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How to make Hollandaise

Asparagus Hollandiase and All About Emulsified Sauces
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: sauce
Servings: 1 cup


  • 3 each large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 8 ounces butter clarified (or melted)
  • .5 tsp kosher salt
  • pepper white pepper, dash of tabasco or cayenne pepper


  • Melt the butter. If you want to use clarified butter, skim off the fat solids which rise to the top when the butter is melted.
  • Melted butter yields a more flavorful sauce but clarified butter will give a thicker, stiffer sauce which may be more resistant to breaking.
  • Bring about 2 inches of water to a low simmer in a medium sized sauce pot. Place a large heat proof bowl over the simmering water. The bowl should fit snugly, but the bottom should not touch the water.
  • Add the egg yolks and the lemon juice to the bowl off the heat and whisk them rapidly they become pale yellow and begin to thicken (about 20-30 seconds).
  • Place the bowl over the hot water. If you are using a metal bowl which might get hot very quickly, you may want to turn off the heat under the water. If you are using a thick bowl or a heavy double boiler, turn the heat down to very low.
  • Slowly whisk in the warm clarified or melted butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until the butter is suspended in the egg yolks.
  • Whisk in the salt and pepper
  • The sauce should be thick, but not lumpy. It should drizzle off a spoon, not be as thick as pudding. If it’s too thick, whisk in a bit of water, a teaspoon at a time.
  • The sauce can be held warm for about an hour over a warm pot of water.

How to rescue “broken” hollandaise:

  • In a clean bowl, add a tablespoon of cold water. Whisk in a small amount of the broken hollandaise. Slowly add in the rest of the hollandaise, whisking briskly until it is all emulsified. The hollandaise will appear lighter in color once it has water added to it.


  • Bernaise- replace the lemon juice with a strained reduction of vinegar, shallots, and fresh tarragon.
  • Dijon Hollandaise- add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, whisked in with the egg yolks at the beginning. This can help stabilized the sauce and keep it emulsified.
  • Sauce Noisette made with browned butter instead of clarified butter