Make the famous Japanese Hibachi Steakhouse Yum Yum sauce at home with creamy, tangy, sweet and savory flavors for drizzling and dipping. Pair it with hibachi rice, noodles, steak, chicken, shrimp, or vegetables for the full hibachi experience.
Today we’re making the famous and addictive Yum Yum sauce commonly served as a dip at Japanese steakhouse grills. It’s a pale orange-pink mayo-based sauce made creamy with some melted butter and flavored with Sriracha or ketchup, paprika, garlic and onion powder, sugar and a dash of cayenne. If you have any mirin lying around, I’ve also added some as an option to take the sauce to the next level.
It’s really easy to make with pantry staples (aside from the mirin) but is just as good as the sauce at your favorite Japanese hibachi restaurant. Pair the delicious sauce with your hibachi noodles, hibachi rice, hibachi steak, hibachi chicken, hibachi shrimp, or hibachi vegetables. You can also use it for tacos, tempuras, or as an all-purpose drizzling sauce.
What is Yum Yum Sauce?
Yum Yum sauce is a pale orange-pink sauce also known as the famous mayo-based, creamy white sauce served as a dip for the meat, vegetables, seafood, noodles, and rice served at Japanese Steakhouse restaurants like Kobe and Benihana. It’s also known as Japanese seafood sauce, shrimp sauce and yummy sauce, which are all used interchangeably.
What You Need For Yum Yum Sauce
A Hibachi Steakhouse Favorite
This sauce may just be the secret to why the Hibachi experience is so addictive. Along with the copious amounts of butter they add to your rice, noodles and proteins, this creamy sauce makes everything even creamier and therefore, better. Some use it as a dip and some unceremoniously dump the sauce in with the rice and noodles and blend them all together. However you choose to enjoy your Yum Yum sauce, it’s an essential part of the American hibachi/teppanyaki experience so pair it with your hibachi rice, hibachi noodles, hibachi steak, hibachi chicken, hibachi shrimp and hibachi vegetables.
YUM YUM SAUCE RECIPE TIPS
- Mayonnaise – I used Duke’s mayo for the recipe but feel free to use your favorite brand. Mayonnaise forms the base of this creamy dip.
- Butter – Melt the butter before mixing it with the sauce so it blends well. 15 seconds in the microwave should be enough time to do this.
- Sriracha – The amount of hot sauce used in this recipe is not so much that it will make you reach for a glass of milk, but just enough to give the sauce a tiny bit of heat. The creaminess of the mayo balances the heat out very well so this sauce is not spicy. Some recipes have used ketchup instead. You don’t need a whole lot of either – just enough to give the sauce its pale pink color and a little more umami flavor.
- Seasonings – Paprika, garlic and onion powder are essential to give the sauce more flavor so it doesn’t just taste like plain mayonnaise.
- Cayenne – We’re only using a pinch of cayenne to add a little bit more flavor to the sauce. The amount used is not enough to make the sauce spicy.
- Sugar – Sugar is an important part of the sauce and one of the reasons why it’s so addictive. I used regular white sugar for the recipe.
- Mirin – Mirin is optional but takes the sauce to the next level. It’s a sweet Japanese cooking wine that I use when making hibachi steak, hibachi chicken and hibachi shrimp. If you don’t have any mirin on hand, try substituting it with dry sherry.
- Water – I used 2 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of mirin to get the desired consistency for the sauce. The sauce should be thick and creamy but not so thick that it drizzles from a spoon in globs.
- Storing – Yum yum sauce should last 5-7 days in the fridge. In this recipe, I’ve made enough for 4-6 servings but feel free to scale it up or down to suit your needs.
- Substitute Sriracha – Switch out Sriracha with ketchup or a dollop of tomato paste to get a pink sauce.
- Add some vinegar – Add a splash of rice vinegar to balance out the sweetness.
- Make a smoky yum yum sauce – Add a few dashes of smoked paprika for a smoky yum yum sauce.
What to Serve with Yum Yum Sauce
Yum Yum sauce is not limited to being paired with just Japanese-inspired food but can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, just like most creamy mayonnaise-based sauces or aiolis. This homemade yum yum sauce can be used:
- As a dipping sauce for hibachi steak, chicken, shrimp, or vegetables.
- Drizzled over hibachi rice or hibachi noodles.
- Paired with sushi or drizzled over poke bowls.
- As a dipping sauce for potstickers, spring rolls, egg rolls, wontons, fries, or onion rings.
- With grilled skewers, meats and seafood.
- As a condiment with burgers, hot dogs, subs, or sandwiches.
And that’s about it. Enjoy your Yum Yum sauce and let me know what you paired it with in the comments below!