Milk mayonnaise, called maionese de leite in Portuguese, is silkier and lighter than egg-based mayo. Magic happens when butterfat and oil collide in a high-speed blender. And the addition of garlic gives it a little heft, as well as a little zip.
By David Leite | The New Portuguese Table | Clarkson Potter, 2009
This is one of those recipes that require quotation marks, not out of affectation, but because it’s not a true mayonnaise. It contains no egg yolks or mustard. It’s nothing more than an emulsion of milk and oil. More Brazilian than Portuguese, it’s just now beginning to be used on the Continent. The taste is lighter and cleaner than that of egg-based mayonnaise, allowing other flavors to come through.
☞ READ THE ARTICLE: THE SECRET BEHIND MILK MAYONNAISE
Since I was given the recipe, I haven’t stopped finding ways to cook with it. The master recipe is only a canvas for additions. Besides the uses in this book, I’ve smeared the variations on grilled meats and fish, used them as dips and in dressings, spread them on sandwiches, and stirred them into potato salads, much as I do with actual mayonnaise.–David Leite
WHY ISN’T MY MILK MAYO EMULSIFYING?
Atenção: Like all emulsions, this recipe can be a bit finicky. But adding the oil in a thin stream and stopping when the right consistency is reached is the key. For almost foolproof results, a handheld blender is best, but a small canister blender with a narrow base will do (tall and narrow is best here). Don’t do as some of us did and assume that a stand mixer or food processor will work—it just won’t. If you’re working with a less-than-powerful immersion blender, the consistency of the mayonnaise may turn out thinner than you’d expect. You can help it along by slowly adding 2 more tablespoons of oil to the milk mayonnaise as you continue to blend and it will thicken nicely.
- 1/3 cup very cold milk
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove peeled
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- About 3/4 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil plus 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Combine the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Using a handheld blender (or a blender), buzz on high for 30 seconds until frothy.
- With the motor running on high, slowly pour in the oil a few drops at a time, and gradually increase this to a fine thread, moving the blender up and down, until the mixture thickens lusciously and resembles a soft mayonnaise. You may need more or less oil.
- Season with salt to taste. The mayonnaise will last up to 1 week in the fridge.
Milk mayonnaise variationsClockwise from top right: cilantro-ginger, curry, anchovy, sun-dried tomato.
Cilantro and Ginger Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com Coentros e GengibreAdd 1 loosely packed cup of well-dried fresh cilantro leaves and tendril-soft stems and a 1 1/2-inch peeled and grated thumb of ginger to the cup along with the milk, 1 3/4 teaspoons of lemon juice, and the pepper. Omit the garlic. Whir in the oil as directed above. Stir in 1 scallion cut into thin slices on the diagonal.
Anchovy Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com AnchovasAdd 6 anchovy fillets (generous 1 tablespoon) packed in oil to the cup along with the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Whir in the oil as directed above. Omit the salt.
Curry Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com CarilAdd 2 teaspoons of your favorite curry powder to the cup along with the milk, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Whir in the oil as directed above. Before using, let this sit for an hour or so in the fridge to bloom.
Tomato Milk Mayonnaise | Maionese de Leite com TomateAdd 1 1/2 tablespoons of double-concentrate tomato paste to the cup along with the milk, garlic, and pepper. Omit the lemon juice. Whir in the oil as directed above. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Originally published March 8, 2010
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
OMG, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? My last batch of egg mayo turned out weird and a bit fishy, which apparently was from the brown yard eggs I bought. Instead of buying more eggs I figured I’d see if there was some way to make a passable eggless mayo, and I came across your recipe. I got it on the first try, using a mason jar, an immersion blender, whole milk, high oleic sunflower oil, and plenty of fresh tarragon so I can make easy tarragon chicken salad.
Sarah Jane, as they say, better late than never!!
I tried this for the first time today – my first time with a stick blender, too. First attempt did not work, second was better, but not exactly thick. As I was intending a sort of Marie Rose sauce, I threw in a spoonful of tomato chutney and it thickened spectacularly. I am going to try a second batch, with a bit less chutney as it is a little overpowering, but think I am on my way….
Rosalind, do let me know how it turns out. Are you using whole milk?
Made this tonight for the first time and it’s amazing! Thanks for this. I don’t do eggs anymore and I don’t like commercial no-egg mayo. Steaming asparagus as we speak for dipping.
You’re more than welcome, Louise. Did you try one of the flavored versions?
This milk mayonnaise recipe is wonderful. We enjoy it on home made ciabatta bread with sliced tomatoes. Heaven! I have also enjoyed it on roasted french fries, and also mixed with ketchup as a type of russian dressing. Most delicious. I had been using garlic powder instead of a whole clove. I tried a clove of garlic the other day and Wowza!!! what a difference. The garlic adds real depth to the preparation. Good one David, thanks!
Why thank you, Taryn.
This is the recipe what i was looking for.
Despite the unusual measurement units, I managed to do it right the first time.
Hugs from Brazil.
Reginaldo, maravilhoso saber que funcionou para você. Abraços.