Japanese ingredients for your healthy life

What is Japanese mayonnaise?

What you want to know about it

What is Japanese mayonnaise and how is it different from just your regular American mayonnaise? Japanese mayonnaise is in fact not too dissimilar from your American mayonnaise in terms of ingredients. They share some of the same items, but there are some different ingredients used in Japanese mayonnaise that give it a different flavour and texture to your traditional American mayo, making them both quite different and giving them both two rather different uses in the kitchen.


Japanese mayonnaise is made using egg yolks, and either apple or rice vinegar. Eliminating water (which is used in American mayo) will give the Japanese version a thinner texture and it is a very rich and slightly sweet condiment. Sometimes an enhancer is added called monosodium glutamine, (otherwise known as MSG) MSG makes everything taste better but is something that the extremely health conscious will avoid. For anyone concerned regarding additives or trying to pursue a more natural diet any Japanese mayonnaises that use this enhancer should be avoided, although it is a rare find to be able to track down a Japanese mayonnaise that doesnft contain MSG ? they do exist, especially if you whip up your own in the kitchen at home.


A batch of Japanese Mayonnaise can be whipped up in less than ten minutes. Start by whisking rice malt vinegars, salt, MSG, mustard powder, hon-dashi powder and garlic powder in a small bowl. Place this mixture in a food processor and pulse to combine with the eggs, slowly drizzle in some vegetable oil and itfs as simple as that ? youfve just made Japanese mayonnaise. The mayo will last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks when stored in an air tight container. Of course, once you are comfortable with the basic version there are recipes far and wide on the internet that all make small adjustments to the original version, which in turn compromise the original flavour but are great if you enjoy playing around with different ingredients.


There is a lot of debate over what type of mayonnaise is best for peoplefs diet. American Mayonnaises are made with distilled vinegar and Japanese varieties with the above mentioned apple or rice malt vinegars. Japanese mayonnaise also tends to use predominantly egg yolks and hardly any egg whites, giving it a richer yellow colour. The use of egg yolks start making the Japanese version quite high in fat, this is usually overlooked by the added bonus of it being extra tasty of course! Many claim that the Japanese mayonnaise has a less heavy presence after consumption than American mayonnaise. Other than the vinegars and the parts of the egg that are used the only real distinctive difference is the MSG.



To help you understand the MSG component here is a quick explanation of why MSG can be a concern to some people. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. It has been classified by the U.S Food and Drug Administration as generally recognised as safe. MSG is used to improve the overall taste of certain foods, adding MSG means lowering the salt that is put into certain foods, as we all know excessive salt is a bad thing that can lead to instant side effects or on very rare occurrences complications later in life. MSG is safe when eaten at customary levels, but you have to keep a watchful eye over it as studies have shown that excess consumption can lead to headaches, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting. Some tend to avoid MSG rich foods because they are sensitive to the additive, others donft see any side effects. Monitored and ingested in small doses MSG is categorised as perfectly safe.

So how do I use it again?

Now, back to the delicious mayonnaisec If cooking your own condiments isnft for you then there are always store bought options. The commonly known Japanese Mayonnaise known to many westerners is the Japanese gKewpieh brand mayonnaise, sold in a squeeze bottle with a baby on the front and encased in a plastic outer wrapper which is discarded after purchase. This brand of mayo is very popular in major retailers and grocery stores. The squeeze bottle sports a star shaped nozzle so it is beautifully dispensed in a lovely rosette shape when squeezed onto a plate. The Kewpie brand can be described as satisfyingly rich and slightly sweet, it does contain MSG, which explains why it tastes so good and will get great reviews from anyone who has tried it. Kewpie will set you back about $9 USD which could seem a bit extortionate compared to regular mayo, but think of it as an investment, you can sneak Kewpie (or your own homemade Japanese mayonnaise) into just about anything to boost in some amazing flavours.


Store bought Japanese mayo is often always sold in soft plastic squeeze bottles like the Kewpie brand, which again differing from your American Mayonnaises which are generally sold in glass jars. Another common variety of store bought Japanese Mayonnaise is eKarashif, this is a Japanese Mayo that also contains a mixture of Japanese Mustard.


Japanese mayonnaise is generally used more in sauces and as dressings where American mayonnaise is more of a spreadable condiment used in sandwiches, this is why the Japanese version is thinner. A great way to use the Japanese mayonnaise is in a traditional dish called Kani Salad which is a light salad that is very easy to make. The salad contains crabstick, mango and cucumber cut into fine strips and then adding bamboo shoots and a big squirt of the Japanese Mayonnaise and mixed together creating a refreshingly sweet but very tasty salad.
However, the most popular use for Japanese mayonnaise is of course in, SUSHI!
Most commonly found in Spicy Tuna Rolls, the spicy sauce in these rolls is made by mixing in a sauce called Tuong ot Sriracha to the Japanese mayonnaise. You add the spicy sauce to the mayo until it reaches your desired heat level, generally speaking a little goes a long way when you are mixing the spicy sauce in the mayo. If you are looking for another alternative to Tuong ot Sriracha, try using Tabasco ? this is also a well-known ingredient when it comes to creating spice with Sushi and Japanese cooking.


Japanese Mayonnaise doesnft have to just be used purely for Japanese dishes, there are many chefs who use it in their everyday western cooking, it is ideal in shrimp dipping sauces, dressing for tacos, Mexican style corn, Caesar salad dressing, devilled eggs, aioli and even adding a small amount to vegetable purees and mashed potatoes. Basically, use it sparingly on anything ? Japanese Mayonnaise pumps up the flavour of anything without making the end result overpowering just on mayonnaise.