I recently made a batch of homemade mayonnaise, having found myself with left over egg yolk from another recipe. I decided not to flavor the mayonnaise with any mustard. The mayo ended up tasting like mostly oil. I decided not to use mustard since the store brands never taste like mustard. How can I adjust the flavor so that my mayo tastes like the typical mayo you get in stores (particularly Hellmann's brand)?

For the record, here is how I prepared the mayo:

For every 1 egg yolk I have, I added 2 table spoons of white vinegar to activate the emulsifier. Then I slowly dripped in vegetable oil until the mixture started to look a bit like yellow mayonnaise. At that point I started adding and stirring into the mixture large portions of vegetable oil until I got to my desired thickness (I like the thicker mayo). I should note that the color was still a very light yellow, perhaps not enough vinegar.

  • 9
    But...why would you want your mayonnaise to taste like Helman's? The point of home-made mayonnaise (or of top-quality mayonnaise) is that it should be better than Helman's! I would add mustard, though not too much. I also recommend lemon juice (unless it's already sour enough) and pepper. I assume you have already added plenty of salt.
    – Cerberus
    Jan 16, 2014 at 3:51
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    Mustard powder is a better option than actual mustard imo.
    – Stefano
    Jan 16, 2014 at 9:45
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    Checking the my Hellmann's jar, you'll need to add lemon juice and sugar. Also, whole egg, not just yolk.
    – derobert
    Jan 16, 2014 at 9:57
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    I think you'd be better off adjusting your taste to real mayonnaise flavor. Also, a great side benefit of making your own mayonnaise is that you realize that it's almost all oil. Use good oil; use garlic; use whatever spices and herbs that you like. Homemade food means you're making what you like. The mass-market products are optimized for production cost mostly.
    – Pointy
    Jan 16, 2014 at 22:55
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    @Nil There is topsecretrecipes.com/… ... that came from Google. Haven't tried it myself. It looks sane, compared to the ingredients listed on the Hellmann's bottle (though I'd use the full egg, because the bottle says they did). Also an immersion blender, if you have one, is great for making thick mayo.
    – derobert
    Jan 17, 2014 at 2:57

4 Answers 4


I have to make both mayonnaise and aioli every day at my job. We sometimes do R&D on off days and we spent quite some time trying to imitate our favorite gourmet mayonnaise. I think that we were successful, here are some tips:

  1. Lemon juice comes closer to that crisp tartness that I taste in even cheaper mayonnaise. Try using the juice from lemons, limes, or both and see where that gets you.

  2. The store bought brands don't taste like mustard, but let me emphasize that mustard is vital to getting you closer to that taste. There is a specific "tang" to store bought mayonnaise that doesn't come from the acid -- you can get very close to this tang with mustard. I use a good quality dijon when I make mayonnaise and the difference is noticeable. Keep adding dijon in small amounts and observe the change in taste. I end up 2 - 3 tablespoons to my batch.

  3. Experiment with fresh garlic and/or garlic and onion powders.

  4. Try adding white pepper instead of black pepper and see where that gets you.

  5. I add a little water at the end. I find that it tones down some of the intensity of the acid and dijon.

Also, you don't have to add your acid in the beginning. In fact, I almost always add mine after the initial "setting" of the emulsification. It is easier to control the thickness and flavor of my mayo; I use my acid for my first thinning and then add oil to adjust from there.

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    Also: A common trick in lactovegetarian/vegan cooking to make something taste more "eggy" is using black salt (kala namak) ... careful with that stuff if not familiar with it! May 12, 2015 at 10:56

Industrial mayonnaise is much less yellow because it uses less egg yolk. In fact, a single egg yolk can make up to 6 gallons (!) of mayonnaise if you add warm water in the process (vinegar should do the trick) before adding more oil.

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    While this may be true, it doesn't explain how to make it taste more like store bought mayo. Are you suggesting that the OP use fewer egg yolks? Is that the only change?
    – Catija
    Aug 2, 2016 at 21:12

Further to JoshieSimmons answer, It's worth pointing out that emulsions of any kind amplify the flavor of the oils in them. You might, for example, have an olive oil that is delicious on its own, over bread, but is overpowering in a mayonnaise, or emulsified dressing. To imitate the 'non' taste of a commercial mayonnaise, you would have to use a neutral oil (sunflower is good), a very mild mustard to help emulsifying, and less acid than most recipes for home-made. Balance an increased amount of oil with water, rather than vinegar / other acid. Taste as you go, first time round.


Want the taste of store bought? Add a ton of bad stuff to it, like a ton of E-Number Additives :P

Also the emulsifying process, has nothing to do with the Vinegar, it is the Egg Yolk and Oil, Mustard stabilizes it, i recommend spending 30 Seconds whisking just the Egg Yolk and Mustard, then slowly add the Oil, and wait seasoning it till the end, as well as adding Vinegar / Lemon Juice, that way, emulsify way better, if you need to make smaller batches :)

Also the more Yellow Colour, is usually made by using "Turmeric" as it is healthy, adds Colour, but not really any flavour, just like they do with Curries or other things they want to be "Yellow" :)

  • 3
    E-numbers equals bad stuff? Seems you are a bit misinformed about what E-numbers mean. Turmeric is E-100(II)
    – roetnig
    Jan 9, 2018 at 10:17

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