The Easy Way To Thicken Runny Homemade Mayo

Spooning mayonnaise onto a sandwich
Spooning mayonnaise onto a sandwich - New Africa/Shutterstock

Although mayonnaise was considered a luxury food when it was first created, today this creamy sweet emulsion is thought of as a simple but important everyday condiment. In fact, mayonnaise is one of the most versatile condiments out there, and can be a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and even baked goods. But despite being so engrained in our daily lives, if you've ever tried making mayo at home, you know that it can be more complicated than it appears.

This is because mayonnaise is an emulsion that requires a specific balance of ingredients for it to work. If you don't get your measurements right, or add an ingredient too quickly, your mayo may end up runny. If this happens to you, don't throw the mixture out quite yet -- there is a simple solution: egg yolk. Adding another raw egg yolk and whisking the mixture once again may be all you need to fix your homemade mayonnaise. This works because egg yolk is the ingredient that acts as the glue and helps the whipped oil stay in that light and creamy mayo state.

Read more: 12 Condiments That Don't Need To Be Refrigerated

The Added Egg Yolk Solution

Separating the raw egg yolk from the egg white
Separating the raw egg yolk from the egg white - Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

The first thing you can do to avoid oily and runny mayo is to start with a good homemade mayonnaise recipe. However, even if you follow the measurements of the recipe to a tee, if you accidentally add the oil too quickly while whisking the emulsion won't form properly and you'll end up with an oily clear liquid instead of a thick white cream.

To fix this, add in another raw egg yolk and start whisking the mixture together. If the mixture starts to thicken after adding the yolk, that means it is working. Once this happens, you should start slowly adding more oil while continuously whisking. You will likely need to add quite a bit more oil and more seasonings because adding another egg yolk is essentially doubling the recipe. Although it sounds counterintuitive, adding more oil can also help thicken the mayonnaise. Also, if you end up with mayo that is too thick, you can always add a little water to thin it down.

However, if you add another egg yolk and the mixture still isn't thickening, then the problem with the mayonnaise was probably nothing to do with the emulsion. It was likely the balance of other ingredients. If that's the case, you can try some thickening methods that don't involve eggs.

Eggless Ways To Thicken Mayonnaise

Whisking mayonnaise with oil with lemon and mustard on the side
Whisking mayonnaise with oil with lemon and mustard on the side - New Africa/Shutterstock

If the egg didn't work to thicken your mayonnaise -- or you are all out of eggs -- don't worry. There are a few other methods you can use to thicken up mayo that isn't cooperating. One option is to use a classic thickener like cornstarch. To do this, combine a little bit of cornstarch with water until it forms a paste and then add it into your runny mayo. Then, whisk the cornstarch together with the mayonnaise to combine and thicken. You can also use arrowroot powder in the same way.

Another option is to add other ingredients that contain natural emulsifiers such as mustard or lemon juice. Add these two ingredients one teaspoon at a time and then keep whisking. Of course, you want to make sure to not add too much lemon juice or mustard as it will change the flavor of your mayonnaise.

Once your delicious homemade mayo is ready, make sure to put it in the fridge where it will thicken up a bit further and stay preserved. Homemade mayo doesn't have the added preservatives that the store-bought version has, so it is important to keep it in the fridge as much as possible.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.