Yum Yum Sauce is a favorite hibachi-style sauce that is requested in double servings at popular Japanese steakhouse restaurant chains! It's also called white sauce, shrimp sauce, pink sauce, and sakura sauce. No matter what you call it, this tasty Yum Yum Sauce has earned its most commonly used name as it's terrifically yummy!
Yum Yum Sauce Recipe
Yum Yum sauce has gained popularity here in the States as a condiment for hibachi-style foods at both Japanese steakhouse restaurants and at home thanks to its delightfully tangy flavor! It's super easy to make from scratch and takes only moments to prepare (though I recommend chilling it overnight for maximum flavor).
If you have yet to try this sauce with your hibachi meals, it's definitely a good time to add it to the menu! From vegetables to meat, it tastes great on everything!
❓ What Is Yum Yum Sauce
Yum Yum Sauce (yummy yummy sauce, white sauce, shrimp sauce, pink sauce, or sakura sauce) is a slightly sweet, slightly spiced sauce served at Japanese hibachi or teppanyaki restaurants here in the United States.
This pink mayonnaise-based sauce varies between restaurants like Benihana, Kyoto, Shogun, and Kobe (as well as MANY other local hibachis and teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurants where the foods are grilled tableside).
The fan-favorite sauce is an American original started by US-based hibachi restaurants. It is not an authentic Japanese condiment. If you were dining in Japan, you simply wouldn't find yum yum sauce on any menus.
🥘 Yum Yum Sauce Ingredients
The addictive hibachi yum yum sauce uses eight staple household ingredients! It's quick and easy to make but turns out best if you can plan ahead and refrigerate the yum yum sauce overnight before serving.
- Butter - 1 tablespoon of melted butter to add a rich, delicious flavor!
- Mayonnaise - 1¼ cups of mayonnaise use Duke's mayo or Hellman's aka Best Foods if not using Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise.
- Water - Just ¼ cup of water to thin out your mayo!
- Sugar - 1½ teaspoons of sugar to slightly sweeten the mayo-based sauce to contrast with the added spices. *If using Kewpie mayo, the sugar can be omitted.
- Tomato Paste - 1 teaspoon of tomato paste adds rich tomato flavor with a bit of sweetness as well!
- Garlic Powder - ½ teaspoon of garlic powder. The rich and unique garlic flavor is a perfect addition!
- Paprika - ¼ teaspoon of paprika, preferably smoked paprika to add that amazing smoked flavor to your yum yum sauce, but regular paprika works too!
- Cayenne Pepper - Just 1 pinch of cayenne pepper to add the right amount of 'zing' without being overpowering!
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
🔪 How To Make Yum Yum Sauce
This sauce is as simple as combining the ingredients and popping it in the fridge! To get started, you will need your measuring utensils, a mixing bowl (or food processor), and a whisk.
One batch of this sauce makes about 8 servings, depending on how saucy you like your food!
- Melt the butter. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter while you gather your other ingredients. This way it can be set aside and cooled slightly before being mixed into the sauce.
- Combine the ingredients. Either in a small bowl or a food processor, measure out your ingredients and combine (1¼ cups of mayonnaise, ¼ cup of water, 1 tablespoon of melted butter, 1½ teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of tomato paste, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon of smoked paprika, and 1 pinch of cayenne pepper) and whisk or blend until you have a smooth sauce.
- Chill. Refrigerate for best results, preferably overnight, or your sauce will still have a strong mayonnaise taste.
You can serve this creamy yum yum sauce with anything you like! Try it with any of my tasty hibachi recipes for an extra 'yummy' flavor! Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Notes
- I mention the better brands of mayonnaise that will yield the best flavor results for your homemade pink sauce, other brands will not taste the same. Duke's brand of mayonnaise is one of the preferred and best mayos in the South. Hellman's is considered the best throughout many states but is also known as Best Foods mayonnaise on the west coast (West of The Rockies).
- If you have Kewpie mayonnaise, the best mayonnaise option, you can omit the additional sugar.
- Using ketchup in place of the tomato paste and sugar can be done, but is not recommended for this sauce recipe.
- This sauce takes only minutes to make, but the flavors come together best after being refrigerated overnight. Refrigerate before using for at least 30 minutes, as it will be better than served at room temperature.
Keep your yum yum sauce in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator. Your hibachi sauce can be stored for up to 7 -10 days but is best used within the first 5 days.
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Likely nothing is wrong with the sauce that you made. Each Japanese steakhouse has its own yum yum sauce recipe, so the flavors depend on your favorite restaurant's unique combination and quantity of ingredients. Adjust this recipe as a base to make your best hibachi sauce.
Certainly! Use this recipe as your base, and increase seasoning, sugar amount, tomato, etc as needed to suit your tastes better. Try mixing more cayenne pepper (just a little!), red chili paste, or hot sauce!
No. I do not advise freezing any mayonnaise-based sauce. The mayonnaise will separate and give the sauce an undesirable texture.
🥢 More Hibachi Recipes
- Hibachi Noodles - The perfect side dish for any of your favorite hibachi proteins!
- Hibachi Salmon - This hibachi salmon is cooked on a flat top with garlic and ginger until the skin is perfectly crispy and the flesh is moist and flaky.
- Hibachi Scallops - You'll love the quick sear you get when preparing scallops hibachi-style!
- Hibachi Zucchini - Delicious pan-fried zucchini that has been seasoned with soy sauce and teriyaki!
- Ginger Salad Dressing - This Benihana copycat salad dressing is perfect for a house salad before the hibachi main course.
- Hibachi Steak and Shrimp - The ultimate surf n' turf that tastes even better with a side of yum yum sauce!
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📖 Recipe Card
Yum Yum Sauce
- Melt butter and allow to set aside and cool for a moment before combining into the sauce.
- In a small mixing bowl, measure out all ingredients ( mayonnaise, water, melted butter, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper ) and whisk until you have a smooth sauce or combine in a food processor.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!