If you are a mayonnaise hater, stay out of Japan. You wouldn’t think it, but the good ol’ American companion to Wonder Bread is a staple of down home Japanese cooking. From potato salad to lotus root smothered in mayonnaise, at least in Chibu, you can’t sit down to a meal without some mayonnaise-based dish on the table. Aside from being a main dressing for side dishes, mayonnaise is squeezed atop traditional Japanese dishes such as okonomiyaki (Japanese “pizza”), takoyaki (fried balls of dough with squid in the middle), yakisoba (a noodle dish), and many kinds of katsu (fried meat).
^Okonomiyaki being made in Osaka (from our summer 2011 trip)
Mayonnaise is even used as a topping for pizza.
Quatro Giant pizza anyone?
How about a Chicken Teriyaki pizza…with mayonnaise of course.
Mayo Potato pizza. Would you like some pizza with your mayonnaise?
If you’re interested, check out Domino’s Japan’s website for more interesting pizzas.
Mayonnaise in Japan comes in a squeeze bottle with a picture of a Kewpie doll embossed into the plastic.
It’s made from apple and malt vinegar and egg yolks instead of whole eggs. Compared to its American counterpart, Japanese mayonnaise is slightly sweeter and more decadent (if mayonnaise can be described as “decadent”). We have fallen in love with Japanese mayonnaise and actually prefer it to the Best Foods brand we came to love back home.
What are your thoughts on Japanese mayo and the many interesting foods it’s used in?