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Shel_B

Lecithin in a Vinaigrette?

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I was watching an episode of America's Test Kitchen last night, and they suggested adding some mayonnaise to a vinaigrette to help emulsify it and keep the oil and vinegar from separating. The idea was that mayo contains eggs, and egg yolks contain lecithin, which would help the emulsion stay together.

Well, with that idea in mind, couldn't one just use lecithin for the same purpose? Where could I get lecithin if I wanted to experiment with the concept? Any thoughts on how much lecithin would be needed for this idea to work? Thanks!


 ... Shel


 

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You need liquid lecithin, not powder. They probably (99% sure) have it at Berkeley Bowl.

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You need liquid lecithin, not powder. They probably (99% sure) have it at Berkeley Bowl.

OK, that's definitely worth looking into. Thanks!


 ... Shel


 

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I had some trouble finding liquid lechithin in Australia. I found companies that sell soap- and cosmetic-making products to passionate amateurs were prepared to sell small bottles of the stuff.


Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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I use mustard in my vinaigrette to keep it emulsified. Typically I use a Dijon type with whole seeds in it (Safeway house brand mostly).

In order to get the appropriate emulsification for my vinaigrettes, I'd have to use more mustard than I'd like - the resultant vinaigrette tastes too mustard-y. America's Test Kitchen found the same to be true, therefore, they added some mayo as well as mustard to their vinaigrette.


 ... Shel


 

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I had some trouble finding liquid lechithin in Australia. I found companies that sell soap- and cosmetic-making products to passionate amateurs were prepared to sell small bottles of the stuff.

There are numerous sources here for liquid lecithin ...


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I use mustard in my vinaigrette to keep it emulsified. Typically I use a Dijon type with whole seeds in it (Safeway house brand mostly).

In order to get the appropriate emulsification for my vinaigrettes, I'd have to use more mustard than I'd like - the resultant vinaigrette tastes too mustard-y. America's Test Kitchen found the same to be true, therefore, they added some mayo as well as mustard to their vinaigrette.

You can also just use an egg yolk, though at that point, you're technically making a really thin mayonnaise, not a vinaigrette. I've been finding lately that I enjoy balancing out the sharpness of the mustard with a little bit of sweetness, from honey or maple syrup or the like. It helps to keep the mustard from being overpowering.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I use mustard in my vinaigrette to keep it emulsified. Typically I use a Dijon type with whole seeds in it (Safeway house brand mostly).

In order to get the appropriate emulsification for my vinaigrettes, I'd have to use more mustard than I'd like - the resultant vinaigrette tastes too mustard-y. America's Test Kitchen found the same to be true, therefore, they added some mayo as well as mustard to their vinaigrette.

My vinaigrette has some honey in it along with some raspberry syrup, both of which add some sweetness, so I never actually taste the mustard. The seeds as some visual appeal but not much, if any, flavor.

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Dave the Cook, thanks for responding. So I have a dressing recipe I want to emulsify that has 14 tablespoons of non-oil liquid (rice vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce) and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. So, whatever that sesame oil weighs, I use 1 to 2% soy lecithin of that weight? If that oil weighs 20 grams, I use 2 to 4 grams of lecithin? I guess I would start with 1% and increase it to 2% by increments if necessary? Thank you.

Elsie

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Dave the Cook, thanks for responding. So I have a dressing recipe I want to emulsify that has 14 tablespoons of non-oil liquid (rice vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce) and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. So, whatever that sesame oil weighs, I use 1 to 2% soy lecithin of that weight? If that oil weighs 20 grams, I use 2 to 4 grams of lecithin? I guess I would start with 1% and increase it to 2% by increments if necessary? Thank you.

Elsie

Hmm. The MCAH formula applies to a French-style vinaigrette, where the ratio of oil to everything else is roughly 2:1. What you're describing is more of an Asian-style dressing, with a ratio of 3:14, way over on the other side of the balance.

Another MCAH recipe might be more helpful: a sauce that combines chicken fat and jus, using liquid soy lecithin to form an emulsion and xanthan gum to stabilize it. That ratio is 2 (fat):5 (everything else) -- much closer to what you're proposing. In that case, the additives are scaled according to the "everything else": 0.8% for the lecithin, and 0.4% for the xanthan.

On the other hand . . . the MCAH "Ultrastable Butter Sauce" calls for 100g everything else (+ 0.4g xanthan), with 120g melted butter (+ 2.4g liquid soy lecithin).

What all this tells me (though I'm very willing to be corrected) is that 1) liquid soy lecithin provides a lot of leeway; 2) xanthan gum does not (in fact, I know from experimenting with it that this is quite true; it's a very powerful thickener). So, were I you, I'd start at 0.5% of lecithin, scaled according to your "everything else," and work my way up as needed. And I wouldn't be surprised if it took as much as 2 - 2.5%. Liquid soy lecithin is tasteless, so you don't have to worry about affecting flavor.

It should be pointed out for the benefit of everyone considering using lecithin to emulsify dressings that the lecithin needs to be blended with the fat component before adding the fat to the "everything else."


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Carbohydrates.

I think we need to argue endlessly about putting ketchup on a hot dog.

*bows his head in shame*

I know ...

Dave the Cook, thanks for responding. So I have a dressing recipe I want to emulsify that has 14 tablespoons of non-oil liquid (rice vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce) and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. So, whatever that sesame oil weighs, I use 1 to 2% soy lecithin of that weight? If that oil weighs 20 grams, I use 2 to 4 grams of lecithin? I guess I would start with 1% and increase it to 2% by increments if necessary? Thank you.

Elsie

Hmm. The MCAH formula applies to a French-style vinaigrette, where the ratio of oil to everything else is roughly 2:1. What you're describing is more of an Asian-style dressing, with a ratio of 3:14, way over on the other side of the balance.

Another MCAH recipe might be more helpful: a sauce that combines chicken fat and jus, using liquid soy lecithin to form an emulsion and xanthan gum to stabilize it. That ratio is 2 (fat):5 (everything else) -- much closer to what you're proposing. In that case, the additives are scaled according to the "everything else": 0.8% for the lecithin, and 0.4% for the xanthan.On the other hand . . . the MCAH "Ultrastable Butter Sauce" calls for 100g everything else (+ 0.4g xanthan), with 120g melted butter (+ 2.4g liquid soy lecithin).

What all this tells me (though I'm very willing to be corrected) is that 1) liquid soy lecithin provides a lot of leeway; 2) xanthan gum does not (in fact, I know from experimenting with it that this is quite true; it's a very powerful thickener). So, were I you, I'd start at 0.5% of lecithin, scaled according to your "everything else," and work my way up as needed. And I wouldn't be surprised if it took as much as 2 - 2.5%. Liquid soy lecithin is tasteless, so you don't have to worry about affecting flavor.

It should be pointed out for the benefit of everyone considering using lecithin to emulsify dressings that the lecithin needs to be blended with the fat component before adding the fat to the "everything else."

Wow,

thanks for the information. I will try it out and post the results in case others are interested. I had shoulder surgery this morning and my arm is in a very restrictive sling right now and will be for a month but I may ask by husband to make it. Anyway, that is just to say it may be a little while before I post. I really, really appreciate your help.

Elsie


Edited by ElsieD (log)

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I use Xanthan gum and make the vinaigrette in the blender. The result is glossy and well emulsified (stable in my experience for at least a week) and actually sits up a little on the plate without running and ruining the look.

I just add the vinaigrette ingredients excluding the oil into the blender on low speed, add a little xanthan and stream the oil in like making mayo. Add a little more Xanthan if it looks a little thin, and blend on high speed for a minute or so. Of course, this works better for making large quantities as the blender picks it up better, but I think it gives a better result than lecithin, and is more stable.

As for Xanthan percentages, I have no clue, I just add little by little until it looks right.


James.

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Do you heat befor mixing in the xanthan?

Anyone know a good online supplier of liquid lecithin, with international shipping? (Modernistpanty only has powder.)

K

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Do you heat befor mixing in the xanthan?

Anyone know a good online supplier of liquid lecithin, with international shipping? (Modernistpanty only has powder.)

K

No heat. Xanthan is cold soluble, plus heating would alter the freshness of the vinaigrette.

James.

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