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This insanely tasty yum yum sauce recipe is like you’d find at a Japanese steakhouse, but it’s simple to make at home with less than 10 minutes of prep time! It’s really versatile and pairs with so many things.

Love making bold dips and sauces in your own kitchen? Try my Cajun Remoulade Sauce Recipe or Fish Taco Sauce.

yum yum sauce in a small bowl with a drizzling spoonful of sauce

What is yum yum sauce?

It’s a mayo-based sauce that’s often served in Japanese hibachi restaurants. It’s creamy, tangy, sweet, and savory all in one perfectly balanced, easy to make sauce that goes especially well with meat! It isn’t exactly what you’d call an authentic Japanese recipe. It’s a very North American thing and was actually invented here in steakhouses, so you’re unlikely to find it in Japan.

Yum yum sauce is also so much better homemade than from a bottle at the grocery store since it’s fresh and you know exactly what’s in it. It’s inexpensive to make and a fraction of the cost of eating out at your favorite Japanese restaurant.

What you’ll need

  • Mayo – I just use Hellmann’s, but you’re welcome to use Japanese mayo if you can find it
  • Ketchup – mayo and ketchup are an iconic combination. It just works!
  • Butter – adding melted butter makes it extra luxurious
  • Sugar – for a touch more sweetness. You can use less if you wish.
  • Smoked paprika – I love the smoky quality this gives it, but you can use regular
  • Rice vinegar – for a bit of tang. Apple cider vinegar is fine as well.
  • Garlic powder and onion powder – for additional savory goodness
  • Hot sauce – optional but recommended for a little kick, not enough to make it spicy. If you do want it spicy, however, feel free to add more.
  • Salt & pepper – as needed
yum yum sauce in a Pyrex measuring cup

Pro tips

  • Everyone makes it slightly differently or likes different variations, but it’s one of those recipes that with a little experimentation is simple to adjust to your personal taste preferences.
  • I’ve made this sauce without the melted butter and it’s still good, but I’d say the butter adds another rich layer of flavor that is definitely worth including! It makes it restaurant quality and special.
  • I highly recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours so the flavors have a chance to meld. It’s worth it.

What to serve with yum yum sauce

  • It’s delicious with homemade hibachi chicken or regular grilled chicken or even Chicken Patties or Chicken Burgers, grilled vegetables, steak, and most seafood.
  • Hibachi sauce also complements fried rice, potstickers, wontons, and other Asian favorites really well.
  • This addictive sauce makes a wonderful dipping sauce for pretty much anything. We love it with shrimp and fresh veggies, but it even works with French fries!

Leftovers and storage

  • It will last about a week in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • I love storing dips and dressings in these glass yogurt jars that have a lid.
close-up of yum yum sauce in a small bowl with a spoon balanced over the bowl

Questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love it if you left a review. You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.

yum yum sauce in a small bowl with a drizzling spoonful of sauce
4.67 from 3 votes

Easy Yum Yum Sauce

This insanely tasty yum yum sauce recipe is like you'd find at a Japanese steakhouse, but it's simple to make at home with less than 10 minutes of prep time! It's really versatile and pairs with so many things.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 12 (makes about 1.5 cups)


  • 1 cup mayo (use Japanese mayo if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 dash hot sauce optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Water (as needed)


  • Microwave the butter in a small bowl to melt it, then let it cool for a few minutes. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl (or a measuring cup like I did in the photo) and stir/whisk the sauce together until smooth. Give it a taste and adjust ingredients as needed. You can add some water to thin it (start with a tablespoon at a time) if needed.
  • Transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge (it'll last about a week or so). The flavors will meld the longer you leave it, so I highly recommend letting it sit overnight or at least a few hours before using if possible.


  • I estimated the serving size to be about 2 tablespoons/person for the nutrition info.
  • I used Hellmann’s mayo in my recipe.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 150mg, Potassium: 18mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 136IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.67 from 3 votes

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  1. Dawn says:

    5 stars
    Made it and live it! Thank you!

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Dawn!!

  2. Kelly says:

    Have you ever tried freezing?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! I haven’t. I don’t usually freeze sauces as the texture often changes. Let me know if you try, though! 🙂

  3. David King says:

    I agree with David Kind’s comments completely. Actually, the comment is mine! I hate autocorrect!

  4. David Kind says:

    It is wonderful on steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus. Great on any meat, and really adds some zest to baked beans!

  5. Samantha says:

    No ginger?

    1. Natasha says:

      Not in this version. Feel free to add some if you think it needs it.

  6. Derek says:

    5 stars
    I made this sauce to compliment a skirt steak I seared, it was amazing! I will definitely be making it again.

    1. Natasha says:

      Yay!! That’s great. Thanks for taking the time to write me a review.


    4 stars
    This is very similar to Burger King’s Zesty sauce! Love it as a dipping sauce!

    1. Natasha says:

      So glad you like it! I haven’t been to Burger King in ages, but now I want to haha.