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Can You Make Your Own Yum Yum Sauce?

Homemade yum yum sauce
Stephanie Frey/Shutterstock.com

Yum yum sauce is an addictive condiment in Japanese steakhouses, and for plenty of good reasons. It’s sweet, spicy, and can be served with just about any kind of meat or vegetable. While you can easily get bottled yum yum sauce at most major grocery chains, you might be surprised to know that you can actually make it at home.

Finding a yum yum sauce recipe online is easy, and you can adjust it to meet your personal tastes.

So, if you’re just as addicted to this steakhouse sauce as the rest of the world, gather a few ingredients, and you can enjoy it whenever you want.

Have you ever wondered who invented yum yum sauce? You might think it was a famous Japanese chef or an ancient recipe passed on for centuries in Japanese families.


6-pack Premium Plastic Condiment Squeeze Squirt Bottles for Sauces

Bottle and squeeze your homemade yum yum sauce on everything.

Yum yum sauce is actually a very American creation, and some people are quick to argue that it’s nothing more than “spicy mayo.” While there’s a bit more to it than that, mayo is one of the main ingredients. Yum yum sauce originated in a Japanese-American restaurant by Terry Ho. Ho quickly recognized the popularity of his pinkish-orange sauce, decided to bottle it, and the rest is delicious history. Ho has even capitalized on his success by creating and bottling other Asian-American-style sauces.

The basic yum yum sauce recipe consists of:

  • Mayo
  • Ketchup
  • Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Sugar
  • Paprika

The ketchup and paprika give the sauce its signature color, while the vinegar gives it its tang and bite. There are plenty of recipes out there that offer measurements, but as long as you start with about a cup of mayo, a tablespoon or two of ketchup, and a tablespoon or two of vinegar, you can adjust the amounts of the other ingredients to suit your personal taste. You can even add a little bit of water if you like a thinner sauce.

Terry Ho's Yum Yum Sauce Original and Spicy Combo

If you want to try the original yum yum sauce, give it a go!

Yum yum sauce can be used on steak, chicken, sandwiches, salads, and just about everything in between. It gets its name for a reason— it goes with so many things.

Making yum yum sauce at home allows you to control the quality and quantity of your ingredients. It only takes a few minutes to whip up, and you can keep it in the fridge at all times without having to buy the bottled stuff ever again. There’s no ancient secret recipe attached to this very American-style sauce, so while it might be known as a Japanese restaurant staple, don’t feel limited in using it on any type of dish.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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