How to Make Aioli

This aioli recipe is super simple, quick and fun. Especially simple and quick if you have a blender! It won’t keep as long (like, not forever) as store-bought mayonnaise and it has a more pronounced egg-y flavor than store-bought mayo, but it also has only 5 ingredients and you can alter it somewhat to suit your taste.

The garlic measure is variable: one clove yields a nice hint, four cloves and you have a garlic sauce ; you can leave it out entirely if you’d rather have mayonnaise. The lemon juice can be fresh or bottled, or it can be white wine or champagne vinegar if you like. I imagine even red wine vinegar would work, thought it would make the color muddy. Fresh herbs can be added at the end, or just to individual servings for variety. Fresh tarragon, parsley, chervil, dill — any of these soft, mild herbs work well.

Two rules on making aioli or mayonnaise: Room temperature ingredients (if your eggs were refrigerated, leave them on the counter for an hour before attempting aioli), SLOW addition of oil. The two biggest reasons aioli fails are using cold eggs and adding the oil too fast. If using a blender, it should take you a minute to trickle in the first half-cup of oil. Use a measuring cup with a spout on it to facilitate pouring and set a timer. Check yourself at 30 seconds to make sure you’re on target and not pouring too fast. After the first minute, look at the aioli to make sure it’s emulsified. It will look smooth and thick. If it’s “broken”, meaning the emulsification didin’t form and instead of looking smooth, your aioli looks curdled with blobs of oil floating around in a yellow liquid, scrape that stuff out of the blender and set it aside. Add a new, room temperature yolk to the blender and whizz it around. Slowly add the broken aioli back into the yolk, by spoonfuls, on low speed until it comes back together. You can use this trick to fix broken Hollandaise sauces, too.

Other than that, and I know it seems like a lot, but other than those two things, it’s easy to make aioli and I encourage you to try it at least once. It’ll make you feel real grown-up.


How to Make Aioli
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1.5
Ingredients
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1-4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup olive oil (or a combination of olive and another vegetable oil)
Instructions
  1. Combine in a blender jar: egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and salt. Blend on low speed for about a minute until lightened in color and creamy-looking.
  2. Remove the center plug on your blender lid and with the blender on low speed, trickle in half a cup of the oil over the course of about a minute.
  3. After a minute, the mixture should be smooth and about as thick as condensed milk.
  4. Turn the blender on low again and trickle in the rest of the oil over another minute. You will hear the pitch of the blender motor change as the aioli starts to get really thick. You might not be able to get all the oil in before it gets too thick to blend.
  5. Store the aioli in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

 

Comments

  1. Hi Hilah! Great recipe. I used to make homemade mayonnaise/aioli all the time but stopped because I worried about serving something that contains raw eggs in it to people outside our family. I know the risk is very small–something like 1:10,000 eggs is contaminated. Also, I was thinking the acidity of the lemon juice would probably kill anything that might be lurking. What are your thoughts?

    • This is a great question and I’m glad you asked, Alison.

      So, I always think back to when I took microbiology and we learned about “minimum infectious dose” which sounds disgusting, but the part that stuck with me is that salmonella bacteria, which you know is the one that eggs might have, has a very high MID so you’d really have to ingest a lot of the bacteria before you got sick from it, and I think it would be way more than would even be in one egg. Plus, the bacteria is on the shell mostly, not inside the egg. And, ohmygod, I really don’t even know if all this is true, but yes, I also think the acidity would kill off any pathogens anyway.
      I mean, so, yes, I suppose there is still a small risk, but unless you were serving to an immuno-compromised person I would not worry one iota about it! Also, I do think buying cage-free and antibiotic-free eggs is another thing you can do to minimize the risk even further.

      Thanks for asking that question! I hope I have re-encouraged you to make mayo at home again.

  2. Hey Hilah, great video on aioli, in all of my home cooking experience this is something that I have never done. No concerns about the egg yolks, the threat of contamination is virtually non-existent today. I guarantee this aioli will be in my near future! BTW, I love your little Karate Kid – “Wipe on, Wipe off” hand action at the end of your videos, becoming your signature ‘sign-off?’ Kinda like The Frugal Gourmet “I bid you peace…bye bye!”

    On another note, I have a SONY Blu-ray player that I use for NETFLIX, but it also has access to YouTube. I can do a search for hilahcooking and it will display results of all your YouTube segments. On top of that, it will play them consecutively and automatically, so I can be in the kitchen cooking and watching all your videos! Sorry of that sounds a little ‘creepy-stalk-y,’ not meant that way at all. Your videos continue to be instructive and entertaining. Keep it up Girl!

    • Thanks, Larry! I hope you try it! Something similar that I have never done is make a Caesar salad dressing. I don’t know why. It can’t be any more difficult than aioli, which is easy as hell. ;)

      And that’s awesome about the blu-ray. We’ve been having such a hard time keeping our Roku channel updated, I am always excited to hear about other ways people figure out how to watch the show on the televisions.

  3. So I finally got around to trying this recipe on a rainy cold Sunday here in San Francisco. I did not include mustard but stuck to recipe otherwise. I just forgot about the mustard but it turned out a great aioli anyway. One note that may be obvious to most folks but I just was not thinking…I have a professional grade blender, the one’s with the square carafe. I started out in that and realized quickly that it just was not going to work. Stuff was splashing and the small amount did not even catch the blades. Mine is a Ninja Pro 900 I think. Anyway, I moved the mixture to our food processor, Kitchenaid, and that did the trick. I also added some chili oil near end of process. Finished product has excellent consistency and taste. Now I just need to clean the kitchen after my blender mishap. Thanks Hilah!

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