Mayonnaise is an immensely popular salad dressing that brings creaminess to salads and moisture to sandwiches. It is unique for its combination of richness and its mild flavor profile. It is a useful ingredient when consumed in moderation, but it can be profoundly unpleasant if too much of it is used. Here are some tips on what to do if you have accidentally used too much mayonnaise.
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Add more of everything else
The simple fix when you add too much of an ingredient like mayonnaise is to add more of everything else to dilute the taste and mouthfeel and balance things out. This method is relatively easy to implement with mayo, especially in dishes like macaroni or potato salad. While this solution is effective, it also can result in a more expensive meal and wasted food since you are going to be using more ingredients and therefore making more of the dish than you need. This can be problematic with mayo since very few dishes with it can be frozen. If food waste is a big concern, try one of the other fixes below.
Pour it off
In some mayonnaise-heavy preparations, the other ingredients contain moisture that gets drawn out over time. Leave some coleslaw in the refrigerator for an hour or so, and you will find that much of the dressing will have turned to a liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Ordinarily, you would simply stir before serving, but you can just pour it off if you have used too much mayo.
Wash it off
With some dishes, you may be able to remove all or some of the mayonnaise. For example, you may be able to put a coleslaw or macaroni salad in a colander in the sink and rinse the mayonnaise off without harming the ingredients.
Add strong flavors
In dishes where you can’t get the mayonnaise out and don’t want to make more, you can add stronger flavors to help cut through the oily richness. The flavors that are particularly good at that are the acidic or spicy ones. Lemon or lime juice, mustard, or horseradish will each add strong flavor notes that can distract from the mayonnaise. Cayenne pepper or hot sauce may have the same effect. The addition of cheese might be effective in some instances, as might the use of green onions or other herbs.
Add oil or vinegar
One of the effects of using too much mayonnaise is the fact that it tends to cling to the food so that each bite is slathered in the oily paste. Adding a liquid to thin it out may make it less evident that you added too much mayonnaise and should — providing you use a tasty oil or vinegar — make the dish more flavorful and healthier. This works best with macaroni salads, but it might be good for other dishes as well.
Add a crunchy ingredient
The big problem with too much mayonnaise is how it can affect the consistency of a dish. Too much mayo in an egg or tuna salad gives it all a uniform consistency, which is mostly the consistency of the mayonnaise itself. Add some variation to the dish’s mouthfeel with a crunchy element. Which element you use will vary depending on the dish. Add chopped celery, onions, or crumbled bacon to give your mayonnaise-filled food item a satisfying crunch.