How to Make a Hollandaise Sauce

Hollandaise is the last of the French Mother sauces. It is characterized by a rich buttery lemon taste and it is used most commonly with making eggs Benedict. It can be an intimidating sauce at first glance, but these instructions will help you be a pro in no time!

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 pound of clarified butter (explained below)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 ounce cold water, as needed
  • 6 egg yolks
  • salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

Before you begin, you need to prepare your clarified butter (directions below). Once you have the clarified butter ready to go, add it to either a small bowl or a squeeze bottle.

Start out by creating a double boiler set up with a pot of boiling water and a stainless steel bowl over it. This heat is what you will need to cook the eggs through the process. Add the egg yolks to the bowl and start whisking.


Squeeze the lemon over the eggs while still whisking. Start adding your clarified butter (explained below) while still whisking. As a tips, do not but in more butter than eggs, there should be a little less butter than eggs.


Add a little water when the sauce starts to thicken up, you don’t want it too thin or too thick.


Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and salt to the mix and continue whisking. This will give the sauce a little color and a nice richness.


Now the sauce is ready to go! Hollandaise is most commonly used in making eggs Benedict, but it is also often served over asparagus and other vegetables.


It is also the mother sauce for Bearnaise sauce, which is commonly served with steak. You can make a Bearnaise by using tarragon vinegar instead of lemon juice and cayenne pepper. You will also cut up some tarragon to add to the sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce Facts:

  • Hollandaise is the “newest” of the mother sauces
  • Here is the tradition French pronunciation of the word: oh/lah~/dehz
  • No one knows for sure whether this sauce started in the Netherlands or France
  • Sauces similar to Hollandaise have been appearing in cookbooks since the 1500s
Here are links to the other mother sauce recipes:

What is clarified butter?

It involves cooking butter in a pan on low heat and letting it simmer. Then you remove the butter from heat, skim the foam off the top and pour the liquid into a container.

There will be some milky fat solids on the bottom of the pan that you do not want. This process allows you to use the clarified butter a higher cooking temperature than regular butter.

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Here are some Rada Cutlery items you’ll want to have if you’re making any kind of sauce:

Handi-Stir – use this utensil to whisk sauces together

Handi stir whisk used for many different things

Non-Scratch Cook’s Spoon – a great tool to use when stirring sauces

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Instructional Video:

In this video, Chef Blake has some great tips for better understanding this recipe!


Hollandaise Sauce Video Transcript:

Hello and welcome back to Rada’s Test Kitchen. My name is Blake and we’re going to continue on with our mother sauce series. Today we’re going to make Hollandaise. We’re going to use clarified butter, some egg yolks, a metal mixing bowl over steam, some cayenne pepper, some lemon juice, and a little bit of water.

So what we have here is our stainless steel mixing bowl sitting over a pot of water. Right now I have some stock in there but I boiled it, shut it off and then put the bowl on there. The steam should be hot enough to cook these eggs a little bit for our hollandaise sauce. You want to keep this moving. I’m using the Rada Handi-Stir. You’ll want to get these egg yolks whipped up and turn a little white in color.

I have a lemon wedge, I’m going to juice a little lemon in there. Citric acid helps with the flavor and binding two liquids. You can see that it’s lightened in color and frothed up. Now we’ve got the clarified butter. If you warm it up nice and slow, and let the milk separate from the fat. If you take those out by using a ladle and skimming off the top surface or using a mixture of browning the milk salads and getting them out. Just want to add, like our mayo video, no more butter than there’s actual egg yolk mixture. So add it so it’s fully incorporated then add a little more. It’s the same concept as mayo, but there’s just different flavor. Different outcome.

In the restaurant, we don’t generally hand-mix it. If we were there, we’d use a blender. You can see how it’s thickening up. That’s why I have my water here, kind of add some water to it. Get that nice texture you’re looking for. Then we have some cayenne pepper, get a little richness to it, and a pinch of salt. Should have a nice stream to it. Comes right off the whisk. The hollandaise sauce can go with anything to eggs benedict to green vegetables, asparagus or broccoli. It’s a nice thick, buttery mix with some acidity to it. It makes it very very tasty. This is just an example of a couple things you can put the sauce with.

Today I used the hollandaise sauce that goes with the greens and eggs Benedict. You can also convert by omitting the lemon juice and replacing with tarragon vinegar that you could find at your local market, taking some fresh tarragon, chopping it up in there and it makes a béarnaise sauce. That goes with beef like a tenderloin or really any steak. Give it a shot, leave us some feedback in the comments.

End of Hollandaise Sauce Video Transcript