Japanese cuisine has a lot of unique condiments that can be hard to replicate anywhere else in the world.
From wasabi to, in this case, Kewpie mayonnaise, there are just so many unique flavors to play around with in this particular family of foods.
It’s that Kewpie mayo ingredient that we want to stick with a little while longer.
Because, while it may seem like just a regional type of mayonnaise, Kewpie mayo has plenty of unique characteristics going for it, from the thicker consistency to the extra shot of sour flavor that it has.
It’s unique among mayo types!
However, that distinct appeal is a double-edged sword. It also means that replacing it, whether it’s because you don’t like an aspect of it, or have simply run out of it in your kitchen, is very difficult.
Difficult, but not impossible. If you know what you’re looking for, there are a few ingredients out there that can do the trick pretty well.
This guide will show you those other potential substitutes, as well as what characteristics you should be looking for in a substitute of your own.
What Makes Kewpie Mayo Special?
So, what exactly makes Kewpie mayo such a distinct condiment or ingredient to use in cooking, and what qualities are you looking for in a potential substitute?
Well, quite a few things!
The ingredients that go into Kewpie mayo, while similar to other mayonnaise condiments, are slightly different.
Rice vinegar is usually added to the eggs that go into this mayo, as well as vegetable oil instead of soybean extract.
The result is a mayonnaise that is slightly thinner and runnier than traditional American mayo, as well as being more tangy and a little sweeter.
Kewpie mayo is a very popular condiment to use on sushi platters but can be used for extra flavor in sandwiches and burgers, as well as a great dressing to add to salads of all kinds.
So, we have the bar set by Kewpie Mayo.
Now, let’s see how our substitutes fare against it!
1. Homemade Kewpie Mayo
Is it a cop-out to simply say that the best substitute for Kewpie mayo is just… more Kewpie mayo? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
However, what could be a better replacement for this unique mayo condiment than mayo that you can make for yourself?
Generally speaking, the process for making homemade Kewpie mayo is pretty simple, too.
Simply mix some standard mayo with rice vinegar, a dash of vegetable oil, and a little sugar, and you’ll have the perfect way to make Kewpie mayo in your own home with only a few ingredients necessary.
All of them are easily bought in stores these days.
To be honest, it’s such an easy substitute to make, that we could probably end the list here!
2. Mayo Ramen
So, if making Kewpie mayo isn’t exactly your thing, what other condiments can you use as a Kewpie mayo alternative?
Well, for us, Mayo ramen has to be one of the best out there.
It’s a combination of the spicy broth that a good chicken ramen recipe will give you, and the sweet and creamy texture of Kewpie mayo that we love!
In terms of a rich range of flavors, Mayo ramen is second to none.
That egg flavor, coupled with both sweetness and a little hint of chicken, is an amazing flavor for any Japanese cuisine meal.
It’s not a perfect substitute, it should be said. This is more of a whole recipe that uses mayonnaise to get a similar taste and texture to Kewpie mayo, rather than a condiment alternative itself.
Still, it tastes a lot like Kewpie ramen and is a delight to chow down on. And sometimes, that’s all that a good substitute needs to do!
3. Avocado Mayo
If you’re looking to go in the opposite direction of extra flavors, from chicken to veggie, then avocado mayo is the way to go for you.
As the name suggests, this mayo alternative is made with pulped avocado.
This gives the mayo a slightly nutty flavor to go along with the egg and sweet aspects that you’re familiar with.
It’s like Kewpie Mayo but with a little extra
One of the things that we like about this alternative is its health benefits. With fewer carbs and fats in it, it’s a great healthy substitute for standard or Kewpie mayo.
Plus, it’s still good to be used in sandwiches and burgers like Kewpie mayo is, as well as served alongside a plate of sushi.
Now, if you were expecting an avocado-based mayonnaise substitute that is good for vegans, we’re sorry to disappoint. This does still have egg products in it (it is still mayo, after all).
However, if you love your mayo extra smooth, a nice light sweet veggie flavor, and packing some healthier nutrients for your body, this is the substitute for you!
4. Yum Yum Sauce
Yum yum sauce is a popular condiment in Japan that is known for its sweet and spicy flavor, as well as its creamy texture.
Made from tomatoes and paprika, this alternative has a very different flavor to Kewpie, being notably more spicy, with it including paprika and PSG in it.
However, it still has that sweet element to it, and the spiciness from the paprika is an interesting stand-in for the boldness of the rice vinegar.
It’s certainly a different flavor when added to many foods like sandwiches and sushi platters. But it’s one that you should consider.
5. Spicy Mayo
If you’re looking for simple substitutes that you can pick up or make anywhere, then you can’t go wrong with a good spicy mayo.
The exact spices that go into a bottle of spicy mayo will vary depending on the brand it is from, or the extra ingredients you choose to add to your own.
Traditional Japanese spicy mayo tends to include both sriracha and wasabi to get that extra spicy flavor to it, but paprika or chilies are a common ingredient too.
We will note that sriracha spicy mayo has that element of sweetness that helps make it closer to Kewpie than other types, but all are great options to consider in your burgers or Japanese platters, especially if you love the heat!
6. Kenko Japanese Mayo
So, rounding off this list of mayo condiments, we have another classic Japanese mayo variety that will serve you well as a Kewpie mayo substitute.
Kenko Japanese mayo is a particularly creamy condiment, and might not be quite as thin or smooth as Kewpie mayo.
But, it does have a lot of the other aspects of Kewpie’s flavor profile that make it such a popular food item.
Keno Japanese mayo has that same slightly sweet taste to it, thanks to the rice vinegar that goes into it. So in terms of flavor, they’re a pretty close match to each other.
Plus, it can be used in virtually all the same recipes. If anything, its slightly thicker consistency might make it better at not running off many of your foods where that texture isn’t necessary, especially in a burger or sandwich!
So, as you can see, Kewpie is a tricky condiment to try and sub with other ingredients.
But with options like these, you’re more than set for a tasty condiment carnival of flavor!