This homemade Yum Yum Sauce tastes just like your favorite Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse. It is tangy, sweet, and savory and comes together in just 5 minutes (gluten-free).
Here are some more homemade sauce recipes that you might like – Bang Bang Sauce, Boom Boom Sauce, Gochujang Dipping Sauce, Harissa Sauce, Peri Peri Sauce, Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, and Green Chilli Sauce.
About This Recipe
Yum Yum Sauce also called Pink Sauce, White Sauce, Sakura Sauce, Seafood Sauce or Japanese Shrimp Sauce is a popular accompaniment served at Japanese Hibachi Steakhouses.
This pale pink sauce is drizzled on their grilled meats, seafood, sushi, vegetables, and even rice and noodles, taking their taste to another level.
This Japanese sauce is super creamy with sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors. Making it at home is incredibly easy and by using a few simple ingredients, you can whip yourself a batch in under 5 minutes.
Like most condiments, you can buy this delicious sauce at grocery stores but making it at home has many advantages.
The homemade sauce tastes much better than the bottled one as it is made using high-quality ingredients. It is very economical to make at home and is also free of any preservatives, artificial colors, or stabilizers.
The homemade yum yum sauce recipe is Keto friendly, vegetarian and gluten-free and the recipe can be easily halved, doubled, or tripled.
Mayonnaise: Use full-fat mayonnaise for the best result. To make an eggless version, use eggless mayonnaise.
Tomato Paste: Tomato paste is an important ingredient in this recipe. It adds a lovely pink color and a tangy taste to the sauce.
Paprika: Paprika adds to the pink color and gives a subtle hint of spiciness. You can choose between plain or smoked paprika.
Cayenne: To make your sauce a little spicy and hot, add cayenne pepper. It will balance the otherwise creamy and sweet sauce. Adjust the amount as per your liking. You can also replace it with hot sauce.
Butter: Butter gives an incredible flavor to this sauce. Melt and cool it before mixing it with other ingredients.
Sugar: Add a little sugar to balance the tang from the tomatoes.
Mirin – This is the secret ingredient that Hibachi restaurants add to their sauce to give it a very authentic Japanese flavor. You can replace it with rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or Sake.
Store-bought sauce mostly has xanthan gum added to the recipe to stabilize the sauce. It is a natural ingredient and has no side effects. You can also try adding ½ teaspoon xanthan gum to your recipe.
How To Make Yum Yum Sauce
Whisk together 2 cups of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon melted and cooled butter, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 teaspoon sugar, ¼ cup water, and ½ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 1 hour or best overnight for the flavors to meld together. Serve!
Pro Tips By Neha
Replace mayonnaise with sour cream, or yogurt for a taste change.
Add in some sweetener. Honey, sugar, and even fruit juice can help to sweeten up the sauce.
Spice it up with some sriracha sauce, curry powder, or even wasabi paste.
Give it some depth of flavor with soy sauce, fish sauce, or anchovy paste.
Add in some crunch with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, or even crumbled bacon.
Thin it out with milk, or chicken broth instead of water.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, although this sauce is a famous Japanese steakhouse sauce, it didn’t originate in Japan and neither will you find it in restaurants in Japan.
It is an American invention and is now an integral part of Japanese restaurants and hibachi grills all across North America and Canada.
If you don’t have tomato paste available, you can use ketchup instead. It might not fetch you the best result but it is close enough.
When you are using ketchup, remember not to use sugar, as ketchup already has sugar.
You can use vegan mayo instead of regular mayo and coconut oil instead of butter to make a vegan version of this sauce.
This sauce is very versatile and can be served with almost everything.
You can serve it with steamed shrimps, fried rice, vegetables, potato wedges, fish fingers, french fries, baked potatoes, stir-fries, and chicken.
I make a big Hibachi dinner at home including Hibachi Fried Rice, Hibachi Noodles, Hibachi Chicken, and Hibachi Vegetables, and serve this sauce on the side. It creates a Japanese Steakhouse experience right in the comfort of my home.
You can serve it with your steaks, wraps, and sandwiches. Serve it with your starters and with mains.
It pairs well with any grilled stuff. Be it chicken, beef, pork shrimp, or veggies, just serve this sauce along.
You can also serve it on the side with sushi and rice balls or use a dip for dim-sums, wontons, and potstickers.
It can be slathered on hamburgers and hot dogs too.
Serve it as a dip with deep-fried snacks or appetizers.
You can thin it a bit with warm water and use it as a salad dressing.
It is so easy to make this sauce that you actually don’t need to store it. You can make it fresh anytime you want.
If you still need to make it ahead of time, then store it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
It doesn’t freeze well due to mayo as its main ingredient. It will split while defrosting.
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Yum Yum Sauce Recipe
- 2 cups plain mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon paprika (plain or smoked)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon melted and cooled butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1 tablespoon mirin (use rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar if mirin is not available.)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Cover and chill for atleast 1 hour before serving.