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Japan Is The Mayonnaise Wonderland; Kewpie, Ajinomoto, Kenko, And More!

Japanese mayo, kewpie, ajinomoto, kenko mayonnaise Food & Recipes

Surely, you have already the worldwide information- Japanese mayonnaise is the best!


When traveling to Japan, you’ll definitely find out the Japanese are obsessed with domestic Mayonnaise.

Japanese mayo is much more than a national typical condiment.

Mayonnaise has been so popular in Japan-became a must-household item, not for salads, street foods such as okonomiyaki, takoyaki.

It can be a base for many sauces adding rich creamy flavors but a slight vinegary taste can add refreshing flavor reducing greasy taste.

Some Mayonnaise lovers called “Mayolaah” (マヨラー) in Japan, who dip/ drizzle Japanese Mayo for everything.

The Japanese create unique Mayo foods such as stuffing for sushi, onigiri rice balls and bread.

In Japan, the top major companies lead the mayonnaise market in Japan, Kewpie Corporation has 60% of the mayonnaise market share in Japan.

I am not an exception, I like Japanese mayonnaise, especially Kewpie.

I always bring 3 -4 Kewpie mayonnaise from Japan and don’t let my husband use it.

So today, I guide you on why Japanese mayonnaise is so special and introduce major products in Japan.

What Is Special About Japanese Mayo?

Raw Materials: Egg And Vinegar

Japanese Mayo products generally use only egg yolks. (Ajinomoto pure select is made of a whole egg.)

According to Kewpie Corporation, Kewpie mayonnaise is used with about twice as much egg yolk as American mayonnaise. (KEWPIE Mayonnaise contains 4 egg yolks per 500g.)

This is why Japanese Mayo has a rich creamy taste with custardy texture.

Also, Japanese mayonnaise uses brewed vinegar such as rice vinegar and apple vinegar, compared with mayonnaise products in other countries that use distilled vinegar.

Since rice is a Japanese staple food, Japanese mayo should be great with it.

Other country’s mayonnaise products are made for bringing refreshing vinegary taste to the dish, most products contain distilled vinegar.

To add rich rounded flavor for the combination with rice, Japanese Mayo contains brewed vinegar such as rice vinegar/ apple cider vinegar.

I Like A Squeezing Bottle Of Japanese Mayo

Japanese mayonnaise companies’ efforts and attempts have never been ending. The plastic tube bottle, which is iconic for Japanese mayonnaise, is not just made of plastic.

Oxidation is the enemy of mayonnaise, which can reduce the rich creamy refreshing flavor.

Each company such as Kewpie and Ajinomoto has tremendous efforts to make the original plastic bottle to keep fresh mayonnaise flavor while preventing it from Oxidation.

For example, the plastic bottle tube of Kewpie mayonnaise has three layers to prevent the oxygen go through inside the bottle or Ajinomoto pure select mayonnaise, bottle has the design that shuts the air goes into the bottle.

The Seacret Of The Cap

Kewpie Mayonnaise calls this unique squeeze bottle cap “double cap”, which you can use in two ways.

A small hole design in a top lid to pour out the mayonnaise will not pour out over much in one time and also is handy to decorate the dish.

A star-shaped hole, which is the typical design in Japan for a long, is used in cooking when you want to use a big amount at one time.

*A star-shaped hole can be used when you twist out a whole cap.

Why do the Japanese need a small hole (sometimes it has 2-3 holes,) because we want to use it for popular street food such as Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki.

Top 3 Mayonnaise Brand In Japan AND Maybe In Your Country

Kewpie Mayonnaise

Kewpie has become increasingly popular in the U.S. and other countries in recent years, but, it’s the staple mayonnaise, more than it, no less than it in Japan.

Kewpie has 60% of the market share in Japan and was also the first company that produced mayonnaise products in 1925.

The amount of eggs handled by Kewpie is about 250,000 tons per year, which is equivalent to 10% of the domestic production.

Surprisingly, Kewpie Mayonnaise attracts consumers with only five ingredients: egg yolk, vinegar, vegetable oil, salt, and mustard powder.

It’s richer, creamier, smoother, with a little vinegary and custardy texture. As I said, the bottle cap that I love is handy and fun to use.

It looks divine!

You can’t miss Kewpie mayonnaise in all stores that handle groceries in Japan.

It has been the staple mayonnaise so people grab Kewpie mayonnaise without thinking that much.

Since the Japanese standard Mayonnaise is Kewpie Mayo, we don’t notice kewpie mayo maybe vinegary rather than others.

We don’t have attempted switching to another brand’s mayonnaise from Kewpie without reason.

Calories per tablespoon (15 g) is 100 kcal

Kewpie Mayonnaise Carolie Half

Everyone wants to cut calories from Mayonnaise.

A high-fat food, mayonnaise is often considered to be unhealthy. (but addictive.) It is mostly fat, calorie-dense, so it’s easy for calories and fat to quickly add up when you’ll not pay attention to portion size. (Kewpie double cap maybe help…)

Well, I always bring “Kewpie calorie half” back to Japan because I can’t find this in the US.
( I could, but it is more expensive than one in Japan… )

Although it is not actually categorized in “Mayonnaise” according to Japanese food standards, it keeps the same quality of flavor with regular Kewpie mayo.

To cut calories, “Kewpie Calorie Half” is contained less egg yolk and vegetable oil.

So the taste is lighter and you don’t have to worry about calories!

Calories per tablespoon (15 g) is 49 kcal

Ajinomoto Pure Select

I mention that Japanese mayonnaise use only egg yorks in the beginning, except for this Ajinomoto product.

“Ajinomoto Pure Select Mayonnaise” (味の素 ピュアセレクトマヨネーズ), the mayonnaise product produced by Ajinomoto company, (the same company produces Hondashi powder, Umami powder) is made of whole eggs.

Whiter than other Japanese mayonnaise products, but, creamy, nice tangy, and vinegary, rich Umami flavor.

The secret of its refreshing vinegary flavor is Ajinomoto Pure Select contains high-quality domestic white wine vinegar made of three kinds of grapes.

Since you feel refreshing taste as a first taste, it can be the one for those who don’t like rich creamy eggy mayonnaise.

The reason named “Pure select” is this product used very fresh eggs harvested within 3 days.

Like the kewpie corporation, the plastic bottle is also designed to keep fresh mayonnaise flavor.

The calories per 1 tbsp (15 g) is 110 kcal

Pure Select “Kokuuma” 65% Calorie-cut

“Pure select Kokuuma 65% Calorie cut” (ピュアセレクトコクうまカロリーカット) is the product reduced 65% calories from the regular Pure select mayonnaise remaining the same quality of flavor.

The calories per 1 tbsp (15 g) is 36 kcal

Kenko Mayonnaise

It’s true or not, Mcdonald’s Japan uses Kenko Mayonnaise.

Kenko Mayonnaise had been hiding behind Kewpie and Ajinomoto, however, it has been a popular use for food supply companies and restaurants.

As well as Ajinomoto pure select, Kenko mayonnaise is also made from whole eggs, with a mild vinegary taste.

Originally and currently, the company supplies salad dressing/ mayonnaise and more to the commercial food industry.

Recently, KENKO Mayonnaise are getting attention since its well-balanced flavors in mayonnaise and goes well with many dishes.

Kenko Mayonnaise is highly recommended to try after kewpie Mayo since it’s available and reasonable on Amazon.

I like both Kewpie and Kenko Mayonnaise, there is only one thing, the Kenko mayonnaise bottle doesn’t have a double cap.

So, I refilled Kenko mayo into an empty Kewpie mayo bottle which was really hard.

Then, I found this squeeze bottle on Amazon.

Other Unique Mayonnaise Products In Japan

This picture was taken at a local grocery store in my town, Japan, Look at the number of Mayonnaise products.

16 kinds of mayonnaise products!!!

Kmeya: Izu No Wasabi Mayonnaise

“Kameya Izu No Wasabi” (カメヤ 伊豆のわさび) produced by Kameya, the wasabi distribute company, contains the chopped wasabi roots harvested in the Izu area, Shizuoka, into a rich mayonnaise.

Shizuoka prefecture has more than 70% of the nationwide wasabi production, and wasabi from Izu (伊豆), Shizuoka Prefecture is well-known as premium wasabi.

Creamy refreshing tangy mayonnaise’s original flavor tastes first in your mouth, and then, freshly chopped high-quality wasabi roots will kick your nose.

It is a mild wasabi flavor and goes well with any food such as sandwiches, hamburgers, steaks, and potato chips!

Unfortunately, I can’t find this product on Amazon, but, it is worth trying authentic fresh WASABI PASTE produced by Kameya.

Iconic Organic Mayonnaise: Matsuda no Mayonnaise

“Matsuda No Mayonnaise” (松田のマヨネーズ), the ultimate organic mayonnaise made from only carefully selected ingredients including fresh free-range & cage-free eggs.

Only the best rapeseed oil is used.
Bird foods are not made of ingredients genetically modified or Post-Harvest Treatment.
Organic apple cider vinegar is used.
It is used sea salt from Kuroshio seawater made in Izu Oshima by traditional methods.
The taste is mild and rich and even you can feel the company’s consideration for customer’s health.

Even cracking eggs is by human operation!

Here’s what Matsuda CEO says,

What do I think is natural organic? To Reduce the process as much as I can.No extra ingredients are added. As much as possible, I am doing the traditional method as it is.
Isn’t it natural organic? It takes time, but I think it’s a natural process to make it over time. Leave it to nature. Whether it is a crop, a living environment for chickens, or fermentation.
(Translated by Rico McConnell)

Kewpie Tartar Sauce

Personally, the Japanese tartar sauce is the best!

(How to make Japanese-Style Tartar sauce.)

Japanese Tartar Sauce can be almost a side dish rather than a dipping sauce- chopped eggs, pickles, onions, and Japanese mayonnaise!

A perfect pair for that deep-fried or baked crispy seafood.

My American husband is also obsessed with Japanese tartar sauce, and he asks me to make it every time we have breaded fried food dinner.

As I said, all ingredients should be finely chopped, so it sometimes gives me a hassle.

Kewpie Tartar sauce can save my life.

It’s authentic Japanese-style egg tartar, that can be served without pain.

Kewpie Petit Portable Mayo

There are many “Mayolaah” (マヨラー) in Japan, here is the portable-size Kewpie mayonnaise!

It may be the best gift for FAMS, it is only about ¥100 in Japan!

The Bottom Line

If you haven’t tried Japanese Mayonnaise, you should try it now!

If not, try once, you may not able to get back the regular one like me!

Japanese Mayonnaise can dramatically improve your daily dishes.

As well as soy sauce, miso, and mirin, this Japanese iconic condiment can be a special ingredient in special sauce and will be your household item soon or later.

Read Next…

Japanese people are obsessed with Japanese Mayonnaise, so there are many Mayo food in Japan.

Here is the staple Mayo food including a Japanese-style potato salad recipe.

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