The Condiment Andrew Zimmern Makes With Kewpie Mayo

The food world is no stranger to debate, and few condiments are as divisive as mayonnaise. Entire Reddit threads are dedicated to anti-mayo discourse. In 2018, HuffPost released a comprehensive investigation into the vehement self-professed mayo-hater demographic. (Long story short, it's a lot of people.) There's even a BuzzFeed article titled "23 Things You'll Only Understand If You F***ing Hate Mayo." But for folks who pass on mayonnaise, we suggest you consider Kewpie mayo. Japan-based recipe developer Pascale Yamashita describes Kewpie mayo's taste as "umami-rich" and "tangy sweet," via Food Network.

So, what makes Kewpie mayo different from regular mayo? According to the Kewpie brand itself, it's all about egg yolks. Every 500 grams of Kewpie mayo contains four egg yolks, which provides the amino acids responsible for the condiment's uniquely rich flavor. Fans have been topping their foods with Kewpie mayo since 1925, often blending it into salads and sandwiches. But, that isn't how celebrity chef and television personality Andrew Zimmern uses his Kewpie mayo. You might know him from his hit show "Bizarre Foods," a travel diary following Zimmern through countries around the world as he explores the most unconventional dishes in each country's cuisine. So, take it from a chef who knows a thing or two about international ingredients, and pick up some Kewpie mayo to make this condiment. 

Zimmern uses Kewpie in his yuzu-chile sauce

Keeping with a Japanese gastronomic flair, Kewpie mayo is the secret ingredient in Andrew Zimmern's yuzu-chile sauce, according to Real Simple. Technically, this yuzu-chile sauce is a variation of yuzu kosho, a paste-like blend of ground yuzu citrus peel, chiles, and salt, per Bon Appétit. Yuzu kosho is a longtime staple condiment in Japanese cuisine, says the outlet, and its dimensional flavor profile pairs the spiciness of chiles with the naturally tart, citrusy taste of yuzu. New York City-based nutritionist Asako Miyashita tells Everyday Health that the yuzu fruit's strong flavor is comparable to grapefruit. By combining yuzu koshu with Kewpie mayo, the result is an acidic, savory, spicy sauce with a rich texture to boot.

Zimmern tells Real Simple he uses the yuzu mayo sauce for dipping Japanese fried chicken, and as a topping for fried pork cutlets or seafood pancakes. He isn't alone in this preference, either: Yamashita of Food Network specifically cites Kewpie mayo as a popular topping for savory Japanese pancakes called okonomiyaki. The added yuzu-chile flavor lends an unexpected kick to Kewpie's already umami-rich taste. Mayo haters, give it a try. We dare you.