What Is Kewpie Mayo?

Have you been recently introduced to Kewpie mayo? Perhaps you’ve been recommended it, maybe you’ve seen it on the grocery store shelf. Or it could be that a new recipe calls for it. Either way, what is this condiment, and what makes it different from regular mayo? Here is all you are going to want to know.

So, what is Kewpie mayo? Kewpie Mayo is a Japanese Condiment and variation of Mayonnaise. It originated in 1925 and is produced by a company called “Kewpie”. It is richer and creamier than typical mayonnaise, while also being quite sweet in flavor. Umami and an eggy taste are also flavor notes to expect.

According to the brand, the founder Toichiro Nakashima created this particular variation in the hope of providing nourishing, high-quality mayonnaise to the Japanese people.

He certainly delivered; and this sauce is a very popular one, consumed and enjoyed across the world.

But how is it different from regular mayo, exactly?

Let’s find out!

How Is Kewpie Mayo Different To Regular Mayo?

Kewpie mayo is different from regular mayo in both the ingredients that make it, the resulting taste, and the type of bottle it is sold and kept in.

Let us now explore each one.


The main ingredients in Kewpie Mayonnaise are oil, egg, and vinegar.

However, the key differentiator to regular mayo is that they use just the egg yolks, and not the entire egg (like in typical mayonnaise recipes).

In fact, they use quite a few egg yolks; almost twice as much as what regular mayo usually contains.

According to the brand, 5 egg yolks go into every 500ml bottle.

Far from vegan-friendly!

But beyond just the egg; Kewpie also uses rice vinegar as opposed to distilled vinegar, which gives it a somewhat sweeter tang.

And lastly, Kewpie mayo also contains Monosodium glutamate (MSG).


Kewpie Mayo is packed and sold in a carefully designed bottle.

The design prevents oxygen from entering, which in turn retains the flavor of the sauce for much longer.

Does Kewpie Mayo Taste Different?

Kewpie mayo does taste different from regular mayonnaise. It is somewhat creamier, slightly sweeter, and slightly less sour than your average and typical brand or recipe of mayonnaise.

Consumers also often report Kewpie tastes a little saltier (due to the inclusion of MSG), and that there is a slightly elevated egg flavor.

It is not considered neutral in flavor and tends to pair well with foods that do best with a savory condiment (like soy sauce).

Can I Use Regular Mayo Instead Of Kewpie Mayo?

You can use regular mayo instead of Kewpie mayo; just consider that the flavor profile is a little different. If you wanted to try and alter a typical mayonnaise recipe/brand to mimic Kewpie, you could introduce rice vinegar and sugar and appropriate amounts.

Either way, Kewpie mayo also goes well with salad, sandwiches, fries, and other foods commonly consumed with any type of mayo.

Is Kewpie Mayo Healthier Than Regular Mayo?

Kewpie mayo is not considered healthier than regular mayo. It has similar amounts of calories, fat, carbs, and protein. It also has more sodium and cholesterol per serving.

If we take a closer look at the nutritional profile of Kewpie mayo and regular mayo (using the Hellmans brand), we start to see why this is the case.

Kewpie Mayo Nutrition

Regular Mayo Nutrition

Total Fat11g
– of which saturated1.5g
– of which polyunsaturated6g
– of which monounsaturated3g
Total Carb0g
Total Protein0g
Cholesterol 25mg
Per 1 Tablespoon (15g) Serving
Total Fat10g
– of which saturated1.5g
– of which polyunsaturated6g
– of which monounsaturated3g
Total Carb
Total Protein
Per 1 Tablespoon (15g) Serving of Hellmans.

The only other thing to consider here is the MSG.

While current research has shown that MSG is healthy when consumed in moderate amounts, this particular food additive was considered toxic up until the 1960s.

While that myth has been dispelled, it’s important to note that excessive consumption has been linked with adverse reactions, including headaches.

Something to be mindful of, for sure.


Kewpie mayo is very much the Japanese take on American-style mayonnaise.

It’s an egg-yolk-rich condiment with added MSG for taste and flavor.

It’s creamy, somewhat sweet, and provides notes of egg and umami.

It’s certainly delicious and it does taste a little different, but it is not necessarily any healthier.