I love healthy, homemade condiments because they add flavor and excitement to familiar dishes. I’ve always loved the yum yum sauce (if you’re not sure what that is, read on!) at our local Japanese hibachi restaurant, but wanted to make my own healthy version at home.
This condiment is well named… it turned out so well we’re now planning our menu around it!
What Is Yum Yum Sauce?
If you’ve ever been to a Japanese steakhouse, you may know that yum yum sauce is the light orange or white sauce that accompanies the meal. It’s also known as seafood sauce, Japanese white sauce, sakura sauce, or Japanese vegetable sauce. It’s delicious, full of healthy fats (if you make with the right ingredients), and really simple to make!
The base is mayonnaise with a few spices and some tomato paste mixed in. I use homemade mayo when I have it. When I buy mayo, I buy a healthy mayo like Primal Kitchen (see recipe).
How to Use It
I love that I can whisk yum yum sauce together in just a few minutes. You can use it immediately, but if you have the time I highly recommend letting the flavors meld overnight in the fridge.
Yum yum sauce is so versatile you can use it with almost any dish. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:
- Shrimp sauce – Instead of using cocktail sauce, try serving cocktail shrimp with yum yum sauce for a slightly different flavor.
- Salad dressing – Add this sauce to an Asian inspired salad, or a plain tossed salad.
- Dipping sauce for raw or roasted veggies – Cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, and celery are good choices.
- In Japanese fried rice – Made with different rice and slightly different seasonings than Chinese fried rice and complements this sauce perfectly. Try this recipe.
- Dipping sauce for fried foods – We don’t eat a lot of fried foods, but when we do they are homemade (and sometimes “oven-fried”). This sauce is great paired with sweet potato fries, homemade onion rings, or chicken fingers.
- On Asian lettuce wraps – I like to add it to rice-free sushi too.
These are just a few suggestions but I’m sure there are many more uses for it!
I like the simplicity of this recipe, but if you like your foods spicier you can add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper. Some people use ketchup (favorite recipe/healthy brand here) in place of tomato paste for a shortcut and a slightly sweeter and spicier sauce.
Some people prefer a whiter sauce or a redder sauce. If you like the flavor of the whiter sauce, ease up on the tomato paste and paprika. For deeper red, add more.
Yum Yum Sauce Recipe
- In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until combined.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight to let flavors meld.
- Enjoy with stir frys, fried cauliflower rice, or other favorite dishes.
Want More Healthy Condiment Recipes to Try?
Condiments can take a blah meal and make it truly wow. Here are some of my favorites to try:
- Chipotle Mayo – My family loves southwest flavors, so I decided to use my homemade mayo and add a bit of chipotle flavor. It’s perfect as a veggies dip or in place of mayo in chicken salad.
- Sriracha Mayo – With Thai and Vietnamese flavors, this condiment is great alongside an Asian inspired dish, or as a dip or spread.
- Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing – This recipe is great on salads but can also be used as a dip for veggies, or a marinade for meat. It’s really quick to make if you roast the garlic ahead of time.
- Roasted Salsa Verde – This simple salsa made with tomatillos, peppers, and lime juice is such a versatile condiment. I’ve been known to eat it for three meals in one day. I love this salsa with omelets or scrambled eggs for breakfast as well as chicken or beef at dinner.
- Fresh Basil Pesto – This pesto recipe is my favorite way to use up extra basil from the garden. Pesto can be used on spaghetti squash “pasta”, on top of meatloaf or meatballs, or in stir-frys or casseroles (especially Italian themed ones). It’s also a great spread for coconut flour biscuits or grain-free bread.
What is your favorite way to use this sauce?