Home » Ingredient Substitutes » Exploring Kewpie Mayo Substitutes.

Exploring Kewpie Mayo Substitutes.

Japanese mayonnaise, often referred to as “Kewpie Mayo,” has gained a devoted following around the world. However, whether due to dietary restrictions, or unavailability, finding a suitable Kewpie Mayo substitute can be a culinary adventure.

In this article, we embark on a journey to explore various alternatives to Japanese mayo, uncovering options that can offer similar characteristics and elevate your dishes.

grocery shelf with Kewpie Mayo.

What Is Kewpie Mayo?

Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese mayonnaise brand widely sold in Asia. It was first produced in 1918 by Kewpie Mayo founder, Toichiro Nakashima. He got the idea after working as an intern at the agriculture department in the United States. 

When he returned home, Nakashima created a mayo recipe more suitable for Japanese cuisine. He adopted the name “Kewpie” from a cartoon strip doll made by Rose O’Neill. Although Kewpie mayo is a brand, it’s almost synonymous with Japanese mayonnaise.

This Japanese Kewpie is often used as a creamy dressing for fried foods. You can also serve it as dipping sauce like soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Japanese mayo tastes excellent with sandwiches, french fries, and other fried foods.

You can find Kewpie mayonnaise in stores across Japan. You can buy Kewpie mayo in the United States in Asian specialty stores. Another option is to buy Kewpie mayo online and deliver it straight to your doorstep.

Once you taste it, there’s no doubting the love for Japanese Kewpie. Even in Japan alone, there are many specialty kewpie mayo cafes. These are food spots dedicated to all things Kewpie mayo. The locals even have a term for mayo lovers called “mayor.”

What is Kewpie Mayo is Made Of?

What makes Kewpie mayonnaise unique is its choice of ingredients. Unlike traditional mayonnaise, Kewpie mayo uses only egg yolks instead of whole eggs.

The recipe also uses vegetable oil and rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Meanwhile, regular mayo uses soybean oil and white vinegar.

The result is a delicious Kewpie mayonnaise with a sweet taste.

It has a creamy texture, and since it just uses egg yolks, the color is more yellowish than regular mayo.

The umami flavor, due to the addition of monosodium glutamate (MSG) from Kewpie mayonnaise, elevates any dish.

Why you need Kewpie Mayo Substitute?

If you’re after flavors and texture, it’s best to go with Japanese mayo.

Since regular mayo uses whole eggs, it’s less fatty than Kewpie mayo, which uses just egg yolks.

Japanese mayo also has a slightly sweeter flavor. The winning factor is its intense umami flavor.

Regular mayonnaise doesn’t contain MSG. It’s still a controversial ingredient in the United States. Due to this, Kewpie mayo has a special version without added MSG that’s generally sold in America.

Fortunately, there are also many handy mayo substitutes available.

Let’s discuss this in the following section.

Best Kewpie Mayo Substitutes

Japanese mayo is incredibly versatile. Aside from ketchup and soy sauce, it’s a trendy dipping sauce.

Unfortunately, it may not always be available outside Asian countries, so lets look for the best Kewpie mayo substitute.

1. Homemade Kewpie Mayo

One of the best Kewpie mayo substitutes is to make your own. The recipe is simple, and the process is relatively easy.

You’ll need the yolks, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and lemon juice to make Kewpie mayo in your kitchen.

The Dijon mustard can be optional. For vinegar, we recommend using either apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.

You can also either use vegetable oil or olive oil.

Mix everything using a whisk or a food processor. The color will be more yellow, unlike regular mayo. The result should be a thick, creamy, and eggy texture that is perfect for dipping.

2. Kewpie Mayo-Style Sauces.

Some brands offer mayo-style sauces specifically designed to mimic the flavor and texture of Kewpie Mayo.

Look for options labeled as “Japanese mayo-style” or “Kewpie-style” sauces, which often come closest to replicating the authentic taste.

3. Sriracha Mayo

Blending Sriracha sauce with mayonnaise can provide a spicy and creamy alternative for those who enjoy a bit of heat.

Adjust the amount of Sriracha to achieve your desired level of spiciness.

4. Aioli

Aioli is a Mediterranean-style garlic mayonnaise that can serve as a flavorful substitute.

Its creamy texture and bold garlic taste can complement many dishes, from pizza to dips.

Add a splash of rice vinegar or lemon juice to mimic Japanese mayo’s tanginess.

5. Yuzu Mayo

Yuzu is a citrus fruit often used in Japanese cuisine.

Create a yuzu mayo by mixing regular mayonnaise with yuzu juice or zest.

This citrusy twist adds a refreshing element that pairs well with seafood and salads.

6. Mayo Ramen

Another handy alternative is Mayo Ramen. Mayo Ramen uses whole eggs instead of egg yolks, like regular mayonnaise.

It also uses white vinegar instead of rice vinegar. The texture is thinner, less creamy, and more tangy.

Unlike Japanese mayo, it may also have a hint of spiciness. However, it’s still a worthy option if you need a substitute.

True to its name, Mayo Ramen is perfect for any ramen dish. It makes the broth creamier and boosts the umami goodness of the noodles. You can also use it with other noodle-based recipes.

7. Yum Yum Sauce

Yum Yum Sauce is an American condiment that is like Kewpie mayo. The sauce was the invention of a restaurant owner named Terry Ho. He wanted to create a sauce to pair with his steakhouse dishes.

This is a great alternative if you want the flavors of Kewpie mayo without the MSG.

The sauce uses the whole egg, just like regular mayo. It also has vinegar, sugar, and water. Its red coloring comes from the added ketchup and paprika.

Compared to Japanese mayo, the Yum Yum Sauce has a thinner texture. However, it’s notably more savory and flavorful. It’s a frequent condiment in burgers and hotdogs but is also a perfect salad dressing.

8. Spicy Mayo

Spicy mayo is another Kewpie mayo substitute that you can use. It’s also known as Sriracha mayo. Unlike Japanese mayo, spicy mayo doesn’t only use egg yolks. It also drops the apple cider for Sriracha sauce.

Sriracha mayo has a distinct orange-to-red coloring. Regarding flavors, it has tangy, savory, and creamy tastes. Due to the added Sriracha sauce, it has another spicy kick to the tongue.

Spicy mayo is best served in chicken sandwiches. You can also make your own version of this condiment by mixing Miracle Whip and a hot sauce of your choice. 

9. Miso Mayo

Combining miso paste with regular mayo can create a savory and umami-rich spread.

Adjust the ratio of miso to mayo-based on your preference, keeping in mind that miso can be quite salty.

10. Ajinomoto Pure Select Mayonnaise

Although the brand is more famous for its MSG products, Ajinomoto also has its own mayo.

The name “Pure Select” comes from the company only using the purest egg yolk. Aside from that, they use similar ingredients like apple cider and vegetable oil.

Regarding texture, it’s not much different from Japanese mayo. Regarding flavors, Ajinomoto has a less sweet taste but a strong umami flavor. This comes as no surprise since MSG is their forte.

Ajinomoto mayo is popular among vegetarians. The condiment tastes excellent for salad dressing or sandwiches. You can also use it as a replacement for Kewpie mayo.

11. Sokensha Fertilized Egg Mayonnaise

Sokensha mayo prides itself in only using the most natural and premium ingredients. If you want a more robust Kewpie option in terms of flavor, this is the perfect pick. The strong taste may not appeal to unfamiliar tongues, so use sparingly as possible. 

The most significant difference lies in its ingredients. Sokensha mayo uses fertilized egg yolks. Aside from apple cider, they also use salt, sugar, and two different types of oils. These include rapeseed oil and safflower oil.

Sokensha mayo has a thicker, creamier, and denser texture than Japanese mayo. The flavors are vibrant, with strong umami and eggy flavors. It’s the perfect dipping sauce for fried street foods.

12. Kenko Japanese Mayonnaise

Kenko mayo is another Japanese mayo that you can substitute for Kewpie. They are close in textures and flavors. You can also find Kenko mayo in many grocery stores.

Kenko mayo also uses egg yolks and oil. However, there’s also the added use of soybeans. Feel free to use Kenko mayo in Kewpie recipes. The mayo tastes delicious in salads, sandwiches, and noodle dishes.

13. Wafu Mayonaizu Spicy Japanese Style Mayonnaise

Like its name, Wafu mayo is popular for its distinct spicy flavor and umami taste. This mayo was the invention of Japanese-Canadian chef Mari Toyoda. When she couldn’t find a mayo to use in her recipes, she made her own.

The notable difference between Wafu mayo from Kewpie mayo is its use of red chili peppers. This adds extra heat to the creamy, sweet, and savory mayo. You can use Wafu mayo in place of Kewpie. It tastes great with sushi or as a dipping sauce.

14. Puroraw Miso Boom Japanese Mayonnaise

Lastly, we have Puroraw mayo, another mayo substitute for Kewpie. They share similar ingredients and textures. However, people liken this mayo’s flavors to deviled eggs.

Puroraw mayo is handy if you want a quick replacement for Kewpie mayo in recipes. It has a creamy, light, and sweet flavor that’s perfect for salad dressings or sandwich spreads. It’s available in most supermarkets which is very convenient.

Vegan Substitute for Japanese Mayo

Although mayo is creamy, delicious, and versatile, it’s not popular among vegans. This is understandable, considering the number of eggs the product uses. Luckily, there are many vegan mayo alternatives to choose from:

1. Vegan Mayo

Any vegan mayo will do if you want a healthier alternative to Kewpie mayo. This mayo shares the same ingredients as regular mayo but uses tofu instead of eggs. 

The result is a rich, creamy spread with the same sweet flavors. Although it’s vegan, you won’t notice a big difference in taste.

2. Avocado Mash 

Another Japanese mayo alternative is to make avocado mash. The recipe is simple and easy to follow. Mash avocados into a puree and add vegetable oil, apple cider, Dijon mustard, and other spices. 

You’ll still get the same creamy, fatty, and sweet tastes that you’re looking for in any mayo. Avocado mash is the ultimate spread for breakfast toasts.

3. Hummus 

If you’re out of options, you can always use hummus. It’s smooth, creamy, and sweet with a slight nuttiness. It’s incredibly versatile, and you can use it for dips, sauces, or any dish that needs mayo.

Famous Dishes That Use Kewpie Mayonnaise

Kewpie mayo is super versatile, and you can use it for any Japanese recipe.

In Asian cuisine, it’s a popular choice of topping in savory pancakes or takoyaki recipes.

Kewpie mayo is also added to egg sandwiches or omelets.

You can also pair it as a dip with ginger chicken, a staple in Japanese restaurants.

It’s also essential in sauces and commonly used in sesame and gochujang sauces. Kewpie mayo is also popular in ramen broths, making it creamier and savory.

How Long Does Kewpie Mayo Last?

Kewpie mayo is best consumed within one month of opening the bottle. You can also leave it outside the fridge for at most 8 hours.

Is Kewpie Mayo Healthy?

Kewpie mayo is okay in small amounts, but it’s not considered a healthy food. This is due to its pure fat, MSG additives, and many calories. However, vegan mayo may be a healthier alternative.

Is Sriracha Mayo The Same As Kewpie Mayo?

No, they are different. The former uses hot sauce, which is absent in Kewpie mayo.

What’s The Difference Between Kewpie Mayo And Miracle Whip?

Kewpie Mayo uses egg yolks and rice vinegar, while Miracle Whip uses whole eggs and white vinegar.

Is Kewpie Mayo Healthier Than Regular Mayo?

No, Kewpie mayo is less healthy than regular mayonnaise. Since it uses egg yolks, it may contain higher cholesterol levels.

What Is The Difference Between Kewpie And Regular Mayo?

The most significant difference between Kewpie mayo and regular mayonnaise is part of the products’ eggs. Japanese kewpie mayo uses only egg yolks. However, regular mayo can be a good kewpie mayo substitute.

What Kewpie Mayo is Made Of?

The exact ingredients and proportions may vary slightly depending on the specific product variation or regional preferences. The ingredients of Kewpie Mayo typically include vegetable oil, egg yolks, Vinegar, salt, mustard, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Not all varieties include MSG, and there are also MSG-free options available.


Kewpie mayo is a famous Japanese mayo brand that’s sold around the world. Unlike regular mayo, it contains only egg yolks and vegetable oil. It also uses either rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Aside from the usual spices, its most distinct taste is its umami flavor from the added MSG. It’s the perfect condiment for any Kewpie mayo recipe.

Kewpie mayo is hugely famous in Japan and is used in any recipe. It’s perfect as a dipping sauce, dressing, or another recipe ingredient. Although widely available in Asian countries, Kewpie mayo is selective in America.

In this case, you may want to look for a Kewpie mayo substitute. The best alternative is Kenko mayo or Ajinomoto mayo. Another way is to make your own Kewpie mayo at home using a food processor. We recommend buying a vegan mayo brand or making avocado mash for vegans.

Recipes To Make With Kewpie Mayo

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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