Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce grills frozen whole edamame and dips them in a white, no-ketchup version of  Yum Yum  dipping sauce.
Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce is my recipe of  the day with the blogging group Eat the World. Each month  the group  visits (via our kitchens) a different country and cuisine. This month the focus is on Japan.

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Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Desperately Seeking Sakura?

I had decided to make the Sakura sauce after seeing  someone online  discussing Yum Yum sauce and a white version of it.  Having posted a very delicious Yum Yum sauce myself, this conversation naturally interested me.

The person in the  conversation mentioned that the white type  of  Sakura, or Yum Yum sauce they were looking for had no ketchup. My other Yum Yum sauce has ketchup,  as do many others. And I wasn’t  familiar with the type that omitted it.

The Chef Talk

I talked with chefs at several local Japanese hibachi restaurant who were not familiar with it either, to no avail. However, I did come across a bottle  of  white Yum Yum sauce at Jungle Jim’s International market (here in Cincinnati). Checking the label, ketchup was nowhere to be found.

So I came home with that bottle, popped it open and made the sauce according to taste test. My  Sakura (named so just to  keep my two sauces from being confused) tastes exactly  like  theirs. I am pretty good at reverse engineering sauces. Mine  is slightly more  blushed from  the paprika- so if  you really want yours very white,  cut back on that.

Is Sakura Sauce the Same As Yum Yum Sauce?

But  the flavor of the Sakura,  while being similar to Yum Yum, is different. I can’t  say  if it is more from the use of Japanese mayo or the lack of ketchup. I really  do think  it is the mayo, Kewpie mayo does not taste like regular American mayo.

I’ll put it bluntly- it tastes slightly weird, but not in a bad way. It is just definitely  going  to affect the flavor profile. The togarashi pepper will as well, but to a lesser degree. You can compare the recipes and decide.

Other Uses for Sakura and Yum Yum Sauces

Besides edamame,  feel  free to use this on hibachi shrimp, chicken, or other vegetables, such as zucchini and mushrooms. I think it would also  be good with French Fries or on a hamburger.

Eat the World

Eat the World logo

Check out all the wonderful Japanese dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Yoshinoya Beef Bowl (Gyudon)
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Japanese Rice
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Kuri Kinton (Candied Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes)
Cultureatz: Ramen Burger with Honey Teriyaki Sauce
Kitchen Frau: Chawanmushi (Steamed Savoury Egg Custard)
Sugarlovespices: Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Sneha’s Recipe: Vegetarian Omurice /Japanese Fried Rice Omelette
Pandemonium Noshery: Ginger Pork Stir Fry
Palatable Pastime: Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

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Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

Sue Lau
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Servings 4
Calories 535 kcal


  • 1 hibachi grill



  • 12 ounce package whole frozen edamame
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • flaked salt (to taste)

Sakura Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nanami Togarashi Japanese pepper blend
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika (use even less for a whiter sauce)


  • Stir together the Sakura dipping sauce and keep refrigerated until needed.
  • To prepare edamame, heat hibachi grill.
  • Place frozen edamame in a mixing bowl and drizzle with the soy sauce and sesame oils.
  • Grill on high on a mesh grilling grate until cooked and lightly charred, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with flaked sea salt.


To eat, hold the stem end, dip lightly into Sakura sauce, and then pull the bean pod through your teeth so the soybeans pop out and you scrape the char onto your palate.
You can also choose to steam the edamame but the flavor is better grilled.
Japanese mayonnaise tastes different from American mayonnaise. You can substitute but the flavor will be altered.
Nanami Togarashi is a blend and not just pepper. It has a distinct flavor. Do not sub with black pepper; just omit.
From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com


Calories: 535kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 10gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 28gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 550mgPotassium: 401mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 78IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 2mg
Keyword white Yum Yum sauce (no ketchup)
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Edamame with Sakura Dipping Sauce

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6 responses

  1. I am not familiar with yum yum sauce but the flavor profile sounds intriguing and good for many different uses, other than the beloved edamame. Beautifully presented, too!

    • I mostly use Yum Yum as a dipping sauce for hibachi and teppenyaki grilled foods like steak, shrimp, and chicken. It works here too.

    • I am used to dipping them in soy or ponzu but if it drips on me it gets annoying. This sauce definitely doesn’t drip.

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