Kewpie Mayo Wins The Condiment Game

That bottle back there, with its tantalizing red cap, contains Japanese kewpie mayonnaise. Very few condiments are so important to me that I sacrifice valuable kitchen space to stockpile. This crazy nectar is one of them. Sprinkled with a secret ingredient we all know, and love to hate on, Japanese mayo would definitely prevail in an all-condiment version of Battle Royale.

Here's what's different about kewpie mayo:

  • It's made with only egg yolks, rather than a mix of yolks and whole eggs like most supermarket brands.
  • Mild, aromatic rice vinegar is used instead of its overly acidic distilled white counterpart.
  • It contains just a hint of MSG for that signature Japanese umami note (that's a lie I tell myself, it is positively rife with the stuff).
  • This is my favorite — the star-shaped nozzle dispenses in a very attractive manner, Exhibit A.

Best of all, because kewpie uses only yolks, it's essentially Hollandaise you can keep in your fridge indefinitely. I know this because I've broken more Hollandaises than I've fixed. Might I suggest some mayo-centric dishes that can most definitely be improved with this underrecognized emulsification?

And to clarify, we're definitely late to the Japanese mayo party. They heartily embraced it nearly a century ago, tweaking the formula to suit their tastes and squirting it on absolutely everything. There's even a Mayonnaise Kitchen in West Tokyo, a restaurant for "mayora," or "mayo folks" (loose translation). You can call it mayokichi, though. All the mayora do.