Japanese White Sauce

I’m still on my Asian kick. And I am still loving it! Jon doesn’t mind either. I mean, home-cooked meals are great as far as he’s concerned! He may be picky but my Asian foods have all hit the spot for him.

This, however, is the exception.

You may know this delight as Japanese White Sauce or Seafood Sauce (though there’s no “seafood” in there — so no fear if you have a shellfish allergy or just hate seafood). Whatever you know it as, you may have found it at Japanese restaurants and topped your entree with this and thought to yourself how good it is. I know I did.

This is an easy sauce to make to top your meals — the only trick is to make it the night before so it can set. (You can make it the day-of, but the consistency will be off by just a bit.)

Hibachi chicken topped with Japanese White Sauce

I usually use this delicious sauce to top my hibachi chicken (my super-quick and easy meal to throw together in the time it takes to cook my rice), which you can see here.

Mmm…that’s making me hungry right now! Might have to make me some hibachi chicken soon…

Anyway, you can make this sauce in just a few minutes and you likely have the ingredients in your pantry already! Ready to get started? Let’s do it. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of paprika
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water


To make this sauce, here’s what you need to do:

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, melt your butter
  • Add in your mayonnaise and mix well
  • Mix in your tomato paste
  • Add garlic powder
  • Add sugar
  • Add paprika
  • Add cayenne pepper and mix together thoroughly
  • At this point, you will have a thick sauce — mix in your water to thin out (your sauce should be runny)
  • Cover your bowl and refrigerate overnight to allow all flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving

Now, I realize that there is a specified amount of water to add, but you may need to add more to get the sauce “runny”…like this (I’m sorry it’s so blurry, but you can see how it just runs off the fork — that’s what you want — it will solidify just a bit once you refrigerate it overnight as per the directions):

At this point, you can put this sauce into a squirt bottle (like an old ketchup bottle or you can get one from somewhere like Michaels for cheap [look in their baking section]). I recommend using a funnel, for sure, or you’ll have a mess on your hands. (Ask me how I know. 😛 ) You can also serve it out of the bowl using a spoon and drizzling it over your dish. (Depending on my mood, and my desire to deal with my squirt bottle, I’ve been known to do both. And they both work fine — just be careful when “drizzling” as you actually have more sauce than you think.)

Also, do not try to substitute ketchup for the tomato paste. It won’t work. They’re not anywhere close to the same thing. And you need to use real mayonnaise, not something like Miracle Whip, reduced-calorie/low-fat mayonnaise or cheap store brand stuff. According to the place I located this recipe, it won’t be anywhere near the same.

Give it a shot and see how you like it. Let me know what you enjoyed about it or didn’t like. Have you tried another recipe that you have liked better?

Original recipe found here

  • Megawo

    I lived in Tokyo 3 years and traveled throughout Asia and I never saw anything like this.

    • Suzanne

      This may be an Americanized sauce (not really sure of its origins). It can be found in many Japanese restaurants in the States though I am unsure of its uses outside of the US.

    • Heather Stave

      I am just as confused as you are. This sauce certainly does not sound Japanese.

  • kellyn

    hahaha they call it “yummy” sauce where we go for Japanese hibachi. It is sooooooo an American thing–just another way to fatten up something that is initially good for you!

  • amanda

    I tried this tonight it was not what I was looking for I can buy the sauce in the grocery stores this looked and smelled like it but did not taste the same 🙁