Place the cucumber in a small bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to evenly coat and let stand until ready to use.

Combine the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt in a large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a light boil. Using a spoon, lower the eggs into the boiling water. Boil the potatoes and eggs together for 7 minutes, then add the carrot. Continue boiling for 5 minutes, then transfer the eggs to a small bowl with a slotted spoon and add enough ice to cover. Boil the potatoes and carrots until the potatoes are very tender, about 1 minute longer. Drain well, then return to the dry saucepan.

Set the saucepan over the lowest possible heat to dry out the potatoes. When they’re speckled and starting to stick to the pan, about 1 minute, transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle the vinegar and remaining ½ teaspoon of sugar evenly over the potatoes and toss to coat. Mash about half the potatoes and break up the remaining into smaller chunks. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool.

Peel the cooled eggs and coarsely chop, then add to the potatoes. Grab the cucumber slices by the handful to squeeze out all the liquid and add to the potatoes. Add the mayonnaise and gently fold until well-mixed, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate to serve cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Make ahead: The potato salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

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