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Yum Yum Sauce

You know that crazy good sauce they serve at the Japanese steakhouse? Mix it up at home in just 5 minutes!

The name says it all — Yum Yum Sauce! The Japanese steakhouse sauce we love to drizzle over hibachi chicken, shrimp, vegetables, fried rice — literally everything — is quick and easy to make at home!

Much tastier than store-bought, this homemade yum yum sauce recipe is super creamy with just the right amount of tanginess. Plus, it’s gluten free.

Since my husband got his new Blackstone griddle, making hibachi chicken for dinner has been at the top of the list. Needless to say, we had to have a fantastic dipping sauce to go along with it!

a spoon lifting yum yum sauce out of a wooden bowl on a table.

Do you like making your own condiments? You’ll love this simple honey sriracha sauce on fried chicken. Often, I like to make my own barbecue sauce, pesto, and stone ground mustard, too.

ingredients for yum yum sauce on a counter.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Yum Yum Sauce

  • Mayonnaise — So many delicious condiments start with mayonnaise as the base because it is a stable emulsion and it tastes good, too! For a more authentic sauce, use Japanese Kewpie mayo if you can find it.
  • Ketchup — Ketchup adds a bit of sweetness to the sauce, although some recipes use tomato paste instead.
  • Rice vinegar — Not quite as tangy as other vinegars, rice vinegar has a sweeter taste.
  • Mirin — Mirin is a rice wine commonly used in Japanese cooking to add umami, known as a pleasant savory taste. The mirin rice cooking wine you’ll find at most groceries has less than one percent alcohol and is labeled “aji-mirin” which means “tastes like mirin”.

tip

  • If you can’t find mirin at your grocery store, substitute dry sherry or marsala wine and add ½ teaspoon of sugar to balance it out.

process steps for making yum yum sauce: add ingredients to bowl; whisk together until smooth.

How to make yum yum sauce

Stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and spices until smooth. Add the rice vinegar and mirin and use a whisk to incorporate until smooth.

The flavors will continue to meld the longer the sauce rests, so make it a few hours ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to serve. How simple is that?!

tips

  • If you prefer a thinner sauce, add water a teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Want a bit of heat? Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.

a spoonful of yum yum sauce being lifted out of a bowl.

Frequently asked questions

Is yum yum sauce really Japanese?

No. In fact, although yum yum sauce was created for Japanese steakhouses, it’s clearly an American mayo-based sauce, similar to Alabama White Sauce. Yum yum sauce may also be referred to as Japanese white sauce or sakura sauce. The main difference with these is that instead of using bottled mayonnaise, you make your own mayo with egg yolks and oil.

Can you use teriyaki sauce in place of the soy sauce?

If you like the flavor of teriyaki sauce, use the soy sauce for cooking and add a dash of teriyaki just before you take the food off the griddle. Soy sauce is better for cooking hibachi style at high heat — teriyaki sauce includes sugar which may scorch more quickly on a hot griddle.

hibachi chicken and vegetables on a white plate with a small container of yum yum sauce on the side on a table.

Serving suggestions

Yum yum sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for so many foods! Other than hibachi fare, try it on onion rings, as a vegetable dip, on grilled chicken or fish, or with chicken nuggets.

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Yield: 1 cup

Yum Yum Sauce

a wooden bowl filled with yum yum sauce with a spoon inserted into the middle.

The Japanese steakhouse sauce we love to drizzle over hibachi chicken, shrimp, vegetables, fried rice — literally everything — is quick and easy to make at home!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, and paprika.
  2. Add the rice vinegar and mirin, whisking until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • If you prefer thinner sauce, add water a teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • If you can’t find mirin at your grocery store, substitute dry sherry or marsala wine and add ½ teaspoon of sugar to balance it out.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 97mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

Nutrition facts per each tablespoon.

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

Sheila @ Life, Love & Good Food

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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