#AtoZChallenge: #Cooking Terms – E is for Emulsion

EWhat is Emulsion:

In cooking, an emulsion is a mixture of oil and liquid in which tiny globules of one are suspended in the other. Stabilizers, such as egg or mustard may be used. Classic example is vinaigrette salad dressing.

How is it made:

Emulsion sauces are made by mixing two substances that don’t normally mix.  In order for this to happen, you must break one of them up into miniscule droplets and suspend those droplets in the other substance by vigorously whisking, or better yet, blending them in a blender or food processor.

Certain substances act as emulsifiers, which means they help the two liquids come together and stay together.

Keeping an emulsion sauce together involves adding the ingredients together in the right order.  Begin with the watery ingredients mixed with an emulsifier; then whisk in the oil or butter.


There are two kinds of emulsions. A temporary emulsion would happen when you combine oil and vinegar into a jar and mix them together creating a simple vinaigrette.  A permanent emulsion would occur when making mayonnaise.  By slowly whisking the oil into the egg yoks you create a stable emulsion that won’t separate.

Some exmaples of Emulsion sauces would be a vinaigrette, mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, and beurre blanc (which is butter suspended in white wine vinegar, emulsified by the milk solids in the butter).


Join me on an A to Z Journey of Cooking Terms throughout the month of April.


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