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Condiment Crack: Japanese Mayo

In Umamimart's three year history, I can't believe we've never devoted a post to Japanese mayonnaise. We reference this stuff all the time, but have never really covered it. Blasphemy!

Japanese mayo is more tart than the regular American version. This is because vinegar is added. And don't forget the ever-important, save-all: MSG. NO WONDER this stuff is the best on the market.

In Japan, they seriously drizzle this stuff on EVERYTHING. Fried foods, sushi rolls, canned fish for salads, yakisoba, pasta-- you name it, and they'll douse it.

Standard packaging for Japanese mayo is the squishy tube with the red screw cap. This could definitely be filed under Packaging Whore, as it is some of the smartest ever invented.

Condiment Crack: Japanese Mayo

The iconic star-shaped spout.

Condiment Crack: Japanese Mayo

Japanese mayo is a bit runnier than American mayo, which is thick enough to cut with a fork and knife.

Condiment Crack: Japanese Mayo

Let's compare Japanese mayos! I'll be writing sporadically on the major brands, and throw in a few flavored ones, as well as the "healthy" low-cal versions.

First up: Kenko. The obvious choice is always Kewpie, which is what is usually on the shelves at the market, but this is what I have in the fridge right now, so here goes.

The logo is a cute little chefboy.

Condiment Crack: Japanese Mayo

Tastes like regular Kewpie to me, which is to say, Japanese mayonnaise. The main difference between Kenko and Kewpie is price-- Kenko will be at least a dollar cheaper at the store (around $5).
Column: Condiment Crack


  • Thanks for posting this. I’ve always wondered about mayo in Japanese stores, if it merely a packaging difference or one of taste. Now I must try!

    Miss H on

  • Seri- you mean you’ve always paid more, or less?

    Mayo is very expensive right now, in general, due to the recession. Very weird, but true. Like rice.

    kayoko on

  • I’ve only ever seen Kewpie in London. It’s a permanent fixture in my fridge. I can’t live without it.

    Sakura on

  • Where do you get your mayo?? I don’t think I’ve ever paid $5 for kewpie.

    seri on

  • Yeah, I always pay $3.99 at TFM (Tokyo Fish Market) here in Bezerkeley.

    yoko on

  • WHAT? It’s $3.99 in the big apple dude! Also I’ve never seen Kenko mayo. You gotta stick to kewpie!

    Yamahomo on

  • I’ve always paid less.

    seri on

  • Mitsuwa will be the most expensive place to buy kewpie! I only buy it there if it’s on sale. All the Chinese markets carry it for cheaper. Marukai is probably cheaper, too.

    seri on

  • Alright, alright! Can’t get anything past you guys.

    Let me confer with Hideko about this matter, because it is always she who is bitching about the price hike of mayonnaise.

    Will go to Mitsuwa in San Jose to do the price comparison. $3.99 is SO CHEAP!

    kayoko on

  • JANKY.

    kayoko on

  • This kenko kewpie is SO bootleg.

    yoko on

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