a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
I’ve been into made-from-scratch sauces lately. Homemade ketchup, mustard, salsa, pesto and hummus have paid my fridge a visit recently. None stay long. They’re all so delicious they get gobbled up pretty quickly.
It’s homemade mayonnaise that’s always scared me, though. Raw eggs, emulsifying…it sounds somewhat bothersome and time consuming. But this oolong tea-spiked mayonnaise recipe from Culinary Tea has changed my mind. It’s seriously easy and it all comes together in just a few minutes in a food processor.
The texture is just right…velvety and creamy but not too oily or egg-y. And with steeped oolong tea leaves and dried fruit bits pulsed in, you end up with a tangy yet earthy flavored sauce that can dress a salad or sandwich or serve as a unique dip for veggies or fish. I used half of this batch of mayo for a chicken salad and the other half for deviled eggs.
You’ll want to use a high quality tea for this recipe because you’ll be eating the steeped leaves that are in the mayo mixture. For this batch, I used a stunning organic oolong from Tea People. Their Makaibari Darjoolong is a rare oolong tea grown in Darjeeling. They describe it as naturally sweet with lemony, vegetal and earthy qualities. I agree. I actually got the aroma of a lemony, creamy artichoke when I steeped this tea. I think that’s why it worked so well as a seasoning for the mayonnaise.
A huge thanks to Tea People for sending me samples of their fine teas to play around with in my tea foodie kitchen.
Happy cooking and sipping!
(Adapted from the Oolong Mayonnaise recipe in the Culinary Tea cookbook by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern.)
Makes about 2½ cups
2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries
2 tablespoons loose leaf oolong tea leaves (I used Makaibari Darjoolong from Tea People)
1 cup just boiled water
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk*
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (from about a 2-inch piece of ginger root)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 cups canola or vegetable oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
*Raw eggs can carry the bacteria salmonella. Use pasteurized whole eggs if you can find them. If not, use the freshest eggs you can get and keep them cold.
1. Set the cherries and tea leaves together in a heatproof bowl. Cover them with the just boiled water, cover, and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and discard the liquid. Set the steeped leaves and cherries aside to cool for at least 15 minutes.
2. Place the eggs, egg yolk, ginger and rice vinegar in a food processor and process for several seconds to combine. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in all of the oil through the feed tube until the mixture is smooth and starts to thicken. This should take about 2 minutes.
3. Add the cooled tea leaves and cherries to the food processor and process for 30 seconds more. The tea and cherries will blend into the mayonnaise to give it a chunky texture and lots of flavor. Transfer mayonnaise to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using to give it a chance to set and for the flavors to meld.
4. Store the mayonnaise in an airtight container and use within 3 days.