Kewpie Mayonnaise

annenayne
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What's the deal with the popularity of Kewpie Mayonnaise? I don't use a lot of mayo, so I've never purchased it. I'm seeing it in a lot of lunches in the flickr group and I just noticed that my local Daiso is selling it. I'd kind of like to try it, but I don't like having huge bottles of anything sitting in my refrigerator, unused. Does it keep like regular mayonnaise?

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maki
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

It does keep like regular commercial mayonnaise, provided you refrigerate it after opening. Kewpie Mayo has a very rich and mild (not that sour) flavor. I have not actually checked the label though and I don't have one on hand at the moment, but I think they put a little MSG in it, though not enough that you would notice it as such. It also tastes quite 'eggy' (this probably due to the low acidity) and is a little bit on the salty side compared to other mayonnaises.

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annenayne
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Huh. Thanks.

Maybe I'll give it a try.

Eleven Clovers
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Probably a silly question, but what IS Kewpie Mayo, and how does it differ from regular mayo?

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eilismaura
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

I tried Kewpie mayo - bought it off of a seller at Amazon.com and I did NOT like it at all!!

I would not use 'mild' regarding the taste - could I have gotten a less than great bottle of it? It was not spoiled but it was not 'mild' in any sense.

Eilish

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maki
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Kewpie is just a very popular brand of mayonnaise in Japan.

Actually I was reading some reviews of it on Amazon and I agree with what someone said about mayo in general that you probably prefer the type you grew up with! I sort of grew up all over the place so I like different kinds of mayo...but I do like Kewpie and Kewpie-like mayos. I also like homemade mayo, which is really the richest of all, but I do not like it when (as it is served sometimes in France) made with lots of olive oil and it's almost green. It's way too olive-y for me, and I love olive oil! But I do love aioli (garlic mayo made with olive oil) used in moderation.

On the other hand I am not a big fan of Hellman's type...but again, if you grew up with it that could be your dream mayo. (A while back Hellman's was being advertised on UK TV as 'the taste of a New York deli'...which I thought was pretty funny, but sort of true.)

What is almost vile to me is Miracle Whip (I know, not a mayo, but same category)...but I know people who just love it. My mother somehow got attached to Heinz Salad Cream when she lived in England, but I don't like that either.

I guess there is really no way of knowing if you like something or not, until you've actually tried it.

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Memories! Your mention of Heinz Salad Cream reminds me of Heinz Sandwich Spread! My stepmother, who is Scottish, used to buy it as a special treat whenever she found it, which was not often in 1960s and '70s New Zealand. I can taste it in my memory; basically chopped up pickles in Heinz Salad Cream. And it had to be on thick fresh white bread, with loads of butter. If I weren't watching my weight I'd go and buy some.

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Glenda
Bento-ing from: New York › New York › USA
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

I love Kewpie Mayonnaise because of how much better it makes sushi taste! But now I'm kind of hooked on it, and use it in place of the more typical North American mayonnaises (I grew up in Canada). I use it when I make egg mayo sandwiches, with just a little salt and pepper, and its divine! :) I'm sometimes a little sensitive to MSG, but I don't notice any reaction when I eat this mayonnaise.

Is it true that the 'Kewpie' name came from the fact that the bottles used to be shaped like Kewpie Dolls (now there is just a picture of one on the bag it comes in), or was it the mayo that was named first, and the name for the particular doll shape came from that? :)

-g.

ps: the Japan Centre description says that its made with rice vinegar instead of distilled vinegar, which gives it its distinctive flavour.

annenayne
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Kewpie drawings, then dolls, came first, in the 1910s (check out the wikipedia entry).

Kewpie brand mayonnaise came about in 1925.

arkonitebabe
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

I found Kewpie mayo in my nearest asian foodstore, I love it!!! I grew up on Hellmans mayo here in the UK and I can't stand it now. I will pick french ready made mayo from the supermarket, or the big bottles of catering mayo I can buy in the asian foodstore. But now I have found kewpie, mmmmmmm!

Funnily enough, no one else in my house likes it??

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annenayne
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

What is it that you like about it that you don't find in other mayonnaise?

maki
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History of Kewpie Mayonnaise

I dug around a bit on the Kewpie official web site and found this great page about the history of Kewpie Mayonnaise…but it’s in Japanese. So, here’s an abbreviated translation!

Kewpie Mayonnaise was the introduction of mayonnaise to the general public Japan. (Previously it was only available imported.) The founder of the company, a Mr. Nakajima, was studying canning methods in America, when he encountered mayonnaise on salads, especially potato salad, and thought it was delicious as well as nutritious. At the time (in the 1920s) Japanese people were rather short and skinny, and he thought that by introducing a mayonnaise with twice the amount of egg yolk compared to the imported mayonnaises, he could help the Japanese people grow bigger and stronger.

So, Mr. Nakajima introduced Kewpie Mayonnaise in 1925. (The second pic is the original jar, which contained 100g / about 3 ounces. The current day plastic squeeze bottle contains 500g.) At the time, most people were not only unfamiliar with mayonnaise, there was no established habit of eating raw vegetables and salads. So, it couldn’t be sold as a salad dressing (as it was used in the U.S.), therefore it was sold as a sauce for canned fish, especially canned salmon. (Since people didn’t know what it was, it seems there were some incidents where it was mistaken for hair cream (pomade)! Ew…)

The reason it was called Kewpie Mayonnaise was to make it a brand that would be loved by everyone. If I recall my 20th century history, I believe at the time the Kewpie doll was really popular all over the world. (It seems that Mr. Nakajima didn’t exactly ask the original creator of the Kewpie doll, Rose O’Neill, or permission to use the doll as a trademark…years later in 1998 (this part is not on the official site but I found it on the Japanese Wikipedia page) someone bought the Japanese rights for the official Kewpie doll from the Rose O’Neill family, and sued the Kewpie company for copyright infringement, but lost.)

They stopped production of Kewpie Mayonnaise during World War II since they couldn’t get the ingredients. They re-commenced production 3 years after the war. Now it’s so ubiquitous in Japan that virtually every household has a bottle (or so they say…but they aren’t exaggerating that much actually).

Kewpie Mayonnaise has twice the amount of egg yolks compared to other mayos, and has umami (read: MSG) so that it fits well with Japan’s rice-based food culture. At the bottom of the history page you see the original label, which was all in English (no wonder some people thought it was hair goop!) and the current label, which is in Japanese.

Another factoid: Kewpie Mayonnaise has been the one and only sponsor of a TV cooking show called “Kewpie 3 Minute Cooking” (キューピー3分クッキング). It is a short (it actually runs about 10 minutes, not 3 minutes) cooking show that features home cooking recipes. There’s an accompanying magazine too, called simply 3 Minute Cooking (3分クッキング) (here’s the January issue). The magazine is very homey and cute and tends to feature speedy and/or budget recipes.

Here’s an episode of the TV show on YouTube, where they are making ma-bo-dofu or mapo dofu:

The theme song is so well known in Japan that almost everyone can sing it. I couldn’t find a clip from the actual program with the theme, but here’s some old dude playing it quite well on his guitar:

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Well now, I'm going to have to try it. You all make it sound so delicious.

I love mayo in general. We used only Best Foods, which is what Hellman's is called on the west coast. My mom didn't like any other brand, and I still prefer it, though I will use Kraft mayo if it's on sale. Never ever eat store brands, as they are usually nasty!

One of my favorite sandwiches growing up was mayo and canned chopped black olives on Kilpatrick's white bread.
I know, it's terribly high in fat and very salty but I just loved it then. Of course then I was always running around and playing outside so I burned it off, now it would go straight to my hips!

I don't like Miracle Whip either, way too sweet, but I know people who LOVE it, especially on turkey sandwiches.

There is a Mitsuwa market not too far from me, they sell Kewpie. I've been needing an excuse to go so I guess I will later today.

I also don't like the really strong olive oil mayo they serve in restaurants here sometimes. It is way too strong.

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Glenda
Bento-ing from: New York › New York › USA
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Thanks for the mayonnaise history, Maki! :)

I didn't realize that there was so much extra egg yolk in the Kewpie Mayo! I guess that's why it tastes so good! :) I noticed that Japan Center now sells a Kewpie 'zero' with no cholesterol and half the fat and calories. I think I may have to start buying that one from now on! :)

-g.

arkonitebabe
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise
annenayne wrote:

What is it that you like about it that you don't find in other mayonnaise?

Other mayo seems bland now in comparison. Maybe cos it's made with rice vinegar?
I just prefer the taste :0)

Cassaendra
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Oh, just a warning for those who try it for the first time...I adore Kewpie mayo and grew up on it, but would not eat it as a sandwich spread or potato/macaroni salad as the first way to try it. The flavor difference might be a bit jolting on your virgin bite, especially since you have in your mind what the sandwich should taste like. It has an eggy-shoyu flavor.

I found olive oil mayonnaise to be vile and threw the bottle out after I used it once on potato salad. It was just too much flavor per bite. I learned my lesson - it was the worst way to try out that mayo.

Kewpie is great for dipping veggies like asparagus. I often add a small amount with my yakisoba. It's great when used sparingly, not so much when used in cupfuls.

Another cool thing with Kewpie mayo that I use quite often is the default die (5-point star). When you take the red cap off, you can make pretty mayo flowers.

I've never gotten used to jarred condiments because I grew up with the petite Kewpie soft squeeze bottles that have been around forever.

BarbJ
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

OK, I got a bottle of Kewpie last week. It's pretty good, but very different than my usual, Best Foods (Hellman's). It is more 'eggy' but mostly has less vinegar taste. Almost tasted like it had some mustard in it also. Not bad.

I thought it was good on mild tasting sandwiches like roasted chicken, but I didn't like it on hard-boiled eggs which is funny because of the extra egg yolks I figured I would. Maybe I'm just too used to Best Food's with eggs.

It's also very creamy, almost buttery, so maybe a good base for creamy salad dressings. Oh, I also thought the star shaped part was adorable!

Jiza
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise
maki wrote:

But I do love aioli (garlic mayo made with olive oil) used in moderation.

you probably refer to Alioli! I didn't know it was known outside my country! I absolutely love it. How do you eat it?
The usual thing here is over boiled potato chunks or fried potato... yummm... *n_n*

But true alioli (only for the brave!) is just mashed garlic with olive oil and salt, no mayo!

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maki
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

It is actually called aioli or aïoli in French - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aioli - All the versions I've had so far are like a mayo in the way it's made (an emulsion of eggs and oil, with garlic). In France it's usually served with fish...in Provence it always comes with bouillabaise (with croutons) and brandade de morue (salt cod...which is baccala etc. in other countries in the area), and i've had it with steamed fruits de la mer (seafood) platters and things too in the Alsace and Paris. I guess it is just a variation of a sauce used all around the Mediterranean!

d.
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Hi all,
Just bought a bottle of this mayo, and noticed that it said it should be used within a month of opening. That is a LOT of mayo to use up in a month. How does everyone deal with this? Does it keep longer than a month, in your experience?
Thanks!

Jiza
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

yeah it probably is, actually alioli (that's the name in spanish ^^) is a sauce from the mediterranean coast.
I never ever tried it with seafood o_o

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Aioli is also great with asparagus. And I use it in potato salad - waxy potatoes, cherry tomatoes, cubes of feta, thinly sliced red onion, and aioli. Heaven.

maki
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

I find that store-bought mayonnaise usually keeps more than a month, if properly refrigerated...or at least I haven't died yet from eating older mayo. Home made mayo is another matter since it uses fresh eggs. I do try to use up any opened container as soon as possible though (and buy only small containers).

Loretta
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Re: History of Kewpie Mayonnaise

That's a wonderful rundown! I'm really pleased to read it as I've been curious about this product and how it might have been introduced.

I'm very fond of Kewpie mayonnaise. Some dishes really seem to benefit form this particular mayo, like okonomiyaki (which just isn't the same with Hellmans). And I find myself combining kewpie with British style mayonnaise in things like potato salads - I think mixing the two approximates the Kraft Mayonnaise I used to enjoy in Spain.

But Kewpie is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, particularly as Hellmans in the UK now only makes mayonnaise made from free range eggs. I wonder if Kewpie will ever move in the same direction. Might be a while.

Jiza wrote:

yeah it probably is, actually alioli (that's the name in spanish ^^) is a sauce from the mediterranean coast.
I never ever tried it with seafood o_o

That must mean you haven't had "Arroz a Banda" yet. Alioli is the classic acompaniment to this heavenly fish stock and squid Valencian rice dish. Next time you're in the levant region, you HAVE to try it. Drool....

zenman
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Alioli is a very tipical mayo used in spain that goes great with fish and potatoes.Is made usually with olive oil,eggs and crushed garlic.You can ad a bit of lemon too.
If you are going to eat lamb chops another recipe is potato puree,egg yolk ,salt and crushed garlic.

Loretta
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alioli

Real alioli from Spain is only made from garlic, olive oil (and a bit of salt). That's what the name means - garlic and oil.

No eggs. (Jiza, who has family from the same part of Spain as me, makes the same assertion in post 7)

I know people do make a garlic sauce by mixing crushed garlic into mayonnaise (heck, even I do this sometimes), but it is not alioli.

There are special mortars to make aïoli in, you generally use a ceramic one with a wooden pestle. You also need an oil dispenser that will let you add the oil drop by laborious drop and only once the garlic has been very, very thoroughly pulped. It's important to be extremely patient and to only grind the aïoli rhythmically in one direction or it will split - a couple of drops of lemon juice does make it easier as it helps stop the emulsion from splitting, but that's more of a cooking cheat than a desired extra ingredient for flavour.

Because it is something that took time and lots of patience, often it wasn't the women who were the best candidates to make it as their attention would be taken by other household chores and babies. So this task was more of a man's role and he'd take the pestle and mortar outside and get to work with the grinding there (all that garlic gets a bit smelly!). The sign of a good aïoli is one where the pestle will stand up in the middle of the aïoli filled mortar AND the whole lot, pestle and all, can be inverted over the head without falling onto a (typically bald) scalp.

Sorry, zenman, but aïoli is traditional to my part of Spain and I'd be letting that side of my heritage down by not protesting that aïoli is a mayonnaise and that it is typically made with eggs.

Pat
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

A month!?! I keep my Kewpie mayo in the fridge for much longer than that...like many months...and have yet to get sick from eating it (knock on wood.) I thought there's an expiration date stamp on these things, but I will have to go home and check. I only use it on a few dishes (sandwiches, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, spicy tuna handroll) so I can't use it up fast.

bronwyncarlisle
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Re: alioli

Now I'm confused. You use both "alioli" and "aïoli". Are they the same thing or not? I thought aioli was French and included egg and alioli was the Spanish equivalent.

Loretta
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Re: alioli

Ah, you're assuming there's only one Spanish equivalent :D I'm used to hearing it as all-i-oli (Catalan/Valencian) which is closer to aïoli than alioli (two ls "ll" is a kind of 'y' sound)

The French wikipedia entry for aïoli (Maki included a link to the English entry) also says that the eggless emulsion is the traditional kind and that adding egg, or potato, or breadcrumbs are alternatives.

I don't mind people deviating from tradition, I just think it's good to know that there is a deviation. There are plenty of people who prefer it with egg as it has a milder taste. Real alioli is what I call 'picante', it was the 'hottest' food I knew of before I got to try chili peppers.

EDIT (had a baby to attend to and interrupted myself)

There's a real skill to making eggless alioli and that scene I depicted of family patriarchs at their doorways with a mortar between their legs (and usually some tobacco dangling from their lips) enjoying a bit of mental space away from the chaos of family life whilst they concentrate on building up the emulsion should be an enduring image. It isn't. It's actually a rather fragile memory.
In a generation or two it will become common knowledge that alioli is just a fancy name for garlic mayonnaise and this part of my cultural heritage will be on the brink of being lost forever. This is why I believe it is so important to speak up.

Perhaps what we need is for the Spanish Tourist board to promote stress relieving retreats where visitors can learn the art of alioli/aïoli making in the same way that visitors to Japan can learn to whisk matcha. ;)

LadyAmalthea
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Does anybody here happen to know if Kewpie Mayo is gluten free? I tried searching the internet for it but I can't find any satisfying answers...

maki
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

These are the listed ingredients for Kewpie Mayonnaise according to their official Japanese web site: vegetable oil (including soybean oil), egg yolk, vinegar (including apple cider vinegar), salt, flavorings (amino acids - glutamates ), spices, spice extracts. Sounds gluten free to me! (Keep in mind that the specific term 'gluten-free' these days is used for marketing purposes rather than for nutritional information in the U.S. and some other places, but this practice has not spread to Japan.)

(In the course of my searching for that info I came across an academic paper that says that mayonnaise inhibits the development of gluten in doughs and batters, so Kewpie's manufacturers have promoted it at various times as a good addition to tempura batter. For whatever that's worth!)

LadyAmalthea
Joined: 19 Feb 2011
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Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Sounds safe, yes. Cool, thank you for looking this up.

anon.
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

I just ate some - I'm extremely sensitive to gluten.. so far so good.. I'll re-post if I get sick.
Loretta

anon.
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Hi again,
so I only had a little first time round, tonight for dinner I was more bold.
I think it may have some gluten in it since i am having 2 of my usual symptoms = fatigue and sore throat.
But it is definately not loaded with the stuff.
Loretta

Haru
Re: Kewpie Mayonnaise
LadyAmalthea wrote:

Does anybody here happen to know if Kewpie Mayo is gluten free? I tried searching the internet for it but I can't find any satisfying answers...

Kewpie has MSG as a listed ingredient. However, since most MSG is no longer derived from wheat, Kewpie likely could be considered a gluten-free food.

Haru

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