Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe – Unique Flavor Twist!

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Elevate your dishes with Japanese shrimp sauce recipe, best made with fresh shrimp for authentic flavor. Aim for a creamy consistency and blend shrimp, mayo, sugar, and lemon. Adjust seasoning to taste and let the sauce meld for an hour before serving. This impressive sauce is a great choice for hosting!

Are you tired of the usual condiments crowding your fridge? On my recent travels through Europe, I was amazed by the unique flavors each region offered.

Yet, it was during a visit to a friend’s place in the Middle East that I stumbled upon a dish that left me craving more. 

Japanese Shrimp Sauce

The dish was garnished with an irresistible sauce. To my surprise, it was Japanese Shrimp Sauce.

Did you know the best way to bring a luxurious twist to your meals lies in this simple sauce? While dining at a quaint restaurant in Paris, I felt the same sensation of tasting a similar dip. 

My kids kept requesting it every week after having it at a friend’s house. It’s creamy, packed with depth, and adds an umami punch. The number one solution for a monotonous meal? A dollop of Japanese Shrimp Sauce. 

Dive into our Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe and transform your dining experience.

What Is Japanese Shrimp Sauce?

Japanese shrimp sauce, often referred to as Yum Yum sauce or white sauce in sushi restaurants, is a delightful concoction that’s quickly becoming a favorite globally.

Made primarily from mayonnaise, sugar, and shrimp powder or paste, it boasts a creamy texture. 

Pay attention to its pinkish-orange hue, which is both appealing and appetizing. It’s one of the simplest yet most flavorful sauces you can add to your dishes.

Whether drizzled over seafood or used as a dipping sauce for vegetables, it brings a savory, slightly sweet touch, making it one of the best compliments to various meals.

History Of Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe

The exact origins of the Japanese Shrimp Sauce remain somewhat clouded in history. However, despite its association with Japanese cuisine, its widespread popularity surged in American hibachi-style restaurants. 

Many believe it was the innovative chefs of these establishments who invented or popularized the sauce, taking inspiration from traditional Japanese ingredients.

It is best to remember that, over the years, this sauce earned the moniker “Yum Yum sauce” among American diners. 

Though its roots might not lie deep in ancient Japanese history, its fusion flair has made it one of the best-loved accompaniments in modern culinary scenes.

Interesting Facts About Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe

Japanese Shrimp Sauce, also known as Yum Yum Sauce, is a creamy, savory condiment with a slight sweetness. It’s made with mayonnaise, sugar, and spices, often enjoyed with seafood.

Unexpected Origin

Despite its name, Japanese Shrimp Sauce gained immense popularity in American hibachi-style restaurants more than in Japan.

Multiple Names

Did you know it’s often labeled as “Yum Yum sauce” or “White sauce” in many eateries?

Variations Abound

The best way to enjoy this sauce is to tweak the ingredients. Some recipes use tomato paste, while others prefer a dash of paprika.

Shelf Life

When stored properly, this sauce can last in the fridge for up to a week, making it an excellent option for meal prep.

Versatile Use

One of the simplest ways to elevate dishes, it’s not just for seafood; it pairs well with vegetables, rice, and meats.

Cultural Blend

Its creation is a testament to the fusion of Japanese ingredients with American culinary creativity.

Japanese Shrimp Sauce

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

Japanese Shrimp Sauce, as it traveled the globe, witnessed various regional adaptations. In the Middle East, you may want to notice the addition of tahini or yogurt for a unique twist.

European adaptations, especially in Southern Europe, sometimes infuse local herbs, such as basil or oregano. 

Be aware that in Southeast Asia, a spicier version is preferred with chili or local spices. It’s important to note that some American versions lean towards a sweeter profile with added pineapple juice or honey. 

What Will Make You Love This Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe?

The allure of the Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe lies in its versatile flavor profile. One of the best features is its creamy, velvety texture that feels indulgent with every bite. 

Did you know its balance of savory and slightly sweet notes makes it an excellent option for various dishes? Remember that its simplicity means even novice cooks can prepare it with ease. Pay attention to its adaptability; you can tweak its richness or spice level to suit your palate. 

Whether dipping sushi, drizzling it over grilled vegetables, or enhancing a chicken dish, it consistently elevates the taste. It is best enjoyed when shared, as its delightful taste becomes a conversation starter. 

Japanese Shrimp Sauce

Ingredients List

Mayonnaise2 cups
Water1/2 cup
White Sugar1 teaspoon
Paprika1 teaspoon
Garlic Juice1 teaspoon
Ketchup1 tablespoon
Ground Ginger1 teaspoon
Hot Pepper Sauce1 teaspoon
Ground Mustard1 teaspoon
Salt1/4 teaspoon
Ground White Pepper3/4 teaspoon

Ingredient Tips 

  • Mayonnaise: Opt for full-fat mayo for a creamier texture. It’s the number one factor for richness.
  • White Sugar: Remember that using fine sugar helps it dissolve faster, enhancing the smoothness of the sauce.
  • Paprika: Smoked paprika can be used for a deeper flavor profile. It’s a great option for added depth.
  • Garlic Juice: If unavailable, crushed fresh garlic is one of the simplest substitutes, but use sparingly to avoid overpowering the sauce.
  • Ketchup: Opt for low-sodium varieties to better control the saltiness.
  • Ground Ginger: Freshly ground ginger offers a brighter, more robust flavor.
  • Hot Pepper Sauce: Pay attention to the heat level. Adjust based on your preference.
  • Salt & White Pepper: Always season to taste. It is best to add gradually, tasting as you go.

What Are The Variations Of Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe?

Japanese Shrimp Sauce, with its growing popularity, has seen various delightful variations:

  • Vegan Version: Replace mayonnaise with vegan mayo. It’s one of the simplest ways to cater to plant-based diets.
  • Spicy Kick: Add extra chili or Sriracha for those who crave heat.
  • Sweet Twist: Incorporate honey or pineapple juice for a subtly sweet profile. It’s a great option for those who prefer a hint of sweetness.
  • Creamy Texture: Incorporate a touch of heavy cream or yogurt for a thicker consistency.
  • Umami Boost: Add a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce. Remember that it intensifies the savory notes.
  • Herb Infusion: Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley can be blended for a refreshing twist.
  • Citrusy Zest: Lemon or lime zest can brighten the flavors, making it one of the best summer variations.
Japanese Shrimp Sauce

Recipe Directions

Cooking Method

  • In a medium-sized bowl, take mayonnaise as the base.
  • Gradually add water to the mayo, whisking continuously to maintain a smooth consistency.
  • One by one, introduce the sugar, paprika, garlic juice, ketchup, ground ginger, hot pepper sauce, ground mustard, salt, and white pepper.
  • Whisk the mixture vigorously until all ingredients are well combined and the sauce smooths.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Resting Method

  • Once the sauce is prepared, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting lid.
  • Allow the sauce to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This rest time helps in melding the flavors together, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Serve the sauce chilled. It’s essential to store any leftover sauce in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is best consumed within 5-7 days for optimal flavor.

Each drop of Japanese Shrimp Sauce is a brushstroke of flavor, painting every dish with a masterpiece of creamy, savory bliss.

Scaling The Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe

Scaling Up

  • If you’re preparing for a larger gathering, it’s important to double or triple the ingredient quantities. Remember that consistency is vital, so ensure even scaling across all components. For example, if you’re making the sauce for twice the number of servings, simply double each ingredient.

Scaling Down

  • If you’re making a smaller batch, perhaps for personal use, halving the recipe is one of the simplest approaches. Reduce every ingredient’s quantity by 50%.
Japanese Shrimp Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

Absolutely! The Japanese Shrimp Sauce is versatile and adapts well to various culinary applications.

As A Marinade

  • Its creamy texture and blend of spices make it an excellent option for marinating chicken, seafood, or tofu. The ingredients help to tenderize and infuse flavors into the protein.

Dipping Sauce

  • Its richness pairs beautifully with appetizers. Whether you’re enjoying tempura, sushi, or grilled vegetables, it’s one of the best complements.

Dressing For Salad

  • The slightly sweet and savory profile of the sauce is ideal for salads. It can elevate the taste of greens and veggies, making it one of the simplest ways to enhance your fresh salad bowl. Remember that a little goes a long way!

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe? 

Japanese Shrimp Sauce has a flavor profile that complements a myriad of dishes. Here are some of the best dishes to accompany this delightful sauce:

Grilled Seafood

The sauce pairs excellently with grilled prawns, fish filets, or scallops.

Sushi And Sashimi

It’s a great option as an alternative dipping sauce to the traditional soy sauce.

Fried Tempura

Whether it’s vegetable or shrimp tempura, the sauce provides a creamy contrast.

Rice Bowls

Drizzle it over rice topped with grilled meat or veggies for an extra flavor boost.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

Enhance the taste of stir-fried greens and veggies with this sauce.

Chicken Skewers

The sauce can be a delightful dip for grilled or pan-fried chicken skewers.

Tofu Dishes

Its savory-sweet profile can elevate simple tofu preparations.

Japanese Shrimp Sauce

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipes?

Japanese Shrimp Sauce, though more popularly known in American hibachi settings, accompanies several dishes. Here are some classic dishes that feature this flavorful sauce:

  • Hibachi Shrimp: Grilled shrimp is often served with vegetables, with the sauce either drizzled over or as a side.
  • Teppanyaki Steak: This grilled steak dish frequently pairs with the sauce for added depth.
  • Hibachi Fried Rice: The sauce gives a creamy counterpoint to the savory rice.
  • Yum Yum Shrimp: Often deep-fried or sautéed, these shrimp are tossed or dipped in the sauce.
  • Hibachi Vegetables: Grilled or stir-fried veggies that are elevated with a side of this sauce.
  • Tempura Rolls: Sushi rolls featuring tempura elements often get a boost from this creamy accompaniment.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe Offers?

The Japanese Shrimp Sauce recipe delivers a symphony of flavors tantalizing the palate. Here are the critical flavor profiles and taste sensations it offers:

  • Creaminess: The mayonnaise base provides a luxuriously smooth and velvety texture.
  • Savory Umami: Ground shrimp or the base ingredients contribute to the deeply savory note.
  • Subtle Sweetness: White sugar gives a gentle, sweet undertone, balancing the umami.
  • Mild Heat: Ingredients like hot pepper sauce introduce a warm kick that lingers.
  • Tangy Undertones: Elements like ketchup add a hint of tang, elevating the sauce’s complexity.
  • Earthy Warmth: Spices like paprika and ground ginger bring depth and warmth.
  • Seasoned Balance: Salt and white pepper round out the flavors, ensuring a harmonious blend.
Japanese Shrimp Sauce

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

Yes, the Japanese Shrimp Sauce can be stored for future use. Once prepared, it’s best to transfer the sauce to an airtight container to retain its freshness. Store it in the refrigerator to preserve its flavor and prevent spoilage. 

Pay attention to its shelf life: when stored correctly, this sauce can last 5-7 days in the fridge. For longer preservation, consider freezing it in small batches. However, be aware that freezing may slightly alter its texture. 

Before using the stored sauce, give it a good stir and always check for any off odors or mold to ensure it’s safe for consumption.

What Are The Substitutes For Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe?

If you’re in a pinch or prefer a different flavor profile, several substitutes can be used in place of the Japanese Shrimp Sauce:

  • Tartar Sauce: Offers a creamy base with pickled elements, suitable for seafood dishes.
  • Aioli: A garlic-infused mayo base that provides a creamy and aromatic alternative.
  • Sriracha Mayo: Combines creaminess with a spicy kick, great for those who like heat.
  • Thousand Island Dressing: It’s a great option for a slightly tangy and sweet alternative.
  • Soy Sauce with Butter: For a more liquid, umami-rich dip or drizzle.
  • Remoulade: This sauce offers a zesty, tangy profile, especially fitting for seafood.
  • Homemade Mix: Combine mayo, a splash of lemon juice, and a dash of hot sauce for a simple, makeshift alternative.
Japanese Shrimp Sauce

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

Adjusting the consistency of the Japanese Shrimp Sauce is straightforward and can be tailored to your preference:

  • Thickening: If the sauce is too runny, add more mayonnaise or a touch of a thickening agent like cornstarch slurry.
  • Thinning: To make the sauce thinner, add a little more water or a splash of milk. Remember that adding gradually is the best way to avoid over-thinning.
  • Balancing: After adjusting the consistency, it’s important to taste and possibly adjust the seasoning, as diluting or thickening can affect flavor intensity.
  • Stirring: Ensure thorough mixing after any adjustment. A blender or a good whisk can help achieve a smooth, consistent texture.
  • Refrigeration: Sometimes, refrigeration can thicken the sauce, so consider its consistency before and after chilling.

Draping seafood in a velvet cloak of Japanese Shrimp Sauce is like unlocking a treasure trove of flavors, each more captivating than the last.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

The Japanese Shrimp Sauce is traditionally served cold or at room temperature. Its creamy, mayonnaise-based nature is designed to complement hot dishes without heating.

Serving it cold provides a delightful contrast, especially with warm or hot dishes like grilled seafood, teppanyaki steak, or fried tempura

However, if you’re using it in a dish that requires a warm sauce, you can gently heat it on low, taking care not to bring it to a boil, as this could alter its texture and flavor.

But in most scenarios, and for the best flavor and consistency, it’s recommended to serve the sauce cold or at room temperature.

Japanese Shrimp Sauce

Nutritional Values

The Japanese Shrimp Sauce boasts a rich, creamy profile derived primarily from its mayonnaise base. A serving typically contains calories primarily from fats, with a modest amount of sugars, sodium, and cholesterol. 

Spices like paprika and ginger may offer trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. However, it’s important to note that the sauce is more of a flavor enhancer rather than a significant source of nutrients. 

What Are The Total Calories In Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe? 

To determine the exact calorie count for the Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe, one would need specific brand details and measurements for each ingredient. However, as a general estimate based on the main ingredient:

Mayonnaise is the primary contributor, with about 20 calories per tablespoon. Given that there are other ingredients like sugar, ketchup, and spices, a rough estimate might place a single serving (about 2 tablespoons) at around 200-250 calories.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe

The Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe has specific dietary implications. Here’s a list of potential restrictions:

  • Gluten: Some commercial mayonnaise or hot pepper sauces may contain gluten, so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should choose gluten-free versions.
  • Seafood Allergens: Those allergic to seafood should ensure that no shrimp derivatives are present in the ingredients.
  • Eggs: Mayonnaise typically contains eggs, making it unsuitable for those with egg allergies or vegans.
  • Sugar: Diabetics should monitor the sugar content and possibly opt for a sugar-free variation.
  • Dairy: While the classic recipe is dairy-free, always check ingredient labels, especially if using substitutions.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Traditional mayonnaise contains egg, making it non-vegan. Opt for egg-free or vegan mayo as a substitute.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

When preparing the Japanese Shrimp Sauce, avoiding common pitfalls ensures the best flavor and consistency. Here are some frequent mistakes:

  • Not Whisking Properly: Failing to whisk ingredients thoroughly can result in a lumpy or separated sauce.
  • Over-sweetening: Adding too much sugar can overpower the savory elements. It’s best to add gradually and taste-test.
  • Overpowering with Spices: Too much paprika, ginger, or hot pepper sauce can dominate the sauce’s flavor. Pay attention to balance.
  • Substituting Ingredients Without Adjusting Quantities: Replacements can affect consistency and flavor. Adjust accordingly.
  • Not Letting It Rest: The sauce benefits from resting to meld flavors. Skipping this step can result in a less flavorful sauce.
  • Using Expired Ingredients: Always check the freshness, especially with mayo, to avoid spoilage or off-flavors.
  • Inconsistent Measurements: Not adhering to the recipe measurements can reduce flavor balance.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce?

Leftover Japanese Shrimp Sauce can be repurposed in various creative ways:

  • Pasta Dressing: Mix with cooked pasta for a creamy twist.
  • Sandwich Spread: Enhance your sandwiches or wraps with a flavorful layer.
  • Baked Potato Topping: Drizzle over-baked or mashed potatoes for added richness.
  • Seafood Topping: Pour over grilled fish or shrimp before serving.
  • Vegetable Dip: Pair with raw or steamed veggies for a tasty snack.
  • Stir-fry Addition: Mix into vegetable or meat stir-fries for a creamy touch.
  • Pizza Base: Use as an alternative to traditional tomato sauce for a seafood-themed pizza.
  • Burger Drizzle: Add a dollop on your burgers for a unique flavor profile.
Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Whisk: Essential for smoothly blending the ingredients and achieving the right consistency.
  • Mixing Bowl: A medium to large-sized bowl to accommodate all ingredients and allow for effective whisking.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: For accurate ingredient quantities to ensure the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Spatula: Useful for scraping down the sides of the bowl and ensuring thorough mixing.
  • Airtight Container: For storing leftover sauce and preserving its freshness in the refrigerator.
  • Blender or Food Processor: In case you want a super-smooth consistency or if adding additional ingredients like fresh herbs.
  • Fine Sieve: If incorporating fresh ingredients, it helps achieve a smoother texture.
  • Glass Jar with Lid: An alternative to an airtight container, especially if planning to store larger quantities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Japanese Shrimp Sauce The Same As Yum Yum Sauce?

Yes, Japanese Shrimp Sauce is often called Yum Yum Sauce, especially in American hibachi-style restaurants.

Does The Sauce Contain Shrimp Or Any Seafood Ingredients?

Traditionally, the sauce doesn’t contain shrimp or seafood. However, the name might be associated with its frequent pairing with seafood dishes. Always check ingredient lists if allergens are a concern.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

When stored in an airtight container, the sauce can last 5-7 days in the fridge. Always check for changes in smell or appearance before using.

Can I Freeze The Japanese Shrimp Sauce For Later Use?

Yes, you can freeze the sauce in small batches. However, the texture might change slightly upon thawing. It’s recommended to whisk it well after defrosting to restore its creamy consistency.

Is This Sauce Suitable For Vegans Or Vegetarians?

The traditional recipe uses mayonnaise, which contains eggs, making it unsuitable for vegans but okay for vegetarians. For a vegan version, opt for vegan mayonnaise as a substitute.

Japanese Shrimp Sauce Recipe – Unique Flavor Twist!

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Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Sauces


Prep time




Ferment/Rest Time



The Japanese Shrimp Sauce, often dubbed “Yum Yum sauce,” is a creamy, slightly tangy, and savory condiment. Its pale pinkish hue and velvety texture make it a delightful addition to many dishes, from grilled seafood to crispy tempura.


  • 2 cups 2 Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Water

  • 1 teaspoon 1 White Sugar

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Paprika

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Garlic Juice

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Ground Ginger

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Hot Pepper Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Ground Mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 Ground White Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gather Ingredients: Ensure you have mayonnaise, water, sugar, paprika, garlic juice, ketchup, ground ginger, hot pepper sauce, ground mustard, salt, and white pepper at hand.
  • Preparation: Begin by measuring out all your ingredients as per the recipe’s requirements to ensure accuracy and ease of mixing.
  • Mixing: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, start by adding the mayonnaise.
  • Add Liquids: Slowly pour in the water while whisking, ensuring the mayo and water combine smoothly.
  • Incorporate Spices: Add sugar, paprika, ground ginger, ground mustard, salt, and white pepper to the bowl.
  • Wet Ingredients: Now, introduce the garlic juice, ketchup, and hot pepper sauce. This will add depth and tang to the mixture.
  • Whisk Thoroughly: Using a whisk, mix all the ingredients until the sauce is smooth and uniform in consistency.
  • Taste Test: After mixing, taste the sauce. Adjust the seasoning if necessary to match your preference.
  • Resting (Optional but Recommended): Let the sauce sit in the refrigerator for an hour or more. This allows flavors to meld, enhancing the overall taste.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Once rested, give it a quick stir and serve with your desired dishes.

Recipe Video


  • While associated with Japanese cuisine, its widespread popularity emerged from American hibachi-style restaurants.
  • Adjust the heat level to your preference by regulating the amount of hot pepper sauce.
  • The sauce benefits from a resting period, allowing flavors to meld.
  • Always store in the refrigerator in an airtight container to maintain freshness.
  • Given its creamy base, it’s best served cold or at room temperature to preserve its consistency and flavor.

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