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My weekday vinaigrette recipe goes something like:

  • 1 part olive oil
  • 1.5-2 parts seasoned rice vinegar
  • dollop of Dijon mustard
  • put into sealed container, shake, pour

This emulsifies nicely thanks to the mustard, allowing for quick and easy preparation (instead of a laborious whisking of oil a drop at a time).

I'd like to try other flavors for salad dressing. In particular, I'd like to make some sesame oil + soy sauce + rice vinegar dressings, and the Dijon mustard would be out of place.

My question is: Are there other common ingredients that have this emulsifying property?

  • Soy lecithin may be your bet bet .. but if you keep it in a jar and shake the hell out of it, and use it soon afterwards, it typically doesn't matter. You only need the emlsifier if you want it stable for some time. – Joe Oct 24 '14 at 17:54
  • Xanthan gum is a wonderful emulsifier: modernistcookingmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-ingredients/more/… It can be a bit tricky to get mixed in uniformly, and adding too much is disaster, but handled properly, it should exceed anything mustard can do for you, without adding flavor. – Wayfaring Stranger Oct 24 '14 at 21:02
  • Mustard powder has the same emulsifying properties as dijon, without imparting much flavor. I use it pretty frequently. – Sean Hart Oct 25 '14 at 16:37
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According to Serious Eats, mayonnaise is even better! Honey or egg yolk work too. Whatever you do, use some kind of emulsifying agent. The same article shows the havoc a non-emulsified dressing will play on a perfectly innocent salad.

  • Honey is a great choice! – shadowtalker Oct 26 '14 at 6:14
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Read about emulsifiers here . As per @joe's comment you don't need to worry about an emulsifier if you are using your dressing soon after preparing, only if you plan to keep it longer. Personally I would go for flavor rather than storage time. However, the reference gives several choices for an emulsifier if you so choose.

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