If you have tasted Kewpie Mayo, you know that it is richer, creamier, and fuller than regular mayo. This Japanese dressing makes eating sandwiches, salads, and grilled dishes such a thrilling fete.
So, if you are looking to add Kewpie mayo to your food basket, you may be wondering, what does it taste like?
Well, generally, Kewpie Mayonnaise has a very distinct tangy flavor, which is surprisingly sweet and savory at the same time, just like marmalade jam. Additionally, thanks to the use of egg yolks only in the recipe, Kewpie Mayo has a very rich egg taste, almost similar to custard.
What is Kewpie Mayo?
Kewpie Mayonnaise is the most famous and popular mayonnaise brand in Japan. It has also gained a lot of popularity worldwide, especially in America, where chefs and foodies are choosing it over regular mayo.
Invented in the 1920s, Kewpie Mayo is a creamy, thick, eggy, tangy, sweet, and savory condiment that has made a permanent home in most Japanese kitchens.
It pairs well with grilled steak, seafood, and even rice, depending on individual pallets and preferences.
Although invented and mainly manufactured in Japan, Kewpie mayo is available worldwide in physical and online stores.
Kewpie Mayo costs a little more than regular mayonnaise, thanks to its rich composition and taste.
What Does Kewpie Mayo Taste Like?
Mari Katsumura, a chef at Yugen Restaurant in Chicago, describes Kewpie Mayo’s taste as ‘assertive.’
The consensus is that Kewpie Mayonnaise has a very rich egg taste. It is no surprise since the Japanese Mayonnaise brand uses egg yolk only in their recipe.
Some people have also described Kewpie Mayonnaise as tasting distinctively tangy or zesty, yet still sweet.
The monosodium glutamate (MSG) also used in the mayo recipe gives Kewpie Mayonnaise a rich umami flavor, making it a great pairing with grilled dishes.
As for texture, Kewpie Mayonnaise has a creamier, fuller, softer feel to the tongue compared to regular mayo.
What is So Special About Kewpie Mayo?
Kewpie Mayo is a world favorite for a reason. It is different in taste, makeup, and even quality compared to regular mayonnaise. Here are a few things that make Kewpie Mayo somewhat superior:
Kewpie Mayo vs. Regular Mayo
Although both are brands of the same condiment, Kewpie Mayo has some differences from regular mayo.
For mayonnaise lovers, one can only love one or the other, never both. Here are some of the main differences between the two:
Kewpie vs. Regular Mayo Ingredients
- Unlike regular mayo, Kewpie Mayo makers only use egg yolks. This is the reason for the rich yellow color of this Japanese mayo and the richer and fuller taste.
- Kewpie Mayo also uses either rice vinegar, apple vinegar, or a blend of the two, which gives the condiment a tangy but sweet taste. The distilled vinegar used in regular mayo has more of a bitter taste to it.
- The MSG used in Kewpie Mayo is another secret weapon that gives the Japanese mayonnaise a superior umami-flavored taste. For example, David Chang, the chef who runs Momokofu Empire, says Kewpie Mayonnaise is the best mayo in the world only because it contains MSG.
- Unlike most mayonnaise brands, Kewpie Mayo has customized its formulas and tastes according to regions. Customization is very important because different people and cultures have different delicacies with different tastes that cannot all go with one specific mayo pairing. By considering pallet differences, Kewpie Mayo reaches more consumers globally, thus increasing its popularity. Some countries with different Kewpie Mayo recipes include Indonesia, Thailand, and the American version, which doesn’t have MSG.
- Kewpie Mayo comes in an easy-to-squeeze bottle that makes it handy in all settings. Whether you are using it in the kitchen, at a dining table, or on a picnic, the bottle is portable and easy to use, making it a great mayo choice. Most mayo brands come in tubs and jars that require spoons or knives for scooping, which can be messy. Some jars are also glass-made, making them fragile and difficult to carry outside the kitchen.
While both types of mayo use eggs, oil, and vinegar, the ingredients differ slightly. For starters, regular mayo uses whole eggs in their recipe, while Kewpie mayo uses egg yolks only.
Secondly, while regular mayo mainly uses distilled vinegar, Kewpie mayo uses rice vinegar, apple vinegar, or a blend of both in its makeup.
Third, Kewpie mayo does not add water to the mixture; thus, its thicker, creamier, and fuller flavors.
Classic mayo can be light and runny because of the water addition. Some Kewpie Mayo recipes have Dashi stock in place of water, adding more flavor to the dressing.
Fourth, Kewpie Mayonnaise has MSG (although the American version omits it), while all regular mayonnaise does not.
Eliminating MSG makes regular mayo more suitable for people allergic to the ingredient.
Lastly, Kewpie Mayonnaise does not contain sugar, while most regular mayonnaise recipes have sugar.
Is Kewpie Mayo Better than Regular Mayo?
Kewpie Mayo can be termed as better than regular mayo due to its richness in texture and flavor.
Kewpie mayo uses pure, undiluted, and unsweetened ingredients in its recipe, giving the dressing an excellent and lingering effect.
However, regular mayo might be the better option for people with high cholesterol, given that Kewpie Mayo uses egg yolks only, which have the highest cholesterol levels compared to egg whites.
Is Kewpie Mayo Healthier than Regular Mayo?
Whether Kewpie Mayo is healthier than regular mayo is a topic still in debate. Generally, Kewpie mayo and regular mayo have similar ingredients, so their nutritional values are almost similar.
However, when it comes to cholesterol levels, Kewpie Mayo has more cholesterol levels thanks to the rich egg-yolk quantities.
For example, a tablespoon of Kewpie Mayo contains about 25 grams of cholesterol, while the same amount of Hellmann’s mayo has only 5 grams.
In the case of diabetic patients, Kewpie mayo is a better option as it does not contain sugar.
Both types of mayonnaise are fatty and should therefore be taken in measured amounts. Overindulgence can lead to obesity and fat-related complications, such as an increased risk of heart failure.
Where to Buy Kewpie Mayonnaise?
Kewpie Mayonnaise is available in most stores in the Asian section in most states. However, if you are still looking for it in a store near you, consider buying it online or through their official website.
Japanese Kewpie Mayo Substitutes and Alternatives
If you cannot find Kewpie Mayo at your local stores or you want an alternative to the popular brand, here are some recommendations for you:
Sokensha Fertilized Egg Mayonnaise
As the name suggests, this mayonnaise is made with fertilized eggs, vinegar, oil, and salt.
The dressing does not contain artificial preservatives and flavors making it a healthy alternative to Kewpie Mayo. You can find Sokensha Fertilized Egg Mayonnaise in Japanese stores or online.
PuroRaw Miso Boom Japanese Mayonnaise
PuroRaw mayonnaise is made with miso paste, egg yolks, oil, and vinegar. This alternative also does not have any synthetic flavors or added preservatives. PuroRaw Miso Mayonnaise is also available online or in selected Japanese stores.
Kenko Japanese Mayonnaise
If you love the creamy, thick flavor of Kewpie Mayo, you will also love Kenko Japanese Mayonnaise available in most Asian stores or on this Amazon store.
Just like the substitutes above, Kenko Mayo does not have any added flavors, and it makes a great addition to sandwiches, salads, and grilled meat.