Yum Yum Sauce is the most creamy and delicious sauce found in Japanese hibachi restaurants and is so easy to make yourself. It’s mayonnaise-based and goes perfectly with hibachi shrimp, hibachi chicken, hibachi vegetables, or even drizzled over fried rice or noodles.
Hibachi dinners are just incomplete without yum yum sauce. Whether at my favorite Japanese steakhouse or homemade, I love dousing my hibachi in yum yum sauce. Trust me, once you discover this yummy sauce, you won’t ever be the same!
What is yum yum sauce?
Yum yum sauce is the famous Japanese steakhouse sauce. It actually became famous in Japanese restaurants and hibachi grills in the United States and is not really found in Japan.
It’s a light, slightly sweet, and ultra-savory hibachi sauce. It’s mayo and tomato based and includes melted butter and other spices. The best part? This popular sauce is so easy to make!
Yum yum sauce is a versatile sauce, as you can use it in a variety of ways besides hibachi. It makes a great salad dressing, a fantastic dipping sauce for onion rings, air fryer tofu, french fries, or zucchini chips. I’d even go as far as to slather it on all over a burger. It’s honestly super addicting!
Want more Asian inspired recipes? Give my Air Fryer Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass a try. I promise it does not disappoint!
Homemade yum yum sauce recipe
This delicious yum yum sauce is such a creamy sauce – it’s addicting and actually life changing. I go out for hibachi regularly – I have done so since high school and I have to order extra sauce every single time. It’s an essential part of my hibachi dinner, and I’ve been making my own homemade yum yum sauce recently because I love it so much.
You can buy it at your local grocery store, but homemade is so much better. It’s made with mostly simple ingredients and so easy to make, so you’ll never need to buy it again. Making it at home is also a fraction of the cost.
The main ingredients are mayonnaise and tomato paste, but you’ll also need a few pantry staples seasonings to complete this tasty and tangy sauce.
Ingredients you will need
Kewpie mayonnaise: the creaminess of the sauce comes from kewpie mayonnaise. It has a slightly sweeter taste than American mayonnaise.
Seasonings: smoked paprika and cayenne pepper give the sauce a nice kick, while garlic powder and onion powder accentuate the flavors.
The zing: rice vinegar adds a tasty zing to the sauce.
Tomato paste: this adds a creamy tomato base and rich flavor, and should not be substituted for plain tomato sauce..
If you do want to substitute tomato paste, you can use ketchup or sweet chili sauce but make sure to omit the sugar or it will be too sweet.
Extras: you’ll need melted butter to add richness, sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomato paste, and water to thin out the sauce a bit. These help create the perfect balance between all of the ingredients.
How to make yum yum sauce
It’s made in two easy steps!
1. Combine the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar.
2. Combine the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine kewpie mayonnaise, tomato paste, melted butter, rice vinegar, and water in a medium bowl.
What is kewpie mayo?
At this point, you may be wondering what exactly kewpie mayo is. Kewpie is a Japanese brand that makes a type of mayo that is made with only egg yolks, a blend of several types of vinegar, and a small amount of MSG.
The taste and texture of this Japanese mayonnaise are wildly different from regular mayo, so yes, it’s essential to use kewpie mayo and not regular mayo for this recipe.
I do keep both types of mayonnaise in my house, but I use Kewpie the most.
Kewpie mayo vs regular mayo
The biggest difference between kewpie mayo and regular mayo is that kewpie mayo is made with only egg yolks, while American mayonnaise is made with whole eggs. Because of that, kewpie is slightly more yellow in color and has a silky, creamy texture with rich flavor.
Storing yum yum sauce
This sauce tastes better when it is made a day or two ahead of time, so it allows all of the flavors to blend together and allows the sauce to thicken. Be sure to store the sauce in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. It will last in the fridge for about 10 days.
More homemade sauce recipes to try
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Yum Yum Sauce Recipe
- Combine smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar in a small bowl.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine kewpie mayonnaise, tomato paste, melted butter, rice vinegar, and water.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mayonnaise mixture and whisk until well combined. Serve with shrimp, chicken, or vegetables.