A Mouth-Watering Journey into the World of Japanese Mayonnaise

Japanese mayonnaise, known for its rich umami flavor and creamy texture, has become a staple condiment in kitchens worldwide. Unlike its Western counterpart, Japanese mayo boasts a unique blend of ingredients and a distinct tanginess that elevates any dish it accompanies. While it’s readily available in many stores, creating your own homemade Japanese mayonnaise allows you to customize the flavor to your liking and guarantees a fresh, authentic taste. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and learn how to make Japanese mayonnaise from scratch.

Understanding the Ingredients

Before diving into the recipe, it’s essential to understand the key components of Japanese mayonnaise and how they contribute to its distinctive taste:

  1. Egg Yolks: The base of Japanese mayonnaise, egg yolks provide richness and emulsifying properties essential for achieving the desired creamy consistency.
  2. Rice Vinegar: Unlike traditional mayonnaise, which often uses distilled vinegar, Japanese mayo relies on rice vinegar for a milder acidity and subtle sweetness.
  3. Mustard: Typically, a small amount of mustard is added to Japanese mayonnaise, enhancing its flavor profile with a hint of spice and depth.
  4. Salt and Sugar: These ingredients balance the flavors, with salt enhancing the savory notes and sugar adding a touch of sweetness to complement the tanginess of the vinegar.
  5. Oil: Neutral-flavored oils like soybean or canola oil are commonly used to allow the other ingredients’ flavors to shine through without overpowering them.

The Recipe


  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup neutral-flavored oil (such as soybean or canola)


  1. Preparation: Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature before starting. This helps with the emulsification process.
  2. Whisking the Yolks: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and sugar until well combined.
  3. Adding Oil Slowly: While continuously whisking, slowly drizzle the oil into the egg yolk mixture in a thin, steady stream. This gradual incorporation is crucial for creating a stable emulsion.
  4. Emulsifying: As you add the oil, you’ll notice the mixture thickening and becoming creamy. Continue whisking until all the oil is incorporated, and the mayonnaise reaches your desired consistency.
  5. Adjusting Seasoning: Taste the mayonnaise and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more salt, sugar, or vinegar according to your preference.
  6. Storage: Transfer the homemade Japanese mayonnaise to a clean, airtight container and refrigerate it. It will keep for about a week, though it’s best enjoyed fresh.

Tips for Success

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh eggs and high-quality oil are key to achieving the best flavor and texture in your mayonnaise.
  • Patience is Key: Take your time when adding the oil to ensure proper emulsification. Rushing this step can result in a broken or separated mayonnaise.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Don’t hesitate to get creative with your Japanese mayo by adding ingredients like garlic, miso, or sesame oil for unique variations.
  • Consistency Control: If your mayonnaise is too thick, you can adjust the consistency by whisking in a small amount of warm water. Conversely, if it’s too thin, add a bit more oil gradually until you reach the desired thickness.

Enjoying Japanese Mayonnaise

Homemade Japanese mayonnaise is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes, from sushi rolls and salads to sandwiches and dipping sauces. Its creamy texture and umami-rich flavor add depth and complexity to any recipe. Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a novice in the kitchen, mastering the art of Japanese mayonnaise opens up a world of culinary possibilities. So, gather your ingredients, whisk away, and savor the delicious results of your homemade creation.

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