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, 2014 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. Oct 24, 2014 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, 2014 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


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! Oct 26, 2014 at 6:14

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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