Making Mealtime Meaningful: Discover how we're giving back with the 12T Cares program →

Yum Yum Sauce

Your favorite Japanese steakhouse sauce, made right at home. Easy as can be.

If you’ve eaten at a Japanese steakhouse or hibachi restaurant, you’ve probably had Yum Yum Sauce, even if you didn’t know it. If you did have it, you probably didn’t forget it. You know… it’s that creamy, sweet and tangy sauce that was likely drizzled over your steak, rice, noodles, veggies, or whatever you happened to order? Yeah, that one. It’s the type of sauce that makes the meal, and it goes with just about anything you could think to pair it with. It also happens to be very, very easy to mix up to have on hand at home since it’s comprised of just a few pantry ingredients.

So maybe you’re already convinced that you should make Yum Yum Sauce but you’re wondering how you should use it. The world is really your oyster here. It’s great drizzled over meat like steak, chicken, or fish. It’s excellent as a dipping sauce for French fries or chicken strips, and it makes for a mighty fine burger sauce. It’s great on baked potatoes, on noodle and rice dishes, and it even works as a salad dressing. You could definitely serve it alongside any preparation of shrimp. What I’m saying is — you’ll find any possible way to use this. It’s that good.

So how is it made? Well, it couldn’t be easier.

It’s a mayo-based sauce that features ketchup, kind of like fry sauce. But unlike fry sauce, you’re going to go much lighter on the ketchup — you want this to be a pale pink at most. (It’s often known as white sauce, in fact!) Along with the mayo and ketchup, there’s also rice vinegar or mirin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of sugar. You can add hot sauce, or not, up to you.

See? I bet you have most of those things in your kitchen already. Just stir it all together, thin it with a bit of water to get it to a drizzly consistency, and definitely chill it so those flavors have time to really come together. And then you get to dipping. Or drizzling. Or eating straight from the spoon. I don’t judge.

Yield 1 1/2 cups

5m prep time

Rated 4.3 out of 5
Rated by 73 reviewers
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Hot sauce, to taste, optional
  1. In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together until smooth. If desired, add hot sauce to taste.
  2. To thin out sauce, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Cover and chill for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Salty Marshmallow.

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes