Vietnamese-Style Mayo: A Condiment That Elevates Any Kind Of Sandwich

From dips and dressings to deviled eggs and potato salad, mayonnaise is a versatile ingredient that can lend its creamy, slightly tangy flavors to many dishes, making it much more than just a simple condiment. Plus, many sandwich lovers wouldn't dream of going without it. In Vietnamese cuisine, it's slathered onto the popular bahn mi sandwich and sold everywhere from street food stalls to international restaurants. Asking for extra mayo, called sốt bơ trứng and shortened to "bơ" by Vietnamese street vendors, is always a good decision if you want to pack some more oomph inside a bahn mi. But if you enjoy the flavor, why not add it to other sandwiches too?

It only takes as little as three ingredients to whip up some Vietnamese-style mayo, and there are a few recipe variations out there you can experiment with. Before you take the leap and create your own, there are a few important distinctions to note. Unlike American mayonnaise, which uses whole eggs and white vinegar, the Vietnamese version uses only yolks, much like Japan's famous Kewpie mayonnaise. Though both have similar base ingredients, Kewpie uses rice or apple cider vinegar, while Vietnamese-style mayo doesn't often include vinegar at all. Instead, the flavor is derived from the spices added. Actually, it's very likely that you have all the ingredients somewhere in your pantry already.

To make Vietnamese mayo, all you need are eggs, oil, and some spice

If you're using a hand mixer or food processor, it's possible to make your own Vietnamese-style mayo in around five minutes. If you decide to mix the ingredients by hand, it'll take a bit more time and effort to ensure everything is blended well. First, think of whatever clever trick for separating egg whites you like best and use that method for two egg yolks. Depending on your tastes, some recipes suggest mixing in a little salt, sugar, or even brown sugar to make it sweeter, but it's not a necessary step. While it isn't common for Vietnamese-style mayo to have vinegar, you can add rice vinegar or fish sauce to infuse your mayonnaise with umami undertones, or add sriracha for a spicy kick. Additionally, lime juice is featured in some recipes instead of vinegar to help preserve the mayo with added acidity.

These extra embellishments can be fun, but sometimes the simplest recipes can yield the most delicious results. Besides the egg yolks, all you really need is some vegetable oil (or another type of oil, like olive or peanut) to slowly mix in, little by little. As it slowly begins to thicken, you can add ½ teaspoon of onion or garlic powder or for a little extra zing. In the end, your Vietnamese-style mayo should have a buttery consistency with a rich yellow color, which could be a game changer for your future sandwiches.