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How to Make Japanese Steak House Yum Yum Sauce

Updated on November 9, 2009

Do you ever go to a restaurant and enjoy some wonderful sauce, and then find yourself craving it a few days later? You go to the grocery store to purchase said sauce, only to find it’s not available commercially. So you become a scientist of sorts in your kitchen lab, mixing and stirring and tasting – trying to mimic that wonderful sauce your taste buds fell in love with.

I do this all the time, and I must say that I’ve become pretty darn good at matching the dishes and sauces I’ve enjoyed in restaurants. Maybe I just a well developed sense of taste and smell. That’s probably why I’m such a good cook and why I love food.

Anyway, I remember the first time I dined at a Japanese Steak House. I had the grilled shrimp and fried rice, and the meal was served with this pale pink sauce concoction our chef referred to as “yum yum sauce.” At the time, I thought he was just being cutesy, but every Japanese Steak House I’ve ever been to calls it the same thing – yum yum sauce. I’m sure somewhere there’s an official name for the stuff, but for now, that’s the best moniker I have.

After my first meeting with yum yum, I went home and began my experiments. I was sure the base was mayonnaise. At first, I thought the pink color came from ketchup, but through trial and error, I figured out it came from ground paprika. After I cleared that hurdle, the rest was fairly easy.

Here’s what I discovered:

ingredients

1 quart good quality mayonnaise

1 scant cup white granulated sugar or granulated Splenda

¼ stick butter, melted

4 tsp paprika

¾ cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (I like garlic – you might want to use less)

Add all ingredients together and mix well. You might want to use a blender. Place the sauce in a storage container with a lid. Let it refrigerate for at least 24 hours so that the flavors can mingle. When you’re ready to serve the sauce, check the consistency. If it’s too thick to pour, add a little more rice vinegar. Stir well before serving.

This sauce is great on white or fried rice. It also makes a wonderful dipping sauce for shrimp, chicken, fish fillets, and scallops. Heck, I even like to dip grilled squash and zucchini in it! And believe it or not, it makes an awesome coleslaw when mixed with chopped cabbage.

You can cut the fat and calories by substituting fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise, and it’s still tasty. If you use fat-free mayo and Splenda, you’ll have a great low-calorie sauce that will add lots of taste and interest to otherwise bland foods.

If kept tightly covered, your yum yum sauce will keep for two weeks in the fridge.

Try this sauce on bacon-wrapped grilled shrimp! Click the article link below for the recipe:

 

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    • profile image

      tanggie 5 years ago

      Actually Yum Yum sauce also containts tomato paste, not ketchup and that's what gives it the pinkish color

    • profile image

      Debra F. 5 years ago

      if this is the same sauce i crave on my rice every day i am going to send you lots of flowers and candies..lol..i have been looking for a way to make this sauce at home and have spent countless dollars buying it from out Local Hibachi Restaurant

    • profile image

      john 5 years ago

      That's not yum yum sauce missing some ingredient an some don't belong in there. I'm a habachi chef.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Malack!

    • profile image

      Malack 6 years ago

      @ Tony does it taste anything like this recipe, what's it called at Food Lion? This recipe is amazing!!!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      lol, tony. Hope you like it!

    • profile image

      Tony 6 years ago

      I'm trying to see if this tastes like it does at my local japanese steakhouse. If it does, I'm gonna be a very fat and happy man. Thanks for the recipe.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Terry, I haven't seen yum-yum sauce in our Harvey's, but now I'll look for it!

    • profile image

      Terry Ho 6 years ago

      You can save time and buy the Yum Yum Sauce from grocery chains Harveys and Food Lion. It is the best .

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I've never been to Gingy's. You don't have to refrigerate it for 24 hours, but it will be more flavorful if you do.

    • profile image

      Kernzie1409 7 years ago

      have you ever tried it at the Japanese steakhouse called 'Gingy's'? does it taste like this? oh and do you HAVE to refrigerate it for 24 hours?

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      hope you like it, Jac!

    • profile image

      jacmartol  7 years ago

      Nakato is THE Japanese habachi restaurant in our town the their version of this is called seafood sauce. I could drink it, it's so good. Anyway, I can't wait to try this recipe. I've spent enough money buying it from the restaurant.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Me too, Donna!

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I've been looking for this recipe forever! Our Japanese restaurant called it Seafood Sauce, but recently started calling it Yum Yum sauce. I'm so glad I saw your link!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Lol, Sheila - I won't tell!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      I'm going to keep this recipe for yum yum sauce for when I have company. Won't I look brilliant!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Aw, thanks, febriedethan! Glad I helped!

    • febriedethan profile image

      febriedethan 7 years ago from Indonesia

      I love your talent Habee :) I never thought that the pink color was ground paprika, that revealed the secret, thank you for all the experiments, love ya ....!!!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Hehehehehe! Thanks, tim-tim!

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      You are too funny,habee :)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Awww...thanks tim-tim! Have you ever heard the saying, "Don't trust a skinny cook"? lol

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      I love Japanese food! In fact, I love all kind of food, LOL. Thanks for sharing. I tell you,habee. No one can top you with your cooking!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Honey, I don't think we've EVER had any of that left over!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 8 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      This was mouth watering,if you have any left overs habee,I'm your guy/cat for the job..LOL

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      Ya gotta try it, HH!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      It definitely sounds great. Thank you for writing that hub.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      You're welcome, John! Just give it a try with some grilled shrimp! Yum!