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This Yum Yum sauce recipe is an addicting drizzle that’s both savory and sweet, perfect for veggies or shrimp. Here’s how to make Yum Yum Sauce.

Yum Yum Sauce ingredients

Warning: our standard fare here on A Couple Cooks is healthy food. And this sauce is not quite a health food! HOWEVER, we’re sharing a recipe because it’s a tasty way to amp up flavor and a little goes a very long way! Alex and I had been wanting to try out a homemade Yum Yum sauce recipe for quite a while and finally made it happen. Keep reading for how to make Yum Yum sauce, and a bit more about what it is.

Related: Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum Sauce

What is Yum Yum sauce?

Could you have a better name for a sauce? (I mean, really.) Yum Yum sauce is a condiment used at Japanese steakhouses, typically used on seafood. While this pale orange sauce is having a sort of moment in hipster food and online, there’s not even a Wikipedia entry about the history of the sauce or name yet (gasp!). While we wait for the Wikipedia Gods to give us more background on this popular condiment, we do know a few things: it’s a mayo-based sauce, typically made with tomato paste, a little butter, a hint of sugar, and a few other seasonings.

And before we go any further: this stuff is delicious. Creamy, savory, and a little sweet, the uses for Yum Yum sauce are endless. Try it on tacos, eggs, roasted or raw vegetables, as a dip for fries, with shrimp, over salmon, steak: anything you like!

Yum Yum Sauce | What is Yum Yum sauce?

How to make Yum Yum sauce

I wish I could share some deep secrets about how to make Yum Yum sauce. But it’s so simple I can’t even say anything except: throw the ingredients in a bowl and stir! Yes, it’s that easy.

However: here are a few notes about Yum Yum sauce ingredients. It’s a mayonnaise-based sauce, with the next two ingredients being melted butter and tomato paste (or ketchup). We experimented with removing the butter in this one, but it tasted very strongly of mayo. Adding the butter helps to smooth out the sauce, so we would not suggest omitting it. Also, Yum Yum sauce typically calls for sugar, but we substituted it with maple syrup to keep it naturally sweet. Round it out with some garlic powder and paprika, and it’s done! Delicious and truly easy.

If you eat a vegan diet, you could use vegan mayonnaise and substitute coconut oil for the butter. The coconut oil would add a light coconut flavor, but it would still work here. And whatever your diet, if you’d like to add a smoky flair, try using smoked paprika instead of paprika! It adds a complex undertone that’s a nice touch.

Yum Yum Sauce | What is Yum Yum Sauce

Looking for other essential recipes?

Whether it’s how to hard boil eggs or the perfect pizza sauce, our essential recipes are easy DIYs to make at home! Here are few more of our essential and DIY recipes:

How to make Yum Yum Sauce

Ways to use Yum Yum sauce

If you’re not sure how to use this delicious condiment, here are a few recipes we think would pair well with Yum Yum sauce:

This recipe is…

This Yum Yum sauce recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, use vegan mayo and coconut oil (see below).

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Yum Yum Sauce | What is Yum Yum Sauce

Best Yum Yum Sauce

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: about 1 ¼ cup 1x


This Yum Yum sauce recipe is an addicting drizzle that’s both savory and sweet, perfect for veggies or shrimp. Here’s how to make Yum Yum Sauce.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise (vegan if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter (use coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons water


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Store refrigerated for several months.

  • Category: Essential Recipes
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Japanese Inspired

Keywords: Yum Yum Sauce, How to make yum yum sauce, What is yum yum sauce, Yum yum sauce ingredients

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. this sauce was AMAZING!!!!! I had it with a mixed greens salad with salmon, cucumber, avocado, sweet potato, edamame,nori, and sesame seeds! Thank you so much!

  2. We are a recently plant based family and LOVE tacos. I LOVED the cauliflower tacos after spending a childhood tortured by steamed cauliflower :o) The only vegan mayo I found seemed to have a lot of extra ingredients, so I tried making this sauce with plain hummus instead (like some of the other vegan “aioli’s” out there, but I couldn’t get the taste quite right. Are you allowed to tell us what kind of vegan mayo you use? I can’t wait to try all your other sauces!

    1. Hi! So glad you enjoyed. Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo is great and doesn’t have too many ingredients.

  3. This was great with the cauliflower tacos, I added some jalapeño hot sauce to it and extra garlic powder, thank you!

  4. We made this last night to go with the Crispy Baked Cauliflower recipe as suggested – where has this sauce been all my life?? It was delicious and I shall be trying out on smoked salmon ASAP!

  5. This really keeps for several months??? I have never made it with melted butter so this is intriguing. I will say that with the “healthier” mayo ( like the Primal Kitchen one) the flavor is very off compared to a basic commercial mayo like Dukes with olive oil which is what I have been buying for years to make sauce since I am not a huge mayo fan and only use it for sauces.

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