This Yum Yum sauce is tangy, creamy, flavor-packed, and a wonderfully versatile drizzle, dressing, marinade, or dipping sauce for tons of meals. Use just a few minutes of your time to whip up a batch to enjoy for the week to come. Plus, this recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and can be made keto!
A Truly Versatile, 8-Ingredient Sauce
Earlier this week, I posted a recipe for Hibachi-Style Fried Rice – which I mentioned goes wonderfully with Yum Yum sauce. With that in mind, here is my version of the delicious sauce.
If the saying goes that couscous is so nice that they named it twice, then just think what that means for this Yum Yum sauce. It’s all in the title, really- this sauce is delicious and a wonderful mix of sweet, savory, tangy, and even sometimes a little spicy. This can then be tweaked easily to fit individual preferences.
I’m always on the lookout for new versatile sauces that I can use for multiple purposes, and this sauce has it all. More than that, though, it’s also super quick and simple to prepare – perfect for a last-minute salad dressing, dipping sauce, marinade, or sauce.
What Is Yum Yum Sauce?
Sometimes called Japanese white sauce, Hibachi sauce, yummy sauce, yumm sauce, shrimp sauce, etc., is a sauce made popular by US-based Japanese Steakhouses and Hibachi restaurants and served alongside meat, seafood, noodle, and vegetable dishes.
In fact, the reason it may have so many names is that there doesn’t seem to be much known about its’ exact origins. Other than the fact that it isn’t a traditional Japanese sauce. Instead, it is America (and the Hibachi/Teppanyaki restaurants) that have pushed the popularity of this Hibachi sauce.
No matter which name you choose to call this pinkish/orange sauce; the general consensus is that it is absolutely delicious. While the recipe differs from location to location; the general yum yum sauce recipe consists of a few shared ingredients; mayonnaise, tomato paste, sugar, butter, and seasonings like paprika.
My sauce, however, is dairy-free and eggless. I use a combination of homemade vegan sour cream (or vegan mayo), tomato paste, a natural sweetener, and several seasonings. The result is a recipe that is creamy yet vegan, refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and can be made into a keto yum yum sauce too.
All you need is a bowl, a whisk, and the 8 simple ingredients – most of which are probably already in your kitchen. It also takes just minutes to prepare. Though, if you want the absolute best flavor, then make it the night before and allow it to chill overnight- all I’ll say is yum yum!
What Does It Taste Like?
The truth of the matter is that there are so many variations of this sauce, depending on where you try it, that it will likely taste slightly different every time you have it.
For someone who has never tried it before, then you could possibly liken it to seafood sauce/ Marie-rose dressing, which has a mayo and tomato base too. It also often contains an acidic element and smoked paprika.
Yum sauce is a creamy sauce that blends sweet and savory -and sometimes spicy- very well- for something that appeals to all the taste buds and pairs well with so many foods. This homemade yum yum sauce is also easily adjustable too.
How To Make Yum Yum Sauce
Step One: Mix The Ingredients
Add all the ingredients to a small-medium bowl and stir with a whisk until combined. Start with 1 tbsp of water and add more gradually, if you want a runnier consistency.
Step Two: Taste And Adjust
Taste it and adjust the seasonings as needed. I’ll often add a little hot sauce for some spice.
Step Three: Chill The Sauce
Cover the bowl and chill for a few hours (or overnight), which will help the flavors to develop and become even more delicious! This step is incredibly important, so don’t skip it.
For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How To Serve & Store
Store any sauce leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. I wouldn’t suggest trying to freeze it.
This yum yum sauce recipe is really versatile for tons of dishes. I love to drizzle some over this Hibachi-Style Japanese Fried Rice, and most recently, I used it with some homemade crispy Polenta Fries.
However, you can also use this Hibachi sauce:
- With grilled, roasted, stir-fried, and steamed veggies – like broccoli or sweet potato
- To drizzle over baked tofu and other proteins or mains – like these Cauliflower Steaks.
- As a dressing/drizzle for salad and sushi bowls – like this Vegan Chickpea Buddha Bowl or Brown Rice Salad Recipe.
- Drizzle over Oven-Baked Potato Wedges
- Drizzle over tacos – like these Chickpea Tacos
- Use within sushi in place of spicy mayo
- Spread over sandwiches, burgers, and hot-dogs (with these Vegan Bratwurst Sausages)
- You can even use it as the base for a ‘funky’ Coleslaw or Potato Salad
Useful Recipe Notes & Variations
- I used Homemade Vegan Sour Cream as the base for this Hibachi sauce, but feel free to use vegan mayonnaise instead or even a cashew cream (though the flavor will change).
- A pinch of Kala Namak (black salt) will add “eggy flavor” to the sour cream – similar to mayo. You can skip it if using store-bought vegan mayo.
- Sweetener: Use Erythritol or any other keto sweetener for a low-carb keto yum yum sauce.
- You can add 1 tbsp of melted vegan butter (or coconut oil) for a more authentic flavor to this vegan yum yum sauce. However, I prefer to keep mine healthier.
- To add some spice: Add a little chili or cayenne powder to the sauce. Alternatively, a drizzle of Sriracha could be added.
- You could create the mixture in a small blender/food processor instead of whisking.
- Optional Add-Ins: Add a little mirin for extra tang and depth of flavor. White miso is sometimes added as well for more ‘umami’ and flavor balance.
- Adjust the ingredients according to your preference—more smoked paprika for smokiness, sweetener for sweet, spicy element, tomato sauce for savory, etc.
Related Sauce & Dip Recipes
- Homemade Hoisin Sauce
- Chinese Garlic Sauce (Brown Stir-Fry Sauce)
- Easy 3-minute Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Keto BBQ Sauce
- Vegan Spinach Pasta Sauce
- Vegan French Onion Dip
- Easy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
If you try this Yum Yum sauce recipe, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Vegan Yum Yum Sauce
- Watch the video in the post for easy visual instructions.Add all ingredients to a small-medium bowl and stir with a whisk until combined. Start with 1 tbsp of water and add more if you want a runnier sauce.
- Taste it and adjust seasonings as needed. I also like to add a little hot sauce for some heat.
- Cover the bowl and chill for a few hours (or overnight) which will help the flavors to mend.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days.
Video Of The Recipe
- I used homemade vegan sour cream, but feel free to use vegan mayonnaise instead.
- Sweetener: Use Erythritol or any other keto sweetener for a low-carb sauce.
- A pinch of Kala Namak (black salt) will add an "eggy flavor". You can skip it if using store-bought vegan mayo.
- You can add 1 tbsp of melted vegan butter for a more authentic flavor, however, I prefer to keep it healthier.
- Optional Add-Ins: Add a little mirin for extra tang and depth of flavor. White miso can be also added for more ‘umami’ and flavor balance.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically