This emulsion of eggs and lemon juice is very common in Greek cuisine. It is the sauce for lahanodolmádes, youvarlákia, fish soup and Easter ‘mayirítsa’. to name but a few. It is notoriously unstable and if rushed or overheated will curdle. There a few tips to bear in mind that help to stop that happening.
- Add the lemon juice to the eggs slowly, and beat it continuously with a whisk.
- When adding the hot cooking liquid, make sure it is not boiling hot.
- Add the hot liquid very gradually and incorporate each spoonful with a whisk before adding another.
- Don’t do the whisking of eggs, lemon juice and cooking liquid in a small bowl. You need to add as much of the cooking liquid as possible to the egg/lemon emulsion before returning it to the cooking pot.
- When you return the emulsion to the pot make sure you have the heat source switched off. If it does need reheating do it very gently.
- A very fatty/oily sauce will curdle and separate more easily. If possible skim off any excess of fat before adding the egg and lemon – this is very important when making the Easter, ‘Mayiritsa’ soup.
- Thickening the cooking liquid with a bit of diluted corn flour BEFORE making the avgolémono does stabilise it a bit.