Prep Time: 5 minutes
Not too many years ago, my aunt, a genius in the kitchen, impressed me by saying she often made her own mayonnaise. A typical mayonnaise, she said, was just egg and oil. In a pinch, she whipped it up before dinner. To me, that was an impressive feat, since I’d only ever seen mayonnaise come out of a glass jar at the grocery store.
You’d think that since traditional mayonnaise is only two ingredients, a vegan version would be simple to make. Turns out, it is — but you sometimes have to play with the recipe to find a flavor and texture to your liking. I landed upon this blog post at Mother Nature Network, and was impressed with the blogger’s diligence. While she experimented with different combinations, I tried only one, unwilling to exhaust my supply of vegetable oils. I decided to emulsify oil and tofu and see what happened.
Before I get to the results, let me explain why I settled on the recipe with the tofu base. Texture and tanginess is at the root of why I love mayonnaise. Any mixture that looks suspiciously runny or bland is out for me as a vegan mayonnaise option. That eliminates recipes that combine soy milk with olive or another vegetable oil.
Jane’s Healthy Kitchen has an interesting recipe that combines coconut oil and olive oil with a collection of flavorings. I’m sure it’s delicious when perfectly prepared, but knowing that coconut oil is temperature-sensitive I’d suggest this is for the experienced chef — which I most certainly am not.
Here’s my ingredient list:
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 10-oz soft tofu
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
You’ll notice this is similar to the MNN recipe, but it uses twice as much tofu. After first mixing one cup of olive oil with ½ of one 300 g package of tofu — which Google tells me is about 5 oz — I judged it was simply too thin. I dropped in the remainder of the package and the consistency was just about perfect.
The flavor, however, was a bit strong. I could taste the richness of the olive oil and the distinctive soy taste of the tofu. That’s why the Dijon, and perhaps lemon juice if I’d had any on hand, is crucial. 2 tsp did wonders to give the mixture a bit of the tanginess I love, while muting the strong taste of the base ingredients.
Best of all, the texture holds even after refrigeration. As anyone who cooks with oils knows, they solidify when refrigerated. You may have to give it a stir, as the olive oil can float to the top, and don't be afraid to add a bit of extra salt, spices, or up the proportion of dijon mustard. But the versatility of olive oil proves amenable to this mixture, which is the basis of any great toast snack or veggie sandwich.
Image via Silk