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Japanese Spicy Mayo (For Sushi, Poke, And Beyond)

This homemade Japanese spicy mayo is a creamy, tangy, umami sauce that you’ll want to put on everything beyond sushi and poke bowls.

Spicy mayo is a great condiment to have in the fridge. It’s of course great with Japanese foods like salmon rice bowls and shishito peppers but it also tastes amazing as a dipping sauce for smashed potatoes and vegan onion rings.

When dining out, it’s typically served with certain sushi rolls and ahi tuna poke bowls. But what you maybe never knew is how easily you can make it at home.

Ingredient Notes

Traditionally, spicy mayo uses kewpie, which is Japanese mayonnaise made of egg yolks (instead of whole eggs like American mayo). This gives kewpie a deeper yellow color and a thicker/richer mouthfeel. It’s also tangier and has more umami flavor due to the addition of MSG.

Because Kewpie is only available in select places, we’re instead using easy-to-find ingredients to mimic those traditional flavors. Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Mayonnaise. A condiment you likely already have in your refrigerator.
  • Sriracha. This is what adds the spicy element and makes that beautiful orange color when mixed with the mayonnaise.
  • Tamari or Soy sauce. Adds umami and saltiness.
  • Rice vinegar. The acid adds a nice tanginess to the mayo to taste closer to kewpie.
  • Cane sugar. Kewpie is a little sweeter than American mayonnaise, so adding a little adds a-just-barely-noticeable sweetness as well as balancing out the flavors.

How To Make Spicy Mayo

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well combined. Transfer to a tightly sealed jar, using a silicone spatula to get out every last drop, and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Make It Your Way: Ingredient Substitutions

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this Japanese spicy mayo using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No rice vinegar? ➝ you can also use lime juice or mirin. If you use mirin, leave out the sugar.
  • No sriracha? ➝ sub another hot sauce, just know that the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Soy-free? ➝ substitute coconut aminos for the soy sauce and omit the sugar since it’s sweeter than soy sauce. Also, make sure your mayonnaise isn’t made with soybean oil.
  • Make it vegan ➝ use vegan mayonnaise.

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Japanese Spicy Mayo (For Sushi, Poke, And Beyond)

5 from 56 votes
A small bowl of spicy sushi mayo with a spoon.
This homemade Japanese spicy mayo is a creamy, tangy, umami sauce that you'll want to put on everything beyond sushi and poke bowls.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mix until well combined.
  • Transfer to a tightly sealed jar, using a silicone spatula to get out every last drop, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Keeps for about 3 months in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator.

Notes

See the substitutions section above for ideas on how to make it your own.

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