Japanese mayo is my go-to condiment for sandwiches, pasta salads, and simple vegetable dishes. Packed with fruity notes and infused with umami, it’s become a favorite among famous chefs (David Chang calls it “the best mayonnaise in the world”). Let me show you how to make it at home in less than 10 minutes!
I have two Japanese mayo recipes for you today – one is made from scratch while the other uses ready made mayonnaise mixed with some easy-to-find ingredients.
They are both easy to make and super delicious!
Table of contents
What is Japanese Mayo?
When people refer to Japanese mayo they are talking about one specific brand of mayonnaise – Kewpie Mayo (キューピーマヨ). The mayonnaise is sold in a soft clear plastic bottle with a red squeeze cap and has a kewpie doll as a logo.
Toichiro Nakashima invented Kewpie mayo in 1924 after a trip to the US where he discovered mayonnaise. He brought the idea back to Japan with the goal of creating his own mayonnaise – one that would be nutritious and tasty enough for everyone to enjoy.
What’s the Difference Between Japanese Mayo and Regular Mayonnaise?
- Regular mayonnaise is made using whole eggs, oil, vinegar (distilled, white wine, or champagne), lemon juice, salt, and sugar. The color is off white and it has a mild tangy and sweet taste.
- Japanese mayo (kewpie) is made using only the yolk part of the eggs, oil, vinegar, salt, MSG, and a mix of natural spices and flavorings. The taste is assertively bright, fruity, tangy, and eggy.
Ingredients for Homemade Japanese Mayo
- Eggs: While regular mayonnaise uses the entire egg, only the yolk is used for Kewpie mayo. You are going to need two for this recipe.
- Dashi powder: I’m using 1/4 teaspoon to add umami to the mayo but you are free to add more if you’d like it to be more funky. Don’t go overboard though! I suggest only adding a few more granules at a time since dashi powder is quite flavorful.
- Dijon mustard: 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard such a Maille, which is less spicy than brands such as Grey Poupon.
- Vinegar: 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Don’t use plain distilled vinegar since it lacks fruitiness and tanginess.
- Sugar: Plain old granulated white sugar! Start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up from there – half a teaspoon at a time – for more sweetness.
- Salt: 3/4 teaspoon of iodized salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Grapeseed oil: 1 cup of grapeseed oil or other neutral oil such as organic canola oil.
How To Make Japanese Mayo
- Mix the ingredients. Put all the ingredients, except for the grapeseed oil, in a food processor and mix well until the dashi, sugar, and salt have dissolved. If you don’t have a food processor use a hand mixer or a whisk.
- Add the oil. Slowly add the oil while continuously mixing until the oil has emulsified. The mayo should look light yellow and be thick by now. If it’s still liquidy, mix at a higher speed for a few seconds longer.
- Bottle it. Transfer the Japanese mayo to a glass jar or any other storage container, and refrigerate it.
What to Serve Japanese Mayo With
There are so many yummy ways to enjoy Kewpie mayo!
You can use it as a spread for sandwiches, as a dipping sauce for a vegetable plate, French fries or other fried foods such as tonkatsu, or as a salad dressing for coleslaw and crunchy greens like romaine lettuce.
Whatever you decide to use this condiment with I bet the flavors will marry beautifully!
Here are some of my favorite dishes that I like to use Kewpie mayo with:
- Oven baked chicken katsu
- Barbecue pulled jackfruit sandwiches
- Chicken banh mi
- Spicy tuna roll (try it with a little soy sauce – it’s really good!)
Did you like this kewpie mayonnaise recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Japanese mayo is the perfect condiment to add flavor to sandwiches, pasta salads, and simple vegetable dishes
Made From Scratch
- 2 organic free range egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dashi powder
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup grapeseed oil
Using Regular Mayonnaise
- 1 cup regular mayonnaise such as Hellman’s, or vegan mayonnaise
- 1/8 teaspoon dashi powder, or skip this if you are making vegan Japan mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Made From Scratch
- Put the egg yolk, mustard, dashi powder, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Alternatively, you can use a hand blender or whisk.
- With the food processor running, slowly add the oil and continue blending until the mixture is thick like mayonnaise.
- Add an additional teaspoon of sugar if you prefer the mayo to be sweeter. Blend again.
- Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Using Regular Mayonnaise
- Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well, until the dashi and sugar have dissolved. If the texture of the mayo is a little too thin, whisk it for a minute or so using a food processor, hand mixer, or hand whisk.
- Transfer the Japanese mayo to a glass jar or any other storage container, and refrigerate it.
Japanese mayo will keep in the fridge, stored in an airtight jar or container for up to 2 weeks.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 258
- Sugar: 0.6g
- Sodium: 134.6mg
- Fat: 28.4g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 19.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 0.7g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0.7g
- Cholesterol: 46.1mg
Keywords: Sauce spread, dipping sauce