What is an emulsion?

Making mayo uses a process known in the culinary world as an emulsion. Emulsions happen when two substances that usually can’t mix together, like water and oil, are forced to mix. (Because oil naturally floats on the top of the water). Lecithin is a naturally occurring emulsifier in egg yolks. When making mayo, oil is emulsified into a mixture of lemon juice or vinegar, mustard, and egg yolk, by whisking it in gradually, drop-by-drop, while mixing vigorously.  

Home-made mayo is easy to make, and it does not contain any preservatives or stabilizers. It is made from healthy oils of your choice, and lasts several days in the fridge, so throughout the week could be used in salads or on sandwiches, coleslaws, and eggs salads. Once you make your own mayo, you will never buy a jar from a grocery store again.   

First-time cooks

For the first few times, this could be a two-person team effort: one person drips the oil in VERY SLOWLY, the other person quickly mixes. For the recipe to work correctly, all ingredients need to be at room temperature. The key here is to drip in the oil very slowly. Drip, not pour. Remember: practice makes perfect!

How to fix broken mayonnaise 

If mayonnaise doesn’t set or is too runny, there are two main reasons: (1) the ingredients haven’t been used in the proper balance, or (2) the ingredients are too cold. If you ended up with a broken mayonnaise, it could be saved. Simply slowly add more liquid to your broken mayonnaise. If you have added too much oil, place a small amount of your broken mayonnaise in a clean bowl and add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. As the mixture improves, gradually add the rest of the broken mayonnaise and alternate with a few drops of liquid until your mayonnaise looks better. 

Homemade Aioli

Magda Born
What is Aioli?
In Mediterranean cultures, aioli refers to mayo sauce with added mashed garlic, usually with a mortar and pestle.


  • 1 Egg yolk  (separate carefully. The egg white can be refrigerated and saved for future use, such as omelets or baking recipes)
  • 1/2-1 c Oil
  • 1 pinch Horseradish powder
  • 1 pinch Dry mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • Garlic (finely minced or crushed with a garlic press)


  • Oils:  Pick your favorite neutral-flavored oil. Canola, safflower, grapeseed, or light olive oil. My oil of choice is Avocado oil.  
  • Kitchen towel or two to stabilize the bowl while mixing, so it does not slide on the work surface. It also helps to have the mixing bowl tilted to create one shallow end.     
  • For the first few times, this could be a two-person team effort: one person drips the oil in, the other person quickly mixes. Practice makes perfect! 
  • Mayo is thin at the beginning of the whisking. It gets thicker with time and more whisking.   
  • Here are some views on how your mayo should look throughout the mixing process and how it should look when done: 
  • When the mayo is done to the consistency of your liking, you can add garlic, which will make it an Aioli. You can also season with salt, smoked paprika, add more horseradish, lemon juice, or dry mustard.   Practice makes perfect! 


The Duke’s mayonnaise cookbook : 75 recipes celebrating the perfect condiment by Ashley Strickland Freeman

Call Number 641.814 FREEMAN

Format: Book

Sauces by James Peterson

Format: Hoopla ebook

Mayo by Simon Lamont

Format: Hoopla eVideo

Magda Born


Adult Services Librarian

Kansas City KS Public Library

625 Minnesota Ave

Kansas City KS 66101