Learning about emulsions or foam

In the Modernist Recipes Forum
I am on a strict medical ketogenic diet which calls for high amounts of fat, and I am having trouble making sauces that stand up, instead having to drink my fat or have oil running all over the bowl I have to drink with a spoon. The fat to protein+carb ratio is very high, example below. Also, carbs are strictly limited so carb thickeners are pretty much out, e.g. starches, whereas thick oils like coconut oil are definitely in. I also don't eat soy b/c of the genetic modification. Can someone help me understand how I might use small amounts of egg yolks, or other ingredients to make the following example sauce palatable and thick enough to eat rather than drink?

15 gr coconut oil
14 gr MCT oil
10 gr coconut milk.
This is served over a 45-gr lamb burger, so the largest element by volume of this meal is the sauce. It is imperative that all the sauce is consumed to maintain the proper ratio, blood sugar and blood ketones.

The chef who supposedly designed this recipe gave directions to "serve with the blended oil and coconut milk." but this is very thin, watery if heated, and if not heated it's a lumpy pasty unappealing-looking cold dipping agent.
Thanks so much for any ideas and tips.



1 Reply So Far

Hi Teresa, I'm not completely familiar with a ketogenic diet but I can give you some general things to try. Mono and Diglycerides are very good at thickening oils, they can also be used to make oil foams and help emulsify oil based sauces. Xanthan Gum might be a starch (I'm really not sure) but it is used in very small quantities, for the above 39 gram recipe you'd probably use 0.2 grams at the most (usually 0.1% to 0.5%). While not really modernist, you could also make a light mayonnaise with the oils and some egg yolk. Just whisk or blend them together with some water and it should form a nice thick sauce. When I follow a mayonnaise recipe I tend to use Michael Ruhlman's or Serious Eats, just replace the vegetable oil with the oils you need to eat. You might also be able to reduce the amount of yolk needed, especially if you add mustard or another emulsifyer like the mono and diglycerides or lecithin (there are some non-soy based ones). I hope this helps some. Thanks a lot and happy cooking.


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