In the world of condiments, mayonnaise holds a special place.
It’s creamy, versatile, and can elevate a simple dish to something extraordinary. However, not all mayos are created equal.
In this article, we’ll be exploring two unique types of mayonnaise: Sriracha Mayo and Kewpie Mayo.
Both have their origins in Asia (atleast, the sriracha for the “sriracha mayo”) and have gained popularity worldwide for their distinct flavors.
We’ll delve into what they are, their ingredients, taste profiles, heat levels, cost, and whether they can be substituted for each other.
What Is it: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
Sriracha Mayo is a spicy, tangy mayonnaise that combines the heat of Sriracha sauce with the creaminess of traditional mayonnaise.
Originating from Thailand, Sriracha sauce itself is a type of hot sauce made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.
When mixed with mayonnaise, it creates a condiment that is both spicy and creamy, perfect for adding a kick to sandwiches, sushi, or as a dip for fries and other snacks.
On the other hand, Kewpie Mayo is a Japanese style mayonnaise that is known for its rich and creamy texture. It’s named after the Kewpie doll, a popular doll in Japan, which is used as the brand’s logo.
What sets Kewpie Mayo apart from traditional Western mayonnaise is its unique ingredients.
It’s made with egg yolks instead of whole eggs and uses rice or apple vinegar instead of distilled vinegar, giving it a slightly sweet and tangy flavor.
Kewpie Mayo is a staple in many Japanese dishes like sushi, okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake), and takoyaki (octopus balls).
What Does It Contain: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
Sriracha Mayo is a blend of traditional mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. The primary ingredients in Sriracha sauce are red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt. When combined with mayonnaise, which is typically made from egg yolks, oil, and vinegar or lemon juice, you get a spicy, creamy condiment. Some brands of Sriracha Mayo may also include additional flavorings or spices.
Kewpie Mayo, on the other hand, has a slightly different ingredient list compared to traditional mayonnaise. Instead of using whole eggs like most mayonnaise, Kewpie Mayo uses only egg yolks.
This results in a richer and creamier texture. Additionally, Kewpie Mayo uses rice vinegar or apple vinegar instead of the distilled vinegar used in most Western mayonnaise.
This gives it a slightly sweet and tangy flavor. It also contains a small amount of MSG (monosodium glutamate), which enhances its umami flavor.
What Does It Taste Like: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
Sriracha Mayo brings together the spicy, tangy taste of Sriracha sauce with the creamy, mild flavor of mayonnaise. The result is a flavorful condiment with a noticeable kick. The heat from the Sriracha is balanced by the creaminess of the mayo, resulting in a smooth, slightly tangy, and moderately spicy taste. It can add a burst of flavor and heat to whatever it’s added to.
In contrast, Kewpie Mayo is known for its deep, umami-rich flavor. The use of egg yolks instead of whole eggs gives it a richer and creamier taste than regular mayonnaise. Furthermore, the use of rice or apple vinegar gives Kewpie Mayo a distinctive sweetness and tanginess that is not typically found in Western mayonnaise. The small amount of MSG used in Kewpie Mayo also enhances its savory, umami flavor. It is less spicy than Sriracha Mayo and has a smoother, more velvety texture.
How Is It Used: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
Sriracha Mayo is often used as a dipping sauce or as a spread on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps because of its balance of spicy and creamy elements. It’s also commonly used in sushi, particularly in Western-style sushi rolls like California or Spicy Tuna rolls. It can also be used to spice up salads, grilled meats, and seafood dishes.
Kewpie Mayo, meanwhile, plays a significant role in numerous Japanese dishes. You’ll often find it used as a dressing for salads or as a condiment for okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake), takoyaki (octopus balls), and yakisoba (fried noodle dish). You’ll also find it in sushi, sandwiches, and even on top of pizzas in Japan. Its unique flavor profile enhances the taste of these dishes, providing a sweet and tangy complement to their savory ingredients.
How Hot Is It: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
The heat level in Sriracha Mayo can be quite subjective as it depends largely on the proportion of Sriracha sauce mixed into the mayonnaise. Typically, Sriracha Mayo has a moderate heat level. It’s not overwhelmingly spicy, but it does have a noticeable kick that can liven up any dish.
In comparison, Kewpie Mayo does not contain any spicy ingredients and is not considered hot at all. Its flavor profile leans towards the sweet and tangy side. Any heat in a dish that includes Kewpie Mayo would come from other ingredients, not the mayo itself.
How Much Does It Cost: Sriracha Mayo vs Kewpie Mayo
The cost of both Sriracha Mayo and Kewpie Mayo can vary widely depending on where you purchase them and the specific brand. On average, Sriracha Mayo tends to be relatively affordable. A 12 oz bottle typically costs around $3 to $5 USD at most grocery stores (not at the moment though). However, gourmet or specialty versions could cost more.
Kewpie Mayo, being an import product, is generally a bit more expensive than traditional Western mayonnaise or Sriracha Mayo. A 17.64 oz bottle usually has a price range of around $4 to $7 USD. But the cost can be a bit higher in stores that don’t regularly stock Asian food products or online due to import and shipping fees.
Remember, the price can vary based on location, store, and brand. So it’s wise to check a few different places if you’re looking for the best deal.
Can I Substitute Sriracha Mayo For Kewpie Mayo? (And Vice Versa)
Whether you can substitute Sriracha Mayo for Kewpie Mayo ultimately depends on the dish and your personal taste preference.
Sriracha Mayo is spicier and less sweet than Kewpie Mayo, so using it as a substitute could significantly alter the flavor of a dish. If the recipe calls for Kewpie Mayo and you’re using Sriracha Mayo, be prepared for a spicier result. It might work well in dishes that can benefit from a bit of heat.
On the other hand, substituting Kewpie Mayo for Sriracha Mayo in a recipe could make the dish less spicy and slightly sweeter. If a dish needs a creamy element without the additional heat, Kewpie could work as a substitute.
In some cases, you might want to whip up your own version of either mayo if you’re looking for a specific taste. Adding some hot sauce or chili paste to Kewpie Mayo could approximate the heat of Sriracha Mayo. Similarly, adding a bit of sugar or using a sweeter vinegar in your homemade mayonnaise might get you closer to the taste of Kewpie Mayo.
As with any substitution, it’s best to consider the flavors and ingredients involved and adjust according to your preference.