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This OER enables you to:

  • describe mayonnaise
  • identify the ingredients used in preparing mayonnaise
  • prepare mayonnaise and some of its derivatives
  • rectify mayonnaise if it curdles


Mayones.jpegMayonnaise – “Hello! My name is Mayonnaise.

I am a basic or mother sauce, traditionally identified as a kitchen sauce. I am classified as a cold emulsified sauce. I am an emulsion of egg yolk and oil along with vinegar, and additional ingredients that enhance my flavor, like salt, pepper and mustard. I can be served with cold foods like vegetables, meat, poultry and fish, or as a salad dressing. I can also be served as an accompaniment to hot dishes like fried foods coated with breadcrumbs.

I can also be modified into a wide variety of derivative sauces by simple additions of specific ingredients which could alter the taste, color and consistency of the basic sauce.

Although I originated in Spain, I am popularly used in French cuisine too.”

Ingredients required and preparation

Yolk.jpegEgg Yolk –-“Mayonnaise is an emulsified sauce. I am an important ingredient in the preparation of traditional mayonnaise and the emulsion in mayonnaise cannot be formed without me. However, as a modification of the traditional recipe, either I can be used along with egg white, or I can be replaced with starches obtained from corn, potato, etc., to make commercial ve getarian Mayonnaise.”

Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “Egg Yolk, could you please explain what is an emulsion?”

Yolk.jpegEgg Yolk: “An emulsion is made by mixing two immiscible liquids like oil and water vigorously. This process disperses and suspends tiny droplets of one liquid throughout another homogenously. I contain fats, water and lecithin which is a natural emulsifying agent. Lecithin holds the ingredients together in the mayonnaise and prevents their separation into two separate layers. I stabilize the emulsion by covering each droplet and prevent the emulsion from breaking out or separating into oil and water. If I am not used, then a synthetic emulsifying agent needs to be added”

All emulsifying agents have polar groups which are attracted to water phase of the emulsion and non-polar groups which are attracted to the oil phase of the emulsion, thereby keeping both phases apart and stabilizing the emulsion.
Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “Let me introduce you to another major ingredient Oil. Either olive oil or salad oil is traditionally used to make mayonnaise”

Oliveoil.jpeg Oil: “I am an important ingredient in mayonnaise, and without me, egg yolk cannot form a stable emulsion. I should be added gradually, into whisked egg yolk and seasonings. Once the emulsion has formed, I can be added rapidly.”

Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “What is whisking?”

Oliveoil.jpegOil: “It is a technique of blending ingredients by a whisk or in the blender. The oil is broken down into small droplets during whisking or agitating the mixture.”

Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “Now I want to introduce another ingredient, namely, Vinegar”

Vinegar: “I am used in small quantities in the preparation of mayonnaise. However, I am an important ingredient, because I give flavor to the mayonnaise, and help in thinning down the sauce. I also act as a preservative.”

Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “This emulsion needs seasoning to enhance the taste. Salt, white pepper and French mustard serve this purpose.”

Seasonings: “We are necessary ingredients of mayonnaise, because without us mayonnaise would be tasteless and bland.” 2 Picture of 3 seasonings Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “Usually, a traditional recipe of mayonnaise would contain one egg yolk, 130ml oil, 5 to 10 ml vinegar and salt, white pepper and French mustard to taste. Nowadays, many people add some sugar (a large pinch) to enhance the taste of the sauce. Half a liter of mayonnaise serves 15 to 20 portions. Now let me tell you the precautions you need to take during preparation:

 Ingredients should be at room temperature
 Fresh egg yolks and clean bowl should be used
 Seasoning is added to the egg yolk
 Beat or whisk well to reduce the size of the oil droplets, as tiny droplets of oil get suspended in the egg yolk and form an emulsion. The lecithin stabilizes the emulsion formed
 Oil is added gradually until the emulsion is formed
 Refrigerate, but do not freeze”

Mayones.jpegMayonnaise: “Once I’m ready, the ideal me should have the following characteristics:

 Consistency: thick to light coating consistency
 Texture: smooth
 Color: pale yellow

If precautions are not taken during preparation, I would not possess the ideal characteristics, and I would be called ‘curdled mayonnaise’. If I’m not whisked correctly, I could get curdled, ie the oil and the water phases of the emulsion separate out. People also describe this as ‘broken emulsion’. However, I can be rectified by taking a fresh egg yolk, beating it well, and gradually adding the curdled mayonnaise to it to reform the emulsion. Seasonings can be re-adjusted.

As I am a basic kitchen sauce, I can be modified and converted into a number of derivative sauces by the addition of certain ingredients. My flavor, texture, color, and taste changes depending on the ingredients that are added to me. Some examples of derived sauces are given below:-

1. Cocktail sauce : Mayonnaise + Tomato ketchup + Worcestershire sauce + Tabasco sauce + cream
2. Tartare Sauce : Mayonnaise + chopped gherkins + chopped shallots + chopped parsley
3. Sauce Verte : Mayonnaise + blanched pureed spinach + tarragon
4. Thousand Island Dressing : Mayonnaise + minced onions + chopped pimento + chopped hard boiled eggs + chopped olives + cayenne pepper


Mayonnaise  : “Now that I have told you so much about myself, let me see how well you know me now:” Select the most appropriate answer:

1. Mayonnaise is a ____________ (mother/derivative) sauce.
2. Mayonnaise is a ________ (hot/cold) sauce.
3. ___________ (stirring / whisking) is an important technique while preparing Mayonnaise.
4. ________________ ( Mornay sauce / Cocktail sauce) is a derivatives of Mayonnaise.
5. Select the ingredients required to prepare mayonnaise
a) ___________ b) _____________ c)_____________ d) ___________
(butter / oil / egg yolk / egg white /vinegar / water / seasonings)


Mayonnaise is a basic or mother sauce. It is a cold, emulsified sauce. It can also be modified by the addition of other ingredients to produce derivative sauces. The ingredients necessary in preparing mayonnaise are egg yolks, oil, vinegar, and seasonings. While preparing mayonnaise, certain precautions need to be taken, so as to obtain a sauce with the ideal characteristics. Mayonnaise and its derivatives can be used with cold foods like meat, poultry, fish, and as a salad dressing, and also as an accompaniment with hot foods like fried foods. If mayonnaise curdles during preparation, it can be rectified by incorporating it into a fresh egg yolk gradually, by whisking, and then adjusting the seasonings.

Inkpot.png Assignments

1. Prepare mayonnaise
2. Look up recipes and use the mayonnaise into a variety of food items.
3. Use mayonnaise along with additional ingredients to make derivatives and find out how these derivatives could be used.
4. Collect additional information about mayonnaise, its derivatives and its uses in cookery.