Yum yum sauce is that crave-worthy, pale pink-colored sauce you find in Japanese hibachi restaurants that elevates all your favorite dishes to the next level! It’s a mayonnaise-based sauce that’s light, tangy, and lightly sweet and can be used in all your favorite Asian dishes.

The sauce joins our ginger sauce for hibachi-style cooking must-haves.

A close up of yummy yummy sauce in a spoon.

Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum Sauce is made in just a few minutes with a base of mayo and is completed with ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and seasonings for the perfect garnish. A copycat to the popular Terry Ho’s yum yum sauce, this version is healthier. It’s Japanese steakhouse sauce quality, but made with ingredients you understand, minus the chemicals!

Use it to top fried rice, drizzle over sushi, serve as a dip for french fries, or even as a sauce for burgers.

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Healthier than store-bought. Store-bought yum yum sauces have many additives, which are not at all necessary for a delicious sauce!
  • Versatile. You can use this sauce to top your favorite rice dishes, noodles, for sushi, as a salad dressing, or for french fries, among so many other uses. Be creative!
  • Packed with flavor. The sauce adds a tangy, sweet flavor to any of your favorite dishes!
  • Takes little time. The recipe comes together in one step with just a few minutes of measuring out the ingredients! Super easy!
All ingredients for yummy yummy sauce.

Yum Yum Sauce Ingredients

For the yum-yum sauce recipe, you’ll need to mix together some staple condiments and spices, which you likely already have in your kitchen.

  • Mayo- yum yum is a mayonnaise-based sauce, so use a plain, unflavored mayonnaise. We love Hellman’s mayo.
  • Butter- unsalted, melted butter, cooled.
  • Water- use to thin and bring the sauce to the right consistency.
  • Sugar- to balance the savory flavor from the rest of the ingredients.
  • Vinegar- adds acidity.
  • Ketchup- tomato paste will also work in place of Heinz ketchup.
  • Seasonings- paprika and garlic powder to enhance the flavor of the yum-yum sauce.

For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Step by step image collage of how to make yummy yummy sauce.

How to Make Yum Yum Sauce

The yummy-yummy sauce only requires one step but adds incredible flavor to your favorite Chinese meals.

  • Mix ingredients: In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir until well combined. That’s it!
  • Serve and enjoy, friends!

Substitutions and Variations

The proportions for the sauce differ depending on the chef you talk to, so feel free to play around with spices and quantities to your liking.

  • Adjust spice level: To make the sauce more spicy, whisk in a dash more paprika, red pepper flakes, a dash of cayenne pepper, or a teaspoon of hot sauce.
  • Substitute vinegar: Rice vinegar can be used in place of regular vinegar.
  • Smoked paprika: Add depth of smoky flavor by using smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.
Yummy yummy sauce in a bowl.

Serving Suggestions

The yummy yummy sauce may be served with almost any of your family’s favorite Japanese recipes!

  • Rice: Serve the sauce as a drizzle over rice or hibachi recipes.
  • Dipping sauce: Use the yum yum sauce as a dip for french fries, sweet potato fries, grilled vegetables, pork potstickers, or as a shrimp sauce.
  • With sushi: Drizzle the sauce over your favorite sushi, or dip into it to scoop more sauce.
  • In salads: Use the sauce as a drizzle over salads or even mix into an egg or potato salad.
  • Grilled meat: Serve the sauce over your favorite proteins such as grilled chicken or steak, or add to a grilled chicken sandwich or as a hamburger sauce.
  • Over seafood: Use as a topping or dip for fish or shellfish recipes.

REcipe FAQs

What is yum yum sauce?

Yum yum sauce is a sauce created in America, often found in Japanese steakhouses across the country. However, it isn’t often found in Japan, as it is a very Americanized sauce.

Can the sauce be prepared in advance?

Yes! In fact, making it in advance and allowing the flavors to meld will result in the best flavor.

Is the sauce sweet?

Yum yum sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce. Adjust the level of sweetness by adjusting the amount of sugar as desired. If you substitute ketchup with tomato paste, you may need to add more sugar, as ketchup typically comes with sugar already mixed in.

Should the sauce be thick or thin?

The sauce can be adjusted to your preferred consistency based on what you would like to serve it with. For example, if used as a salad dressing, add more water to thin the sauce so it drizzles over the salad more easily. To use as a dipping sauce, use less water for the sauce to better stick to your fries or sushi.

Yummy yummy sauce in a jar.

Store & Freeze

  • Storage. You can store the sauce for up to 7 days in the fridge. Mix before serving.
  • Freeze. Because the sauce is mayonnaise based, it will not hold up well if frozen.

More Sauce Recipes

We absolutely love sauces and condiments. Here are some of our favorites to try:

Yum Yum Sauce Recipe

Author: Valentina
Yummy yummy sauce in a jar.
5 from 1 vote
An easy recipe for homemade yum yum sauce recipe. Yum yum sauce is the perfect sauce for sushi, fried rice, or even fries, and it takes just several minutes of measuring and stirring!



  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, melted butter, water, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, paprika and garlic. If desired, thin with more water for a thinner consistency.
  • Serve and enjoy, friends!


Store: Refrigerate the sauce covered for up to one week for maximum freshness.
Uses: Add the yum yum sauce over top of fried rice, and noodles, as a sauce for fries or hamburgers, on top of sushi, or even as a salad dressing!