Exploring Flavor: What Is Japanese Mayo?

What Is Japanese Mayo

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment that is loved by many. However, have you ever tried Japanese mayo? This unique condiment has a different flavor profile and texture that sets it apart from regular mayonnaise.

Japanese mayo, also known as Kewpie mayo, is a creamy and tangy condiment that is made using rice vinegar instead of distilled vinegar. This gives the mayo a distinct umami flavor, making it the perfect addition to a variety of dishes. In this article we will discuss about what is Japanese mayo and uses, nutritional value and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Japanese mayo is a unique condiment with a different flavor profile and texture than regular mayonnaise.
  • It is made with rice vinegar, giving it a distinct umami flavor.
  • Japanese mayo is versatile and can enhance the flavor of various dishes.

Japanese Mayo vs Regular Mayo: What’s the Difference?

Mayonnaise is a popular condiment used in dishes across the globe. However, Japanese mayo has gained popularity among food enthusiasts for its unique flavor and texture. So, what sets Japanese mayo apart from regular mayo? Let’s take a closer look.

First, Japanese mayo’s ingredients differ from regular mayo’s. While both mayos use oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice, Japanese mayo also includes umami-rich ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sometimes apple or rice vinegar instead of distilled vinegar. This gives Japanese mayo its distinct, savory taste.

Another difference is the texture. Japanese mayo is often creamier and smoother than regular mayo due to the use of rice vinegar, which has less acidity than distilled vinegar. This also makes it easier to spread on sandwiches or use as a dip.

Finally, Japanese mayo has a stronger flavor than regular mayo, making it a versatile ingredient for enhancing the taste of various dishes. Its umami-rich profile makes it a favorite for sushi rolls, sandwiches, salads, and even as a dipping sauce for fries.

In summary, Japanese mayo stands out from regular mayo because of its unique ingredients, texture, and flavor profile. Its popularity among chefs and food enthusiasts is a testament to its versatility and ability to elevate any dish it adds to.

Unraveling the Ingredients: What Goes into Japanese Mayo?

Japanese mayo is a unique condiment that has gained popularity among food enthusiasts, thanks to its distinct flavor, texture, and versatility. Unlike regular mayo, Japanese mayo is made with different ingredients that contribute to its unique taste. Here we will dissect the ingredients that go into making Japanese mayo and explore their significance.

While regular mayo is made with eggs, oil, vinegar, and mustard or lemon juice, Japanese mayo contains a few additional ingredients that set it apart. One key ingredient is rice vinegar, which subtly sweetness the mayonnaise.

Another ingredient that is commonly used in Japanese mayo is MSG or monosodium glutamate. MSG enhances the umami flavor of the mayo, giving it a savory depth of taste. Some brands of Japanese mayo do not contain MSG, so it’s important to read the label if you are sensitive to this ingredient.

Japanese mayo is also made with a soy sauce called Tamari instead of regular soy sauce. Tamari is gluten-free and has a smoother, richer flavor than regular soy sauce. It is made by fermenting soybeans in a special process that gives it a unique flavor profile.

The final ingredient unique to Japanese mayo is dashi, a fish stock used in Japanese cuisine. Dashi adds a subtle umami flavor to the mayo, harmonizing with the other ingredients to create a complex and delightful taste experience.

In conclusion, Japanese mayo is a condiment made with unique ingredients, including rice vinegar, MSG, Tamari soy sauce, and dashi. These ingredients contribute to its distinct flavor and texture, making it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

Best Japanese Mayo Brands: A Guide to Choose the Right One

Japanese mayo has become increasingly popular in recent years, and with that popularity comes various brands to choose from. Here is a list of the best Japanese mayo brands available in the United States and what makes each of them unique:

Brand NameDescription
KewpieKewpie is perhaps the most well-known brand of Japanese mayo. It has a creamy and rich flavor that makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts. It is made using only egg yolks, giving it a distinct yellow color and a velvety texture.
AjinomotoAjinomoto mayo is known for its balance of sweetness and acidity, thanks to the addition of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. It is made with a mix of egg yolks and whole eggs, giving it a slightly lighter texture than Kewpie.
MizkanMizkan mayo is made using rice vinegar, giving it a slightly sweeter taste than other brands. It also has a lighter texture, making it a great option for those who find traditional mayo too heavy.
KenkoKenko mayo is made with non-GMO soybean oil and no MSG, making it a healthier option for those who are conscious of their diet. It has a mild flavor and a slightly lighter texture than other brands.

When choosing the best Japanese mayo brand for you, consider your preferences for flavor and texture. Do you prefer a rich and creamy mayo, or a lighter and sweeter one? Are you looking for a healthier option? You can find the perfect Japanese mayo to enhance your dishes by exploring different brands.

Exploring Japanese Mayo Flavors: Beyond the Traditional

what is japanese mayo

Japanese mayo is known for its unique flavor profile and versatility in enhancing dishes. While the traditional mayonnaise taste is popular, Japanese mayo offers various flavor variations beyond the typical condiment.

One popular flavor is the spicy Japanese mayo, which adds a kick of heat to any dish. Made with chili oil or hot sauce, this mayo is perfect for those who love a little heat in their food.

Another popular flavor is the umami Japanese mayo, made with mushrooms, soy sauce, and bonito flakes. This gives it a rich, savory flavor that pairs well with meats and vegetables.

There is the fruit-flavored Japanese mayo for those who enjoy a sweeter taste. Made with fruits like yuzu, mango, and passion fruit, these mayo variations add a sweet and tangy twist to any dish.

And for those who prefer a more classic taste with a twist, there is the wasabi Japanese mayo. Combining the traditional mayo flavor with the spiciness of wasabi, this mayo is perfect for sushi lovers and pairs well with seafood dishes.

Whether you want to add a little heat, sweetness, or savory flavor to your dishes, Japanese mayo offers a range of options to suit your taste preferences.

Homemade Japanese Mayo Recipe: A DIY Delight

If you’re a fan of Japanese mayo, you might be surprised to know that you can make it yourself at home. Not only is it easy, but it also tastes just as good as the store-bought version.


Egg yolk1
Rice vinegar1 tablespoon
Soy sauce1/2 teaspoon
Salt1/2 teaspoon
Granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon
Mirin (optional)1/2 teaspoon
Neutral-flavored oil1 cup


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and mirin (if using) until well combined.
  2. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking vigorously. Be patient and add the oil in a steady stream to allow the mixture to emulsify and thicken properly.
  3. Keep whisking until the mayo is thick and creamy. It should have a pale yellow color and a smooth texture.
  4. Transfer the mayo to a jar or container and store in the refrigerator. It should last for around a week.

If you want to customize the flavor of your Japanese mayo, you can experiment with different oils, such as avocado or sesame oil, or add additional ingredients like garlic or wasabi. The possibilities are endless!

Now that you know how to make Japanese mayo at home, you can start enjoying its creamy, umami flavor in all your favorite dishes.

The Versatility of Japanese Mayo: More Than Just a Condiment

Japanese mayo is not just any other condiment. With its unique flavor and creamy texture, it can enhance the taste of various dishes, making them more delicious and satisfying. Here are some recipe ideas to explore the versatility of Japanese mayo:

1. Spicy Tuna Roll

Combine canned tuna, Sriracha, and Japanese mayo to create a spicy tuna mixture. Spread the mixture on a sheet of sushi rice and wrap it up with seaweed. Slice the roll into bite-size pieces and serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger.

2. Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a savory Japanese pancake that can be customized to your liking. To make the batter, combine flour, eggs, cabbage, scallions, and dashi. Grill the pancake and top it with Japanese mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes, and pickled ginger.

3. Katsu Sando

Katsu sando is a popular Japanese sandwich made with breaded and fried pork cutlets. Spread Japanese mayo on both sides of a toasted sandwich bread and add the cooked pork cutlet, shredded lettuce, and tonkatsu sauce. Serve with a side of potato salad.

4. Miso Soup

Add a dollop of Japanese mayo to your miso soup to give it a creamy and rich texture. Garnish with scallions and seaweed, and serve with steamed rice.

5. Yakisoba

Yakisoba is a stir-fried noodle dish that can be made with various ingredients. Cook the noodles with sliced pork, carrots, cabbage, and onions. Add Japanese mayo and Worcestershire sauce for a tangy and savory flavor.

These are just a few examples of how Japanese mayo can be used to enhance the taste of dishes. With its rich and creamy texture, it can be used in a range of recipes, from sushi rolls to grilled meats. Try experimenting with Japanese mayo in your own kitchen and discover new and exciting flavors!

Kewpie Mayo vs Japanese Mayo: Is There a Difference?

Japanese mayo and Kewpie mayo are two popular condiments used in a variety of dishes, but is there really a difference between them?

The short answer is yes, there is a difference. While Japanese mayo is a style of mayo that originated in Japan, Kewpie mayo is a specific brand of Japanese mayo.

However, there are some notable differences between Kewpie mayo and other Japanese mayo brands. Kewpie mayo is known for its creaminess and rich flavor, thanks to its use of only egg yolks (as opposed to whole eggs) and a unique blend of vinegar and spices.

On the other hand, other Japanese mayo brands may use whole eggs and different ratios of vinegar and spices, resulting in slightly different flavors and textures. Some may even use different oils or sweeteners in their recipes.

Ultimately, the choice between Japanese mayo and Kewpie mayo comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy a creamy and rich flavor, Kewpie mayo may be the right choice for you. If you prefer a milder taste or are looking to try different varieties, other Japanese mayo brands may be worth exploring.


Japanese mayo has become a popular condiment for food enthusiasts, thanks to its unique flavor profile and versatility in enhancing dishes. In this article, we explored what Japanese mayo is, how it differs from regular mayo, what goes into it, and the different brands and flavors available in the market.

We also provided a step-by-step guide on how to make Japanese mayo at home and shared various recipe ideas where Japanese mayo can be used beyond a simple condiment. We compared Japanese mayo to Kewpie mayo and helped readers understand which one might suit their preferences better.

In conclusion, Japanese mayo is a delightful condiment that can take your dishes to the next level. Its creamy texture and umami flavor make it a versatile ingredient for a range of recipes. Whether you want to use it as a dip, dressing, or marinade, Japanese mayo is sure to add a unique taste to your meals.


What is Japanese mayo?

Japanese mayo is a type of mayonnaise that originated in Japan. It is made with a combination of egg yolks, vinegar, and oil, giving it a rich and creamy texture. It has a slightly tangy and sweeter taste compared to regular mayo.

What makes Japanese mayo different from regular mayo?

Japanese mayo differs from regular mayo in several ways. Firstly, the ingredients used in Japanese mayo are different, including rice vinegar instead of distilled vinegar. Additionally, Japanese mayo tends to have a stronger umami flavor due to the addition of ingredients like MSG or monosodium glutamate. The texture of Japanese mayo is also creamier and smoother.

What are the ingredients used in Japanese mayo?

Japanese mayo typically includes egg yolks, oil (usually soybean or canola), rice vinegar, and mustard. Some brands may also include additional ingredients like MSG or sugar to enhance the flavor.

Which are the best Japanese mayo brands?

Some popular Japanese mayo brands available in the United States include Kewpie, Otafuku, and Ajinomoto. Each brand has its own unique qualities, so choosing the best one depends on personal preference.

Are there different flavors of Japanese mayo?

Yes, besides the traditional mayo flavor, there are various flavored Japanese mayo options available. Some popular variations include wasabi-flavored, spicy, garlic, and sesame.

How can I make Japanese mayo at home?

Making Japanese mayo at home is fairly simple. You will need egg yolks, rice vinegar, mustard, oil, and a blender or whisk. Combine the egg yolks, vinegar, and mustard, then gradually add the oil while whisking until the mayo thickens. There are also homemade Japanese mayo recipes available online for more detailed instructions.

Can Japanese mayo be used in recipes other than as a condiment?

Absolutely! Japanese mayo is incredibly versatile and can be used in various recipes to enhance flavors and textures. It can be used as a dressing for salads, a dipping sauce for sushi or fries, or as a spread on sandwiches.

What is the difference between Japanese mayo and Kewpie mayo?

Kewpie mayo is a popular brand of Japanese mayo known for its unique flavor and creamy texture. While Kewpie mayo is a type of Japanese mayo, not all Japanese mayo brands are Kewpie mayo. Kewpie mayo has a distinct umami flavor and is often preferred for its rich and creamy taste.

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