Miso Mayonnaise


My only regret when O Chame closed is that I never asked them how to make the sauce they served with the corn cakes. The hostess would always say it’s just a mayonnaise. But it was pinkish in color and very thin and tangy, not thick and white like most American mayonnaise. It was more like a salad dressing. Here is my version, which isn’t nearly as good.

There are some things you’ll never forget—the first time you set eyes on your first-born child, the first time you learn how to ride a bike. Me? I’ll never forget the first time I learned how to make mayonnaise. I was in Prague teaching English and I be friended a Spanish reporter who didn’t speak English. We were both learning Czech and horrible at it, so we defaulted to my rusty Spanish.

Method: You start with two egg yolks. Add a little drop of olive oil (you could use any oil, and when I make the miso mayo I use a little sesame oil and a canola oil). Keep adding little drops and whisk vigorously after each drop. When it begins to thicken, you can add the oil in a steady stream, but slowly until you have made a cup of mayonnaise. Keep whisking. I like it to be a little drippy and you control the texture and thickness by how quickly you add the oil and how much you whisk. If you add the oil too quickly, you’ll get a very drippy mayonnaise that never stabilizes. If you whisk too much, the mayonnaise will get stiff the way whipped cream does if you whip it too much. Season with miso, salt, finely chopped shallots and rice wine vinegar.  Ginger or garlic powder can also give it a nice flavor. Essentially you can add any flavoring to the mayonnaise base (i.e. Siracha!).