Yum Yum Sauce

published Nov 30, 2021
Yum Yum Sauce Recipe

Mayo-based yum yum sauce is just as tasty as its name describes.


Makesabout 1 1/4 cups

Prep5 minutes

Cook1 minute

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Yum Yum Sauce (a creamy, pale orange ,mayo-based Japanese steakhouse sauce) in a bowl
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

The name yum yum sauce may seem a little on the nose, but when it fits, it fits. This super-versatile sauce was created to complement a variety of flavors. I set out to create the most craveable version possible.

Yum yum sauce is a mayonnaise-based sauce popularized by North American hibachi steakhouses. Typically served as a dip, it’s an easy way to jazz up the simply seasoned and griddled proteins the restaurants are famous for. 

Although mayo is wildly popular in Japan, you’re unlikely to find yum yum sauce there. This dip is integral to the Japanese-influenced hibachi steakhouse experience, created specifically with that style of food in mind. But there’s no reason to limit yourself at home. Take five minutes to stir together your own version, and use it to drizzle and dip to your heart’s desire.

What Is Yum Yum Sauce Made Of?

Yum yum sauce starts with mayonnaise, and is tinged pink with tomato and paprika. Most recipes include a little melted butter and sugar for richness and sweetness. While these versions are fine, they remind me more of fry sauce than something to be served alongside a bowl of rice. 

I wanted to really lean on the Japanese roots and bring in some common Japanese pantry ingredients. Swapping in mirin for the sugar brings out a rounder flavor than just straightforward sweetness. A spoonful of soy sauce and the tiniest bit of miso bring a depth of flavor many other versions lack. What you get doesn’t shout loudly of Asian flavors, but delivers a dip full of umami that keeps you going back for more.

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

What Should I Serve with Yum Yum Sauce?

Yum yum sauce is rich and tangy and is excellent as a dip or a dressing. Try it with the following:

Yum Yum Sauce Recipe

Mayo-based yum yum sauce is just as tasty as its name describes.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 1 minute

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

Serves 16

Nutritional Info


  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 cup


  • 2 tablespoons

    water, plus more as needed

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    tomato paste

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    rice vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1/2 teaspoon

    granulated onion

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    granulated garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    white miso paste


  1. Place 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, 30 to 45 seconds.

  2. Add 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion, 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon miso paste, and whisk to combine. Whisk in an additional tablespoon of water if a thinner consistency is desired for drizzling.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate the sauce in an airtight container for up to 1 week.