how to make aioli and ideas to flavour it

by Sam on March 28, 2012


Aioli is a wonderful condiment to add a variety of flavours to and is much easier than you may think to make. The flavour is far superior to any shop bought mayonnaise, and well worth the small amount of effort it takes to whip up a batch.

Essentially very similar to each other, the main difference between mayonnaise and aioli is that aioli is made with olive oil and has garlic added. Mayonnaise is a bit lighter, made with vegetable or canola oil and has more flavourings. I love both but do find that aioli made from olive oil only is too intense and bitter for me.

I played around in my kitchen with a variety of combinations and methods, and with this recipe I used half olive oil and half canola oil to give it a more mellow flavour. I  added lemon juice to give it some zing and a lot of garlic for the flavour (add less if you want it milder).

To make it more fool proof I found that using my food processor was more effective than my hand whisk.

Recipe for a basic aioli (makes 500ml / 2 cups)

  • 2 free range egg yolks at room temperature (as fresh as possible)
  • 1 cup (250ml) Canola oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 T lemon juice

Place all the ingredients except the oils into the food processor and mix briefly. While the mixer is on, very slowly add the oil through the spout at the top ensuring that it emulsifies. It will get thicker the more oil you add.  At the end if you find it a bit thick, add a tablespoon or 2 of warm water to smooth it out. If it splits,  keep mixing and it may come back together or remove the split mixture, add another egg yolk back into the bowl and re-emulsify with the split mixture.

This is the base aioli that is wonderful on its own or can be tweaked to make a variety of incredible flavours.

You could substitute the lemon with lime, chopped coriander and chopped pickled jalapeno chillis to make a fabulous dipping sauce for fish or prawns. You could do what I did and add already made spicy condiments to the aioli such as:  Harissa paste, chilli sauce, chipotle hot sauce, Tabasco, chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and Sambal Bajak (an Indonesian spicy sauce).  All were totally amazing.

Think of anchovies, capers, pesto, olives, fresh herbs and smoked chilli.

I came across Hannah’s video class on the Woolworths Pantry section of their website, where she shows you step by step how to make aioli by hand. Check this tutorial out from ‘Cook Like a Chef – Week 1′, for another fabulous recipe.  The site is an excellent resource for recipes and instructions on how to use ingredients creatively with updates from the video classroom.

a range of flavoured aioli's

The applications seem endless to me. I tried the smokey chipotle aioli I made using chipotle in adobo sauce from Mexicorn on a grilled mealie (corn on the cob) and it was delicious. The lime and green chilli aioli was superb with fish.

Use on salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps or stirred through pasta.

corn on the cob with chipotle aioli

Chipotle in adobo sauce can be procured through Main Ingredient now.

Leave a Comment

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

nina March 29, 2012 at 5:23 am

Thank you Sam, certainly a post to bookmark….

Lameen March 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Hi Sam, Thanks for spreading the news about aioli. At Escape Caffe we actually make aioli for our chicken mayo, but people used to ask me what is aioli, so I just call it Spanish Chicken Mayo. Sometimes in Spain, they add the sweet pimento paprika to the aioli.

Sam March 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Hi Lameen and *oh wow* on a sweet paprika version. It almost seems like the variations are endless. I loved it with my smoked red bell pepper too and think smoked paprika could also be fantastic. All awesome as a base on a delicious sandwich. I must come and visit you soon :-)

Barbara Anello April 4, 2012 at 6:33 am

Best aioli recipe I’ve tried to date! Thank you!!! Curious why the 3 options below Submit button include first and second option that are essentially the same with the exception of “by email” and “via email”?

Sam April 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi Barbara, thanks and glad you like. I am not too sure re the mechanics of Wordpress and my site – sorry (its build in)

Denise February 19, 2013 at 7:17 am

Approx. how long does this stay good when kept refrigerated? I would be the only one my house using it and I don’t want it to go to waste!

Sam February 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hi Denise – the recommendation for fresh mayo is around 2 weeks. as you are dealing with fresh eggs. I however kept mine a bit longer. but it is a problem as it does not contain any preservatives and thus not ideal to keep for ages. It is the same problem I have as I don’t eat enough of it. So I tend to make it when I need it for a recipe and then try and use up the leftovers.

Joseph Gorcsi April 12, 2013 at 3:48 am

Hello, and thank you for the help!
I work at Bon Appetit and we cook for google in my view

Sam April 12, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi Joseph, yes I guess we all cook for Google :-)

mardulce January 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Hola, soy de Barcelona, Cataluña, de donde es el allioli original. La receta original es huevo, aceite de oliva, sal y ajo, nada más. Todas las variantes que se le puedan hacer, ya no es un allioli.


Bernice Kirk July 20, 2014 at 4:19 am

I had to stop reading. I would NEVER use Canola oil (rapeseed). IT is horrible for you.
I will have to go another route, like refined coconut oil. NO CORN unless it is ORGANIC, because otherwise it is Genetically Modfied

Sam July 21, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Hi Bernice – eac to their own I guess. I prefer a neutral oil to 0live oil which I find quite intense.

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