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Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and a great stabilizer which comes from fatty substances found in plant and animal tissues. Many people unknowingly use it every day because of its presence in egg yolks.
Lecithin's emulsifying properties make egg yolks a main stay for creating emulsions, like mayonnaise and several sauces like Hollandaise. One end of the lecithin molecule binds to water and the other binds to oil, helping to strengthen and stabilize the emulsion.
To keep the strength of the lecithin at a constant, and to remove the flavor of the egg, lecithin is commonly used as a culinary powder. A common source of lecithin powder is soy lecithin, which is derived from soy beans. Lecithin powder is easily dissolved in water.
As a stabilizer in modernist cooking, Lecithin is often used in creating "airs" or other long lasting, light foams.
You can find out more about lecithin from my how to use lecithin guide or any of the lecithin articles and recipes below.
Lecithin Recipes and Articles
I love cooking sous vide pork tenderloin and this recipe combines it with fried snow peas, chanterelle mushrooms, and a light mustard-based lecithin air.
This recipe makes a fun party dish that combines turkey with a foamed gravy and a cranberry air for a great small plate treat. The cranberry air will last for 5 to 10 minutes after plating, so the quicker you serve this dish the better.
This recipe combines lime and ginger which are two great ingredients to pair with the bold flavors of the sous vided sirloin steak. I like to add texture and brightness to the dish by combining them in a vinaigrette-style sauce that is drizzled over a crispy cabbage and pepper slaw topping.
Chicken piccata is a light Italian dish that uses salty capers and acidic lemon to complement breaded and fried chicken. In this recipe I use sous vide to ensure the chicken is super moist and fully cooked. For a fun modernist take, I turn the lemon caper juice into a delicate air with an immersion blender.
Infused vinegars are a great way to add subtle flavors to vinaigrettes and sauces. When making your own sous vide can compress the infusion process into a matter of hours instead of week or months. I like to use this refreshing raspberry vinaigrette on spinach salad or as a sauce on white fish.
Deviled eggs with bacon and chives are a common party food but this recipe takes it up a notch by using modernist cooking techniques to make it candied bacon and chive air! Your party guests will enjoy the crispy, sweet, spicy and smoky flavors of the candied bacon while the chive air adds a fresh onion flavor with a hint of sweetness. A fun treat for your family and friends.
This is a simple modernist vinaigrette to make and utilizes both xanthan gum and lecithin to strengthen and thicken it. I really like the sweet maple syrup with the tangy balsamic vinegar. This goes well on salads, especially ones with berries. You can also add a little more xanthan gum and use the vinaigrette as a sauce on fish or chicken.
Soy lecithin is a modernist ingredient used to stabilize emulsions and foams. It is commonly used to create "airs" and other light foams.
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