Aioli: homemade garlic mayonnaise

We had a tapas evening with friends to celebrate to New Years. It was a great success – actually I must admit that it was much better than expected even. Pretty much everything put on the table was great. And I found a couple more recipes which I must steal and put up here some time (including probably the best sangria I think I’ve ever had).

Basic garlic aioli.

One of our contributions was potatas bravas and aioli. Which gathered quite some enthusiastic words from the table. And I must admit that I think those two suit very well together. The starch, heat and crunch of the potatoes are begging for the rich taste and creamy texture of the mayo. Awesome.

I dunno why people think mayo is difficult to make, because it’s the easiest thing in the world – and a nice way to tell people that you made the effort. Homemade always wins over from a jar eh.

makes about 300ml of mayo:

  • 1 egg yoke
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (or to taste)
  • a pinch of salt
  • black pepper
  • ½t dijon mustard
  • 1T vinegar
  • about 100-200ml of neutral flavoured oil e.g. sunflower oil
You can’t skip the mustard and it must be add as the first step to the yoke – it’s that that allows the yoke and the oil to emulsify. Definitely stay away from olive oil or any other strongly flavoured oils – it’s just way too overpowering.


You can tweak this basic recipe with many different flavours. Smash some herbs into a paste and you can have a herb mayo or then as an example you can make chilli mayo (which is great) by something like this: Add 1t of smoked paprika, 1-2 (or more if you fancy) pickled, finely minced Habanero chillies and mix well.

Chilli version.

  1. Add the yoke, vinegar and mustard to a bowl and whisk together until well mixed.
  2. Very gradually add the oil whilst continuously whisking.
  3. Keep adding oil until you have achieved the desired thick mayonnaise consistency.
  4. In a mortar and pestle add two cloves of garlic and half a teaspoon of salt and pound to a paste – the salt acts as an abrasive and will make it much easier to get a nice, smooth paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can get close to the same result by “grinding” the garlic and salt together with the flat of a cook’s knife. The main point is that you want as fine paste as possible as no one wants a dirty great lump of raw garlic.
  5. Add a touch of garlic paste to the mayo mixture, stir and then taste. Repeat this process until you reach the level of garlic you want. Do this by small increments as it can quickly get very strong. It should be garlicy – keep in mind that the garlic will “come down” a bit when it’s eaten with something else but you neither do you want to become a walking vampire-repellent ;)
  6. Adjust the seasoning in a similar  add/mix/taste fashion.
  7. Enjoy with roasted potatoes, potatas bravas, prawns, in a nice glutenfree sammy or whereever you like!

It's amazing how you can transform leftover mashed potatoes into a yummy snack with ten minutes and some homemade mayo.

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