This Easy DIY Kewpie Mayo Will Take Your Regular Mayo To Umami Town

Learn what makes Kewpie mayo the G.O.A.T. and how to make a DIY version

A bottle of Kewpie mayo next to a spoon of mayo

The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Tan

Mayonnaise is one of those love-it-or-hate-it condiments. When I was younger I absolutely hated mayo except for some reason in macaroni salad; but something changed in the last decade for me and now I can’t get enough of it. Give me all the egg, crab, and macaroni salads; slather copious amounts on my sandwiches, and ladle all the aioli over my paella. If you are a mayo lover and have yet to try Kewpie, you are in for a real treat.

What is Kewpie Mayo?

Kewpie is a Japanese brand of mayo. The main difference between Kewpie and American mayo is that Kewpie uses only egg yolks, while American mayo uses whole eggs. Another difference is that Kewpie mayo uses rice or apple cider vinegar rather than white distilled vinegar. This yields a richer and creamier product that tastes like egg salad in custard form, much rounder and fattier on the palate with a silky smooth finish. Kewpie mayo made in Japan also contains MSG, while American-produced Kewpie uses yeast extract instead. 

How To Use Kewpie Mayo

Kewpie can be used in a variety of applications. Basically anything that calls for regular mayo, I would encourage you to try subbing with Kewpie or doing a half-half combo. I love using it to make egg salad and deviled eggs; and if you have access to fresh sushi grade fish, you can chop it up and mix it with some Kewpie and Sriracha for a basic spicy tuna or salmon.

Where To Buy Kewpie Mayo

Kewpie is available in most Asian supermarkets or your favorite online marketplace. It comes in a very generic squeezy bottle shaped like a flat bowling pin encased inside crispy plastic with its signature red cross hatching, baby doll graphic, and logo. 

How To Make Your Own Kewpie Mayo

Can’t find Kewpie mayo? Here’s an easy hack for tweaking regular mayo to get a similar product.

2 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon MSG, optional

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

  1. Bring a small pot with about 2 inches of water to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. 
  2. Place the egg yolks, sugar, and MSG, if using, into a small heatproof mixing bowl over the pot and whisk continuously to gently cook out any bacteria until slightly thickened and a thermometer registers 160 F. It’s such a small amount, it literally took me 30 seconds, so don’t blink. 
  3. Remove the bowl off the double boiler and whisk in the mayo, vinegar, mustard, and white pepper to combine. 

If you don’t feel like taking the extra step with the egg yolks, you can just whisk everything else together but trust me the added yolks are worth it.