Japanese Steakhouse Yum Yum Sauce (a.k.a White Sauce, a.k.a Shrimp Sauce)


You know when you go to a hibachi restaurant and they give you two little containers of sauce, one that is mayo based and one that is more of a soy sauce?  Who ever eats the soy sauce?  The mayo based sauce (which I didn’t know was called yum yum sauce until I started looking for the recipe) is SO good.  I would really rather just have two of those and skip the other, but I feel like that might somehow offend the chef.  And after seeing how comfortable hibachi chefs are with knives and flames, I like to keep quiet.  I have a child to think about.


But I still want some more of that darn yum yum sauce.  So a couple of weeks ago I went on a hunt for the recipe, and this one is really close to the restaurant version.  Jake and I ate it on roasted vegetables, and we also had it as a condiment on faux chicken sandwiches.  It was delicious both times.  And super easy to make, so I’ll likely whip up another batch this week (especially because I now have an open container of tomato paste sitting around that needs to be used… WHY do they sell it by the can when no one ever needs that much at one time?).  I can’t wait to lather it on different kinds of vegetables.  Summer produce season is the best!


Japanese Steakhouse Yum Yum Sauce

1 1/4 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s/Best Foods is recommended by the original recipe author)
1/4 cup water
1 heaping tsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 dash cayenne pepper powder (I like a heavy dash)

Whisk all of the ingredients together until they are combined and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to blend (don’t skip this step!). Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

The sauce will keep for about a week in the fridge.


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  1. they sell tomato paste in tubes at grocery stores around here. sort of like oversized toothpaste tubes. i usually see it in the pasta aisle, near the jars of pesto sauce. i’ve also seen basil paste, anchovy paste, pesto paste. the tubes keep in the fridge forever, and you just squeeze out what you need. hope you can find it!

  2. tomato paste is sold in tubes at grocery stores here in my area. they’re kind of like tubes of toothpaste, and they keep forever in the fridge.

  3. This sounds so delicious! What a great sauce recipe, and really easy, too! Perfect over some grilled veggies, or as a spread on a focaccia sandwich! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Just a tip…you can buy tomato paste in a toothpaste-like tube and keep it in the fridge for months. Then when you only need a tbsp at a time, you don’t have to buy a whole can. It’s usually on the top shelf in the canned tomato products aisle.

  5. They do sell tomato paste in toothpaste type squeeze containers. On the shelf with the cans and just right when you need just a bit.

  6. You guys are all right! I couldn’t find the tubes in my grocery store, but Amazon has them so I’ll be all set for next time. :) Thanks!

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