Lactofermented Mayonnaise

Lactofermented Mayonnaise

This is gooood stuff.

I hated mayonnaise growing up. Hated it. And who could blame me? Soybean oil, “natural flavors,” calcium disodium EDTA? Ewwwww.

Homemade mayo, though, that’s a horse of a different color. Creamy. Tangy. Delicious. No non-food ingredients. The perfect ingredient for homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing. One problem, though. It goes bad in a week! While we like mayo just fine, we are hard pressed to go through a pint in a week.

That’s where our friendly lactobacteria come in. I use whey from making yogurt (you can skim a little off the top of your yogurt or collect it if you drip your yogurt) to introduce the friendlies, let it sit on the counter for 7 hours or so, and voila! Mayonnaise with a built in defense system. Now it stays good for 3-4 weeks!

This recipe is adapted from The Mama of Cooking (1975), my all time favorite cookbook. Accept no substitutes.

*Note: You can make mayonnaise by hand, but I’ve never tried it. I always use my food processor because my beating arm is just not that strong. If you look at the food pusher, you should see a little hole in the bottom. That’s for adding oil to emulsions like mayo. When I say to add the oil in step 2, pour it through the food pusher.

Lactofermented Mayonnaise makes 1 pint
1 egg
1 T dijon mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1/2 c plus 1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c duck fat or olive oil (the duck fat will yield a more mild-tasting mayo)
2.5 T lemon juice
1 T whey (from fermented dairy like yogurt or kefir)

  1. Place egg, mustard, cayenne, salt, and 1/4 c olive in work bowl of your food processor. Process about a minute, until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add 1/2 c of oil through the food pusher.
  3. When the oil is incorporated (approx. 1 minute), add the lemon juice and whey (again, through the food pusher).
  4. Add the rest of the oil through the food pusher and process until thickened and smooth.
  5. Let sit on the counter for 7 hours. If you have a hard time remembering your ferments (like me!), set an alarm in your cell phone. You’ll be glad you did.

This post is part of Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Probiotic Food Challenge, and Gluten-Free Wednesdays!

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21 comments to Lactofermented Mayonnaise

  • OoOoh, this recipe looks awesome! We already do homemade mayo (I think from the same Mama of Cooking recipe) and do sometimes end up with it spoiling before it’s all used up. One question: do you think white vinegar will work okay in place of lemon juice? Citrus makes me puke, so I usually sub in vinegar but sometimes it tastes weird.

    • Citrus makes you puke? I’m so sorry, Kristal!

      I used rice vinegar once because I didn’t have any lemon juice (lime juice would have been too weird!) or white wine vinegar (my vinegar of choice). Commercial mayo uses regular distilled vinegar, so I think that would be fine. Wonder why it sometimes tastes different.

  • I have made mayo many times with little success. I think I always add the oil too fast and I don’t have a food processor. This recipe has the oil in right away…do you ever have it come out too thin?? I would love to be successful and have homemade mayo.

    • How are you beating it? With a blender or a hand mixer? The trick is to add the oil as slowly as possible, otherwise it breaks (i.e., separates).

      This mayonnaise recipe does come out a bit thin, but firms up once you stick it in the fridge.

  • I have used a blender and by hand. I haven’t tried a mixer though…

  • kim

    Is there something I can use besides whey? My other ferments I do with sea salt only and I’m trying to stay clear of dairy… would my kefir water work?

  • Bebe

    Have you tried the immersion (stick) blender method yet? It makes mayo making even faster and simpler: you add all your (room temperature) ingredients except oil to a wide mouth pint jar and pulse two or three times with the stick blender. Leave the blender standing in the jar and pour in your oil. Yes, all at once. Turn blender on and watch it turn into amazing mayo in seconds! You will want to bring the blender up as the emulsified mayo layer rises in the jar, you’ll understand when you see it happening. Easy peasy!

  • Geri

    Thanks for the tip to ferment the mayo, thus increasing the shelf life. Would it be a problem if it sits out longer than 7 hrs? What if it went for 8 or 9 hours?

  • sue

    Can I use Yogurt I buy in the store? I don’t make my own…:)

  • sue

    Could you use a food processor to mix it with???

  • sue

    Thanks so much!!

  • Gretchen

    Have you switched to doing your lactofermented mayonnaise in a Fido or Pickl-it jar like your other updated ferment posts or do you find that this ferment does fine in a mason jar? (Trying to ration out my Pickl-it jars and wondering if mayo is absolutely necessary to use up valuable real estate space). Thank you!

  • Ethan

    This is my first comment so I want to say hello and that I really like your website. My own recipe is similar but uses apple cider vinegar instead of lemon, raw honey (about 1/2 tbsp), fresh ground mustard seeds and garlic. I try to limit using olive oil and get creative with coconut oil whenever I can. I used expeller pressed coconut oil once and it tasted great, its more mild like when I used to make it with vegetable oil. Another result was that after being in the fridge it gets a crumbly sort of texture that’s nice on a salad. Otherwise you can let it warm up before spreading it.

  • Amanda

    I have just started making my own Mayo – LOVE IT! Last night I attemped to laco-ferment it. I put the whey in there…. kept telling myself not to put it in the fridge…. and then – whelp – out of habit it got put into the fridge. Can I still lacto-ferment by taking it out of the fridge and putting it on the counter? If so – do I have to put even more whey in there? Thank you for your help!

    • Sorry for the delay! I’ve never tried that so I don’t know for sure! If you tried it, let me know how it went! The mayo is still good if you put it in the fridge without fermenting, btw!

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