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is it safe to roast fish in mayo?

I would like to make salmon in a mustard dill sauce that has mayonnaise as an ingredient. Most recipes I've seen using mayo are for AFTER the fish is cooked, as either a dipping sauce or to be spread on the cooked fish. I would like the fish to roast IN the sauce. Is this safe to do? If mayo isn't safe, how about yogurt as a sub? I would use dairy free yogurt.

Thanks for your help and advice. It's hard for me to eat salmon unless it's cooked in sauce, and I'm a little tired of Italian and Asian sauces at the moment, so if you have OTHER suggestions, I would welcome them.

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  1. Have you tried poaching in milk?

    I haven't tried anything like this, but wouldn't the mayo "break" in the oven - the eggs would curdle, and drop the oil from the emulsion?

    5 Replies
    1. re: grant.cook

      If it's not Hellmanns, it will break: but a coating of Hellmanns and some type of breading or spice on the outside is great, you won't know it's mayo.

      1. re: coll

        why only hellman's? i am a hellman's fan, but why the distinction on breaking regarding other brands? why would duke's or kraft break necessarily?

        1. re: alkapal

          I think coll means commercial mayo and not home made.

          1. re: Rick

            No, I"ve seen comparisons with Hellmanns and other commercial brands like Kraft, and Hellmanns has a special emulsification that doesn't break down with heat, also I believe a lot more egg product. Dukes we don't have around here so that I don't know.

            1. re: coll

              i've used kraft and hellman's in hot dips, and they seem to respond to heat the same. and folks, i must add, i am a hellman's devotee, but kraft's product is a LOT better than it used to be (it is what my mom has in her fridge). in fact, it is pretty darned decent nowadays!

    2. I think the yogurt would be a disaster in that application. And I don't know about roasting it in mayonnaise -- but broiling fish under a coating of mayonnaise is a classic that's way under-appreciated, I think. I learned about it first from a friend who worked on a fishing boat, where he said that was the method of choice. It tastes much better that it sounds.

      Salmon, though? I not sure it would be my choice on a fish that rich.

      You don't specify your technique, but there's certainly nothing inherently unsafe about cooking with mayonnaise. If you trust the source, I'd give it a go and report back, preferably with a link to the recipe. Sounds interesting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dmd_kc

        Yogurt would be different, but not necessarily a disaster. Many Indian tandoori dishes use a yogurt-based marinade. Of course, that's just a thin layer; not really a sauce. Also, I don't know if the OP's dairy-free yogurt would behave similarly.

      2. yes yes yes use the mayo. well-known technique. you're brushing it on, right? not letting the fish swim in it???
        even steve raichlen does it for fish on the grill. http://www.primalgrill.org/htdocs/fis...
        do NOT use yogurt -- totally a different animal.

        1. I've 'roasted' fish fillets with a light coating of pesto mayonaisse and it's delicious and easy. The fillets were prepared and actually thin enough to dress frozen.
          I've never tried a whole fish.

          1. Why would it be unsafe?? Mayo is just oil

            5 Replies
            1. re: scubadoo97

              And eggs.

              I think people just have a concern for heating mayo, thinking that maybe they'll be creating a situation akin to that spoiled tuna sandwich eaten on the 6th grade field trip.

              Get the mayo up past 165 degrees and you're fine.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                CH, I understand but think it's weird.

                Not much egg in there. As with any food, you don't want it to sit between 40-140*F for more than 4 hours. Can't think of the last time I ate an egg that was at 165* when I ate it.

                I use mayo as an underlayment for adding things like panko crumbs. Helps the coating stay on and melts away when cooking so you don't end up with a greasy dish. Also use it as a binder in crab cakes and fish cakes.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  plus, we heat mayo for the artichoke and parmesan hot dips!

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Oh, yes, we sure do! Chef chicklet's hot artichoke dip always gets RAVE reviews... reminds me that I am due to whip up a batch!

              2. re: scubadoo97

                Well, actually it's oil and eggs, but still no reason why it wouldn't be safe. Not sure how good it would be, but for sure would be safe.

              3. I grew up with fish brushed with mayo and broiled. Very simple and tasty.

                1. I have definatly done mayo on fish. I've used it as a base for a nice breadcrumb top. I've mixed mayo with dijon for a nice flavor. Even Legal Seafoods recipe for haddock uses mayo as the base. I think your salmon with mayo, dill and lemon juice would be awesome.

                  1. the mayo is fine and dandy--on fish, in crab cakes.

                    for salmon, i'd use a good bit of horseradish in the baking sauce.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: silverhawk

                      I have a cookbook produced by the wives of local fisherman. One of the methods for baked fish is to dip it in a mixture of mayo and milk, then cover in bread crumbs.

                    2. My simple, tasty salmon preparation is to lather the top of a filet with mayo, sprinkle on a generous amount of dill, then a good sprinkle of coarse grated parmesan. I bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Fish is done and moist, parmesan has a nice texture.

                      1. It should be fine. I make a recipe which calls for chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, and mayo and then broiled. The recipe comes from Paula Wolfert's book The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen (cookbook of the month here at chow in January 2008, link below) and it's quite tasty!


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foxy fairy

                          Yum! This recipe looks really good. Thanks for clueing me in with this link.

                        2. Thanks, everyone, for your great replies and advice. I wasn't sure about the mayo because of some idea that was put in my head years ago that heating mayo could wreack havoc with one's digestive system (thanks for clearing up that myth!!). I hadn't thought about poaching, but I like the idea of broiling with mayo, dijon mustard, and some dill brushed onto the fish. I also like the idea of pesto mayo or baking the fish in mayo, breadcrumbs, and parmesan. All wonderful suggestions. Oh yes, I love horseradish, so maybe I'll try that mixed in with mayo sometime soon. Many thanks again for your interest and great cooking know how. Really, I'm relieved to know that I can bake, roast, or broil salmon, or any other fish, with mayo, no problems.

                          1. I've roasted fish in mayos many, many times (usually mayo with lots of garlic, a little olive oil and salt). It is wonderful.

                            1. there wasn't much time, so I slapped both sides of the "fresh" Tiliapia with mayo, rolled them in panko and gently pan fried - it came out shockingly good.

                              1. There's a Mexican restaurant here in town that serves whole red snapper baked in mayo. It is insanely good.

                                1. I would do roughly equal parts of panko bread crumbs, butter, and Parmesan cheese, with a dollop of your favorite mustard, and maybe some chopped fresh herbs. Put everything into a bowl, crumble with your fingers, and spread on the fish.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I just had fillet of sole with pesto mayo. I'll definately try mayo panko & parm! that sounds good.

                                  2. Are you concerned about 'warm mayo'? Warm mayo a problem when the cold food isn't kept cold and bacteria are allowed to develop. If the mayo sauce is hot and the food is served hot, it wouldn't be unsafe.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: rtms

                                      This advice, by the way, relates only to homemade mayo. Hellmanns etc are pasteurized so no worries there. The vinegar in it actually keeps food safer if anything.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        Absolutely true. The bad germs could be introduced by the other items in the dish but those bad germs would be a problem with or without mayo. Somewhere along the line mayo got a bad rap about causing food borne illness. Test have shown that commercial mayo may help retard bacterial growth due to it's acidic properties.

                                    2. One of my favorite sal m o n recipes:

                                      Marinate sal MMS on filets in fresh pineapple juice or unsweetened pineapple juice( blue bird in the small cans is good) for 30 min. While the fish marinated mix the following:

                                      3/4 cup Brown sugar
                                      1/4 cup chili powder
                                      1/8 tsp ground cumin

                                      Pour the juice off of the fish and brush lightly with
                                      Olive oil then pack the brown mixture on the fish and place in a 375* heated oven to bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the brown sugar starts to caramilize.

                                      Let cool a few minutes as surgery will be very hot.
                                      I serve with mango salsa