Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise (and An Intro to Fermented Foods)

I've declared it Fermentation Week here at An Organic Wife. This is the first of three traditional fermentation recipes I will be posting this week, so make sure you check in over the next few days.

Fermented foods are an incredibly important part of a real, traditional diet. As we've moved towards more and more processed foods over the past several decades, we've left those fermented foods behind. This is because most fermented foods need to be made at home. It's only recently that kombucha has been made for sale at health food stores, and there are a couple of good brands of real sauerkraut available for purchase (shelf stable kraut canned in vinegar is not real). However, it's much cheaper to make these products yourself at home.

Fermented foods are loaded with good bacteria, are rich in vitamins and enzymes, and greatly improve digestion. An increase in consumption of fermented foods can help improve (and possibly heal) gluten or lactose intolerance, allergies, asthma, yeast infections, and IBS. Ideally we should all be eating fermented foods three times a day (once with each meal), but if you can start just consuming them even once every day, you will be doing your body a huge favor.

The first recipe up this week is Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise. Everybody likes mayo right? Well, the truth is, I never did. But I do like Lacto-Fermented Mayo; it's very rich in flavor.

A few notes on Lacto-Fermented Mayo: it's important to use pastured eggs since no cooking is involved. Contrary to popular belief, raw eggs from a pastured source are not dangerous - in fact, they are incredibly healthy. Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, containing protein, vitamins A, D, and E, biotin, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, just to name a few. Additionally, raw eggs are very easy to digest.
There are a few oils you can choose from when making this mayonnaise: olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, lard, and tallow. You may have seen other similar recipes that call for sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or others. These oils are high in omega-6 fats (not healthy fat). At the end of the day, use your own judgement, but I am only comfortable using one of the five I listed. I recommend mixing oils in order that the flavor of one won't be so strong, and also that the mayo won't turn rock hard in the fridge. Coconut oil, ghee, and tallow firm up when cold. I used just over 50% lard and just under 50% refined coconut oil (I used refined here that way my mayo didn't taste coconutty).
Finally, this recipe calls for liquid whey. Please read my post called How to Make Cream Cheese to learn the two ways you can make whey. You cannot buy whey from the store (although you can buy yogurt, which can help you make whey...).

Please make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before making this recipe. If you are using coconut oil, ghee, and/or tallow, heat them gently so they turn liquid, then let them cool again at room temp so they don't re-solidify.

2 egg yolks
½ lemon, juiced
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1 c. oil (combination of olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, lard, and/or tallow)
4 tsp. whey

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, salt, and dry mustard for 1 minute so they egg yolks warm up. While continuing to whisk, slowly drop in a couple of drops of oil. Then, slowly drizzle in the rest of the oil; never stop whisking! The mixture will thicken up a little; you will notice a change in consistency. When it has all come together, whisk in the whey. Pour the mayonnaise in a mason jar with an air-tight lid, and let it ferment at room temperature for 7 hours. It will still be a little thin. After 7 hours, store it in the fridge. It will thicken up, and depending on which oils you used, it may get very thick. In that case, just remember to take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you plan to use it. As the fermentation process helps to preserve food, this mayonnaise will last about 2 months in the fridge.

This recipe makes just over one cup of mayo, so feel free to double to fit your family's needs.

Printable: Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise


  1. Thanks! I just made mayo yesterday because I really wanted potato salad. Thank you for posting a recipe that calls for healthy fats! I will try this recipe next time!

  2. This sounds really easy and tasty. However, I thought that the fermenting process was supposed to attract good bacteria into your product from your environment. Does this happen with a tight fitting lid?

  3. Cindie, There are 2 different types of fermentation methods. Typically fermentations such as sourdough and kombucha are "open". Lacto-fermentation recipes such as this mayo must be closed tightly. Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process and the presence of oxygen, once fermentation has begun, will ruin the final product.

  4. Why do you have to take it out of the fridge 2 hours before using it? Is that necessary every time?

  5. @Rooots215, Depending on what oils you use, the mayonnaise may get hard in the fridge. Taking it out a couple of hours before you use it will allow it to soften back up.

  6. do you think my mayo will turn out good if I use just olive oil as my oil? will the consistency/taste be ok? also you said while its fermenting to have the lids tight,correct?

  7. I made this earlier today, and just realized I put 4 TB instead of 4 tsp:/ did I totally ruin it? Or will it still be ok to eat?

    1. It should be fine, just might taste a little "tangy."


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