What Is Aïoli?
What is Aïoli? What is Aïoli Sauce?
What is commonly referred to as aïoli sauce is actually a mayo flavored with a generous amount of garlic. In southern France, precisely in Provence where aïoli originates, it was just lots of garlic pounded with a mortar and pestle and emulsified with oil, no eggs or acid added. Nowadays, aïoli is pretty much synonymous with garlic mayonnaise.
What is Aïoli Sauce Made of?
The number-one ingredient in aïoli is garlic, plus the standard mayo ingredients for mayo: egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard, and olive oil.
Additional flavorings are up to you. You can make chipotle aïoli by adding chipotle chili powder or chipotle hot sauce; truffle aïoli by using truffle oil instead of olive oil; sriracha aïoli by adding sriracha, caper aïoli by adding capers, smoked aïoli by adding smoked paprika, yuzu aïoli by adding yuzu juice — the variations are virtually endless.
What Oil Should I Use for Aïoli?
It depends on the recipe. Unlike mayonnaise, which is usually made with canola oil, classic aïoli is made with olive oil, and a mildly flavored fruity extra virgin olive oil is best.
But you can also swap the olive oil for other flavored oils such as chili oil to make a spicy chili aïoli. Because aïoli is a type of mayonnaise, you find ready-made bottled aïoli in the same aisle as mayonnaise in most supermarkets.
How Do I Use Aïoli?
In Mediterranean cuisines aïoli is served with fish or seafood, meats, and vegetables either as a sauce or a dip, but there is no reason why you shouldn't spread it on a burger, toss it with pasta, or spoon it on crab cakes.
Spanish-style aïoli is called allioli, and it's often served with patatas bravas (fried potatoes) or seafood.
VIDEO: How to Make Aïoli
Watch Chef John make homemade aïoli the traditional way, with a mortar and pestle. It's so simple. As Chef John explains, this mortar-and-pestle technique is really the only way to produce the telltale sharp, intense flavor aïoli is famous for.
"The beauty of aïoli made in the traditional method with a mortar and pestle is that a small amount of garlic can flavor a large amount of mayo," says Chef John. "Also, this real aïoli is so strong and powerful that you don't need half a cup of mayo on your grilled fish. Just a teaspoon of my version is so intense it will fully flavor a whole piece of meat or pile of veggies."
Some Favorite Aïoli Recipes
"This is a great recipe that I found in another users comments but nowhere else on the site," says Jeff and Justine. "Enjoy! We use this as a dip for crab cakes or as a spread on sandwiches."
"This is a fresh-tasting spicy sauce excellent with seafood such as crab cakes or fish tacos as well as a dipping sauce for homemade french fries or any other broiled or baked potato recipe," says KGABELE.
"This is a versatile topping for just about anything," says ATB. "The flavors are bright and tangy. I have used this recipe for coleslaw dressing, topped turkey burgers, fish tacos with red cabbage garnish, and even as a dip for other Mexican-inspired dishes."
"A tasty dressing for fish, poultry and burgers that is zesty and creamy," says REBECCADK. "Light mayonnaise is used to keep the bad fats and calories at bay."
This aïoli sauce combines sour cream, mayonnaise, and dry mustard mixed with olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest, and minced garlic. "Serve with any seafood," says Christina. "It's simply an amazing dipping sauce."