Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

Store-bought mayonnaise had always been a staple in my household since I was young. But as I grew older, there was always this naggy feeling about it. One of the ingredients in mayonnaise is egg (perishable) but why is it that store-bought mayonnaise is shelf stable and has long expiry? So, I stopped buying and eating mayonnaise except when dining out (at sushi places). This went on for a few years until at last, I could not take it anymore. I want mayonnaise back in my life.

I’ve been making homemade mayonnaise for 3 years now. At first, it was challenging, but the more I make it the easier it becomes. Recently, I started to lacto-ferment the mayonnaise. Lacto-ferment increases the nutrient profiles of the mayo and makes it last longer naturally (fermentation is an ancient food preservation method). Besides that, it has that special tang to it that you cannot find in regular mayonnaise and store-bought mayo.

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise
Making mayonnaise at home is the best way to pamper yourself. Really!

Let’s make fermented mayo!

I use a balloon whisk to make mayonnaise. It’s super easy and traditional. By using a whisk, you get to observe how the ingredients come together and turn into beautiful mayonnaise. I cannot guarantee you will not feel pain in your hand and arm after the whisking exercise. But hey, you’re making muscles and that’s good what. Can I tell you that I never failed at making mayonnaise using the whisk method? The same cannot be said with a hand blender. I failed on the first try and never attempted it again (but one day I shall!).

You will need a large bowl with a round bottom (round bottom is optional but very helpful). Damp a kitchen towel, fold it and place it under the bowl on one side so that the bowl is tilted and yet stable. Alternately, you can also place the bowl at the corner of the inside of a rimmed plate to tilt the bowl. By tilting the bowl, it’s much easier to work your whisk on the mayonnaise and the round bottom will ensure every corner of the bowl is reached by the whisk.

Egg Yolks
Place two pasture-raised and organic or free-range yolks in the bowl. Simply whisk it. I’m using free-range here. I’ve made mayonnaise with conventional yolks as well.

The Egg Fear: When I first started making homemade mayo, I was a little worried about getting a bacterial infection from raw eggs. At that time, I had been eating raw eggs banana smoothie for about a year. The thing about mayonnaise is that it sits in the fridge for 2 weeks or more whereas the smoothie is eaten almost immediately. But I have faith that all that worrying comes from years of brainwashing (just like cholesterol & salt). My egg fear with regards to mayonnaise dissipated slowly away.

Add Yellow Mustard To Egg Yolks
Add a heaping teaspoon of organic yellow mustard/Dijon mustard (whichever one you have on hand) and mix them.

Next, add the oil one drop by one drop slowly while whisking continuously until about half of the oil has been used up. This is best achieved by pouring the oil from a measuring cup. The egg mustard mixture will emulsify with the oil as you mix them. If oil is added too fast in the beginning, the mixture will split. So, slowly and patiently.

Making Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise - After Adding About Half Of The Oil
After adding about half of the oil.

The Oil: I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) which has a strong and rich flavor. Initially, I couldn’t get used to the mayonnaise because it was unlike the mayonnaise I’d known since childhood. My homemade mayonnaise taste like EVOO. That’s because mayonnaise will take on the flavor of the oil used. However, I’m so used to it now and love that my lacto-fermented mayo taste that way.

I’ve also used organic extra virgin coconut oil and bacon fat (bacon fat mayo is called baconnaise) before and the mayonnaise will either have a coconuty or bacony taste that ahem is not to my liking. Perhaps I just need to get used to them like EVOO. I don’t consume seed oil/vegetable oil like corn oil, canola oil (also known as rapeseed oil), grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, etc except sesame oil as they are very inflammatory.

Then, mix in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The mixture will loosen and lighten. Next, continue adding the remaining oil gradually in a steady stream while whisking continuously. You can stop to rest your arm anytime.

Making Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise - After Adding All The Oil
After adding all 200g of EVOO.

Can you see how thick it has become from starting with two yolks to a soupy mixture to this? I usually stop adding more oil at this stage. My homemade mayonnaise is on the soft but firm side and it’s the consistency that I like. If you want really firm mayonnaise, add up to 500g of oil. The more oil you add, the thicker the mayonnaise. Don’t worry, it can take up that much oil and then more.

Now it’s time to season the mayonnaise. Add pinches of fine sea salt and 1~2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust. If you like, you can also add lemon juice or substitute apple cider vinegar for it. And, if you want more mustardy flavor, add mustard.

Making Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise - Add Keifr & Its Whey
Finally, add kefir and its whey or either one of them, or yogurt to the mayonnaise and mix well. The kefir and yogurt must be wild, living and raw. This means the cultured milk contains alive wild bacteria and has not been heated/pasteurized. The reason we add kefir or yogurt to the mayonnaise is to introduce the living wild bacteria into the mayonnaise to kick start fermentation.

Mayonnaise Is Completed, Now To Lacto-Ferment It
Mayonnaise is done. Now to lacto-ferment it.

Transfer the mayonnaise into a clean glass bottle and tighten the lid like normal. Allow the bottle of mayonnaise to lacto-ferment at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Then, transfer it to the fridge for storage. Enjoy the lacto-fermented mayonnaise however and whichever way you want!

How long does homemade lacto-fermented mayonnaise last? I would say about a month or more. But then, they don’t usually last that long. I finish mine in around 2 weeks. However, if you find the taste has gone off or there’s a weird thingy on the surface of the mayonnaise, it’s wise to bin it.

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise
Luscious and luxurious. Smooth and gentle. This is bliss!

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise
Freshly made mayonnaise. My precioussss ❤️❤️❤️

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise
It looks liquidy now but once refrigerated, the mayo will set.

I’m not sure if you noticed but my homemade lacto-fermented mayonnaise is more on the yellow side. Again, it depends on the oil used. EVOO is deep yellow-green in color hence it’s the color of my mayonnaise. Supermarket’s mayos are made with seed oil/vegetable oil which is light yellow or colorless. Hence, why the mayonnaise is pale yellow/cream/white in color. I don’t think the color of the mayo depends highly on the yolk color as the mayonnaise that I made with conventional yolks (pale yellow) and EVOO would still yield a rich yellow. Of course, if you add vinegar, for example, the mayo color will lighten up.

One thing I can attest to is that once you make your own mayo, you will never go back to the store-bought version. Store-bought mayo just pales in comparison with homemade mayo. There’s just so much aliveness in homemade mayonnaise not to mention lacto-fermenting the mayo for all the goodness mentioned earlier.

If you haven’t tried making mayonnaise before, now’s the time. You won’t regret it.

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

2 egg yolks, pasture-raised and organic or free range
1 heaped teaspoon organic yellow mustard or Dijon mustard
200g (base) or up to 500g extra virgin olive oil or other good quality oil like lard, duck fat, coconut oil, avocado oil or a mix of 2 oils
2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with the mother, organic and raw AND/OR lemon juice
1 tablespoon kefir or yogurt or the whey of kefir/yogurt, wild, living and raw
fine sea salt, to taste

1. Tilt a large bowl by putting a damp kitchen cloth underneath it on one side or tilt it with a rimmed plate. Make sure it’s stable.

2. Place egg yolks in the bowl. Simply mix it.

3. Add mustard and whisk together.

4. We start with the base of a total of 200g oil. Slowly add the oil from a measuring cup drop by drop while whisking continuously until half of the oil (~100g) has been added.

5. Whisk in 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to loosen the mixture. The mixture will lighten in color with the addition of vinegar.

6. Add the remaining oil in a steady stream slowly while whisking continuously. Add more oil if the mayonnaise is not to the consistency preferred. For me, I usually stop at 200g.

7. For seasoning, add a few small pinches of sea salt and 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust. You can also use lemon juice as a replacement for apple cider vinegar or use both. If you like mustard, add more of it.

8. Add kefir or yogurt or whey of kefir/yogurt and mix thoroughly.

9. Pour the mayonnaise into a glass bottle and seal like usual. Ferment the mayonnaise for 6-8 hours at room temperature.

10. Lastly, store the lacto-fermented mayonnaise in the fridge and enjoy it up to a month or more.

Happy mayo-ing!

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