A question about a recipe: Lime and Tarragon Aioli with Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks

It looks like the yolks used for the aioli are never cooked? Am I understanding this correctly?? Any other options besides serving raw egg yolk? Thank you!

  • Posted by: Pugtato
  • April 8, 2012


Pugtato April 11, 2012
Thanks so much for all the responses! I had some nasty food poisoning about a week ago and so I was feeling a little queasy about the raw eggs. I ended up using mayonnaise and it was delicious! I actually made some extra and we're using it on burgers as well. The fish sticks were delicious as well I might add. Great recipe!
ChefOno April 9, 2012
Salmonella can take an internal route from feed, rodents, flies and other sources. Bacteria can also make their way in past the shell from fecal contamination either directly or via equipment, wash water or a handler's hands. It doesn't matter if they're conventionally raised, organic or free-range and freshness isn't much help since a single bacterium can multiply quickly enough in two hours to make a person sick.

That said, eggs are responsible for less than 1 percent of food borne illness. Current estimates are that only 1 out of every 20,000 eggs is contaminated.

I'll have mine sunny-side up please.
susan G. April 9, 2012
Pasteurized eggs are available to deal with this concern, I've heard.
As I understand it, the origin of salmonella in eggs is the feed, and can occur even in benign settings. I try to get eggs from 'better' sources, and proceed with some awareness. I have noticed that when questions of food safety/food poisoning come up on Hotline, people who have had experience with food poisoning are not risk takers any more -- the price is too great.
pierino April 9, 2012
Risk taker that I am, I buy the freshest eggs I can find from local farmers. These have just been laid and they are not the product of factory farms where the risk of salmonella is much higher.
hardlikearmour April 8, 2012
You could adapt Shirley Corriher's mayonnaise technique for the aioli. She cooks the yolks with lemon juice, water and sugar. http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/cookwise/homemade_mayonnaise
I used her technique to make a curry lime mayo, and found I needed more lime juice to make it work well: http://www.food52.com/recipes/15309_curried_crab_and_scallop_bites_with_curry_and_lime_mayo
Greenstuff April 8, 2012
You can also try to make it without egg yolk--aioli was originally just garlic plus oil. Without the yolk, it's a heck of a lot more likely to separate, but you'll be more authentic.

What's your reason for avoiding the raw yolk? If it's a food safety issue, any problems are far more likely to occur in a larger or more industrial setting, not for you and one or two egg yolks at home.
healthierkitchen April 12, 2012
I am a big believer in small farm, happy chickens, but although I always hope the incidence of salmonella is less than with industrially farmed ones, I have heard that it is still a risk. I do eat poached and soft boiled eggs myself, but I rarely serve un- or under cooked eggs to guests, just in case. I had a long, sleepless night after serving a traditional chocolate mousse at a dinner party just waiting for someone to call and say they'd gotten sick. I do know people who have had salmonella at home from a couple of raw eggs in cookie batter, but it is rare and certainly not as dramatic as when a whole office full of people gets sick after eating Caesar salad at a work lunch at a big hotel (as happened to me years ago)! I seem to remember at a cooking class years ago using an egg product from a refrigerated container - like the ones of egg whites - but it was pasteurized eggs. I think the county regs where I live prohibited them from using raw eggs.
sdebrango April 8, 2012
You are right, the yolks are not cooked. You could whisk over a double boiler to heat the yolks and then whisk in the oils. I have never done it like that but I think it would be similar to hollandaise, I think you should use commercially prepared mayonaise and add the tarragon and lime like Jenny did. It tastes great and works perfectly, I use organic eggs from farm raised, cage free pastured chickens so it gives me peace of mind when eating raw yolks. Mayo works just fine with this. I hope you enjoy!
Recommended by Food52