Kewpie Mayo Substitute: What Can You Use?

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Is anything more tasty and satisfying than a creamy tuna salad made with your favorite Kewpie mayo? Samesies. But what happens when your store runs out of stock of this tangy condiment?

So is there a substitute for Kewpie mayo, and what can you use?

Kewpie mayo has several creamy (and tasty) substitutes, such as regular mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s) and Yum Yum steak house sauce. You can also choose eggless substitutes such as Japanese vegan mayo, avocado mayo, and Greek yogurt. Another option is to make your own mayo.

If you’re looking for great substitutes for Kewpie mayo, you’ve come to the right place. This helpful guide will provide you with only the best substitutes around.

What Is Kewpie Mayo?

Kewpie mayo is a famous brand of mayonnaise that can be found in most Japanese kitchens and has taken the U.S. by storm over the last couple of years. When you think of mayo, your first thoughts usually drift to egg and mayo sandwiches on fresh white bread.

In the U.S., mayo has a creamy white texture and pleasant tanginess. Kewpie mayo is quite different from the condiment you may be used to back home.

Toichiro Nakashima (a gentleman from Japan) visited and worked in the United States through the Kewpie company. 

He really enjoyed the Western food (particularly the mayonnaise). When he returned to Japan in the early 1920s, he brought a box of mayonnaise back with him.

Toichiro decided to add his own spin to the mayonnaise and “improve” the recipe to fit in more with Japanese cuisine. He named it Kewpie Mayo after the famous Kewpie Dolls designed by Rose O’Neill.

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients you’ll find in Kewpie mayonnaise:

  • Egg yolks only (to give it that rich yellow custard color)
  • Vinegar (rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or malt vinegar)
  • Vegetable oil
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • Various spices

Kewpie mayo also makes a mild version that uses all the original ingredients, but instead of using egg yolks only, the recipe includes whole eggs. 

This gives the mayo a much milder flavor, and it isn’t as “eggy,” which works well as a salad dressing.

Did you know? Kewpie mayo uses exactly four egg yolks in their recipe.

What Can I Use Instead of Kewpie Mayo?

If you don’t enjoy the “eggy” flavor of Kewpie mayo, you can use regular mayo instead. 

Mayo, such as Hellman’s, still has the creamy texture and tangy taste of traditional mayonnaise and pairs well with most foods that Kewpie mayo complements.

5 Best Kewpie Mayo Substitute

Here’s a look at 5 of the best Kewpie mayonnaise substitutes you can use:

1. Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum sauce sounds delicious, doesn’t it? 

Although this sauce isn’t as eggy as Kewpie mayo, it still has that creamy goodness. Yum Yum sauce is a Japanese-inspired steak house sauce that goes well with foods such as calamari and burgers.

This sweet and tangy sauce includes tomato paste, regular mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. This sauce is found in most grocery stores.

The ratio of Yum Yum sauce is one cup for every cup of Kewpie mayo.

2. Japanese Vegan Mayo

If you love the taste of Kewpie mayo, but you’ve recently decided to go vegan, you must try vegan mayo as a substitute. You can purchase the Japanese vegan version of Kewpie mayo from most online stores or make your own.

This eggless mayo is made from the following ingredients:

  • Tofu (the soft type for better texture)
  • Cashews
  • Salt
  • Japanese mustard powder
  • Rice vinegar
  • Maple syrup 
  • Lemon juice
  • Miso paste
  • Garlic powder

The ratio of Japanese vegan mayo is one cup for every cup of Kewpie mayo.

Top Tip: Add a pinch of turmeric to your mixture to give your mayo that custardy coloring.

3. Greek Yogurt 

Another great substitute for Kewpie mayo is Greek yogurt. This full cream yogurt has the same thick and creamy texture that Kewpie mayo offers. 

Mayo Clinic suggests using a fat-free Greek yogurt for a slightly healthier diet.

This substitute works well in salads, on burgers, and as a dip for fresh vegetables.

The ratio of Greek yogurt is one cup for every cup of Kewpie mayo.

4. Avocado Mayonnaise

Another healthy alternative to try is avocado mayonnaise. This is one of the more expensive alternatives, but the health benefits are so worth it. 

Avo is jam-packed and full of nutrients and healthy fats. It’s also a healthier option than tofu.

To make avocado mayonnaise, you’ll need ripe mashed avocados, oil, water, and seasoning. This Kewpie mayo substitute has a sharper flavor, but this can be balanced out by adding a pinch of white sugar.

The ratio of avocado mayo is half a cup for every cup of Kewpie mayo.

5. Homemade Kewpie Mayonnaise 

If you have the time, why not make your own Kewpie mayonnaise? This way, you can tweak the ingredients to get the perfect umami flavor (a bit of sweet, tangy, salty, and bitter) of Kewpie mayo.

The recipe only requires basic ingredients such as oil, egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and vinegar. The mayo can be kept for one to two weeks in the fridge.

The ratio of homemade mayonnaise is 1 cup for every cup of Kewpie mayo.

Top Tip: If you use pasteurized eggs, your mayo can last up to a month in the fridge.

What Is the Difference Between Kewpie and Regular Mayo?

The main difference between Kewpie and regular mayonnaise is the eggs. Kewpie mayonnaise only uses egg yolks, giving the condiment its yellowish tinge and sweet-tangy flavor.

Regular mayo uses whole eggs (including egg whites), which still provides a thick and fluffy mayo. However, the taste isn’t as “eggy” or tangy as the Kewpie mayo. 

Regular mayo also has a higher level of protein and calories (almost 50% more calories) than Kewpie mayo.

My Last Foodie Thoughts

So if you’ve developed an allergy to eggs or are just looking for other options for Kewpie mayo, these five substitutes will satisfy your craving. 

Each substitute offers the same creamy texture, and some of them have more health benefits than others.

Luckily, mayonnaise is popular in most countries, and the recipe is pretty easy to make at home. You can add ingredients according to your preferences and even make vegan mayonnaise.

Last but not least: If you intend to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake (for example), Kewpie mayo might not be the best option as it’s very tangy and will affect the flavor of your cake.

That’s where these fantastic (and tasty) substitutes come in.

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