Miso Mayonnaise

It’s always aggravated me that my home-made mayonnaise is heavy, and not very good.  Not nearly as good as Hellman’s and a lot more work.  While reading The Food Lab I finally made it to the mayonnaise section, and two new things caught my eye:  1.  The inclusion of water, and 2. Cautions about using 100 percent olive oil as it make the mayonnaise heavy.  Both of these changes should help lighten up my homemade mayonnaise.

dscn1072But, if I’m going to go through the work it takes to make mayonnaise, I want it to taste better and be healthier, so I bought a mixture of cold-pressed canola and olive oil.

Oil in hand, and eggs on the counter, and feeling a little impatient (never a good time to cook) I put the egg yolks and mustard into my Magi-Mix food processor and turned it on.  The blade barely touched half the egg mixture, but what can you do?  I proceeded to slowly drizzle in the oil — so far so good, it looked rather creamy — and then added a little water.  Just a very little.  NO.  I didn’t follow The Food Lab recipe, and they weren’t clear on the ideal oil-water ratio.  The mayonnaise broke, which means there were little clots of egg bound with water floating about in oil.  Disgusting.  So I looked up how to fix broken mayonnaise and the fix most discussed was an added egg yolk.

Egg yolks contain lecithin, an emulsifier that will allow oil and water (in the yolk, in the vinegar or lemon juice, etc.) to from a homogeneous, creamy and stable mixture.  Other emulsifiers include nuts and mustard, which is why mustard is included in most mayonnaise recipes.  Anyway, adding more egg yolk made sense, so, even though I was low on eggs I doubled down and added a yolk as directed.  The eggy islands floating in fat were bigger when I was done and kind of connected, but this was not even a little bit creamy.  Chicken food, I thought.

Then I had an idea.

Some time ago I’d bought on-sale, organic salad dressing labeled as miso-ginger.  Though I tasted no ginger, it was yummy, but there would be no more at Giant Eagle.  It was the kind of thing they tried, it didn’t work out, and were dumping it cheap six months ago when I impulse-bought it.  Joe said, “You’re usually smart about that kind of thing, I’m sure you can figure it out.”  I immediately thought of City on the Edge of Forever, where Kirk left Spock to figure out time travel while he want off la-de-da on a lark with Joan Collins.  Consequently, I had a sack of miso, that I really had no idea what to do with.

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Is miso an emulsifier?  Did I look it up?  No, I grabbed a soup spoon and chucked some miso in there and blended.  The result was an amazingly creamy and tasty concoction, with no signs of breakage over the week it lasted.  Although it tasted only similar to the on-sale salad dressing, mixed with a little Parmesan cheese and red-wine vinegar, it was even better.  And by itself it was much tastier and creamier than Hellman’s  😀

Having just run out of this lovely accident, this morning was the morning to try to make some more.

I decided on a more mature approach, and pulled out the Magi-Mix cookbook and turned to the Mayonnaise recipe.  The regular type below is from them, and the bold type is from me.  I’m posting this because the result was fantastic.

  • “Use the mini-bowl.”  Hmmm.  Did this thing even come with one of those?  Found it, and it was indeed much more size-appropriate.
  • Put in 2 egg yolks, 1.5 tablespoons mustard and 1 tablespoon oil.  Blend for 20 seconds.
  • Drizzle in 3/4 cup of oil (canola-olive oil blend).
  • Add 2 teaspoons salt (since miso is salty this should have been omitted).
  • While blending dump in 1 heaping tablespoon of miso.  Slowly add 1 tablespoon of water.
  • Drizzle in 3/4 cup of oil (canola-olive oil blend).
  • While blending, slowly add 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • While blending dump in 1 heaping tablespoon of miso.  Slowly add 1 tablespoon of water.

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This will make a little over one pint of miso-mayonnaise.  Reducing the oil by an ounce or two will make the right amount to fit in a pint jar, and will hopefully not result in disaster, but you never know.  Mayonnaise can be touchy.  (The specks you see are mustard, since I used mustard made from crushed-seed rather than finely ground mustard seeds.)

Thanks!