Vegan yum yum sauce is a great dipping sauce for grilled vegetables or perfect for your favorite noodle dish. You will love this sassy sauce. And it takes minutes to make!
When I hear the word yum, I immediately think of food! And yum means delicious, delectable, and pleasing, which in my opinion, should be everything that goes in my mouth. So, when planning this week's menu, I wanted to make something using yum yum sauce. Since noodles are yet another of my favorites, I decided to make yum yum noodles with this vegan yum yum sauce recipe, which translates to delicious, delectable, and pleasing noodles!
One of my favorite restaurants while growing up was a Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant. Typically in Japanese steakhouses, Japanese teppanyaki cooking is a popular way to enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine cooked fresh in front of the diners. Cooked on a flat iron grill, various dishes are prepared to eat while customers are entertained in the process.
Although many Japanese restaurants serve different sauces, the ones I love are the Asian mustard, ginger, and of course, the famous vegan yum yum sauce.
What is Yum Yum Sauce?
Traditionally, this Japanese sauce combines mayonnaise, tomato paste, butter, sugar, paprika, and cayenne pepper. So, why not ‘veganize’ this yum yum sauce recipe and add some great Asian noodles and vegetables?
So, instead of dipping my vegetables, like at the Teppanyaki restaurant, I decided to mix it all in one delicious bowl.
Of course, this sauce makes a fabulous dipping sauce for grilled vegetables or stir fry vegetables, so dip away.
- Vegan Mayonaise: I make my own cashew vegan mayo with a nut-free option.
- Organic tomato paste: A little tomato paste gives the sauce a pink tone and a creamy base.
- Garlic powder: The flavor is garlicky but vastly different than fresh-chopped garlic. It tastes sweeter and much less assertive than fresh garlic, but also without the caramelly undertones you get from roasted or sautéd garlic.
- Onion powder: Onion powder adds a sweet and savory flavor to certain dishes that you can't get from fresh onions
- Smoked paprika: Smoked paprika has a smoky and spicy flavor with hints of sweetness. Mildly hot smoked paprika does not have much sweetness, but it has some heat in the taste. Hot or spicy smoked paprika has more warmth than mildly hot smoked paprika and no sweetness.
- Maple syrup: Add a slight sweetness to the sauce.
- Sriracha: It is generally spicy with a tangy, sweet flavor, pungent garlic notes, and a consistency similar to ketchup.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce provides salt, sweet, umami (savory), and even a little bitter flavor. This balanced flavor profile makes it an excellent condiment. You predominantly detect the salt, sweet, and umami.
- Water: Water thins the sauce to the perfect consistency.
- Sea salt: Sea salt tends to have a slightly different taste than table salt, as well as texture and other processing
- Black pepper: I prefer fresh ground pepper. Spicy, earthy, hot, woody, brash—pepper's distinct flavor somehow pairs well with just about any savory food, and some sweet ones, too. If salt helps bring out flavors, black pepper makes foods bolder versions of themselves.
- For a soy-free option, try Tamari.
- Buy store-bought vegan mayo that meets your nutritional goals.
- Try date syrup or agave nectar as a substitute for maple syrup.
- If you don't have tomato paste on hand, use ketchup.
- Chipotle pepper powder is likely the closest thing you will find as a smoked paprika substitute in most spice racks. Chipotle powder is made from smoked dried jalapeño peppers, so the earthy tone that's so important to the substitution is there in spades.
- Use fresh garlic and onion instead of the powdered versions, but double the amounts.
Homemade Sauces vs. Store-Bought Sauces
To eat healthier, making your own condiments at home is not only simple, but it’s also beneficial to your overall health. For example, this homemade vegan cashew mayo recipe takes 5 minutes to make and only has a few ingredients.
Although store-bought vegan condiments are readily available, store-bought condiments are processed. For instance, Vegenaise is a very popular plant-based mayonnaise, which I often used when transitioning to plant-based eating.
When I started eating plant-based, I embraced anything with a vegan label but later realized vegan processed food is not much different from other processed foods. Similarly, all processed food is created equal regardless if it’s vegan or not.
- One of my favorite ways to enjoy yum yum sauce is on yum yum noodles.
- Or, try grilled vegetables from grilled vegetable kabobs drizzled in vegan yum yum sauce.
- It's also great on a vegetable sandwich or vegetable dip.
- My kids also love it on rice or added to a baked potato.
- Serve with pineapple fried rice.
- Try it as a dipping sauce for polenta fries or steak fries in the air fryer.
Yum, Yum Sauce, also called Pink Sauce, White Sauce, Sakura Sauce, Seafood Sauce, or Japanese Shrimp Sauce, is a popular accompaniment served at Japanese Hibachi Steakhouses. This pale pink sauce is drizzled on their grilled meats, seafood, sushi, vegetables, and even rice and noodles, taking their taste to another level. The vegan version, however, is intended for vegetables.
Spicy mayo is a mixture of mayonnaise and hot sauce with a few added ingredients, while the base for yum-yum sauce is mayonnaise and tomato paste with just a hint of heat.
Yum yum sauce will last refrigerated for 5-7 days covered.
- Soaking cashews overnight helps to soften them for those who do not own a powerful blender.
- Another way to soften nuts quickly is to boil them for 10 minutes, drain them, and allow them to cool before blending.
- For a nut-free option, choose silken tofu or white beans as a substitute for cashews.
- Blend the ingredients and refrigerate the sauce to allow it to thicken and enhance the flavors.
- If you are sensitive to spiciness, DO NOT add the entire amount of Sriracha. Instead, add small amounts until you reach your desired preference.
- Add additional hot sauce for those who enjoy a spicer sauce.
If you love sauces and dips, the vegan yum yum sauce will be your favorite vegan sauce! One taste, and you will be hooked.
Other Great Vegan Sauces to Try!
If you love yum yum sauce, give us a 5-star review and drop a comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Yum Yum Sauce
- ¾ cup vegan mayo of choice I used my cashew vegan mayo recipe
- 1 teaspoon organic tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce or Tamari
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender
- Blend until smooth
- Taste to adjust spice level and personal preference for salt
- Yum Yum sauce will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator.
- Soak cashews overnight to soften or boil for 10 minutes, drain and cool before blending for a quicker option.
- Blend the sauce ingredients and allow the sauce to thicken in the refrigerator before using.
- Add to yum yum noodles, dip grilled, or raw vegetables. Or try dipping french fries or polenta fries.
- Use silken tofu or white beans instead of cashews for a nut-free option.
- Or, choose a store-bought vegan mayo of choice instead of making your own.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂
All I could taste was pepper! Should have tasted the mixture prior to adding any salt or pepper to the mix. Would probably be fine with 1/4 tsp, but I had to toss.