I'm not much of a mayo girl. Usually if a recipe calls for a hefty dose of mayo, I'll sub in Greek yogurt. I never, ever go the Miracle Whip route- that stuff tastes vile. Anyhow, once in awhile I'll get a hankering for seafood salad- you know the goopy, white stuff with chunks of veggies, shrimp and crab? When I do, I opt to make it with Kewpie. Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese mayo that's been around since the mid 1920's. It comes in this weird squishy bottle (that kind of reminds me of a colostomy bag) with a creepy, open-armed, naked baby as its logo. Despite the odd packaging, I've been eating the stuff for years. My mom used to make Japanese potato salad with it when I was a kid (in fact I nowadays I still prefer my potato salad with Kewpie over the standard mayo). To me Kewpie has a much smoother, creamier texture than Best Foods or Kraft and tastes less eggy (they use twice the amount of egg yolks). Also it's made from rice vinegar as opposed to distilled vinegar, so it imparts a slightly sweeter taste. Kewpie also has a bit of umami to it, making it great for incorporating it into a variety of dishes. I've used it in deviled eggs, in oyster motoyaki and drizzled on okonomiyaki. If you like mayo with your artichoke, asparagus or French fries, try switching it out for Kewpie. You won't go back. Additionally, if you mix it with sriracha, it makes a fantastic spicy dipping sauce.
Creamy Shrimp and Avocado Salad
1/2 lb. of cooked, medium-sized shrimp
5-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (optional. I skip this sometimes as Mr. S. is not a raw tomato fan)
1 firm but ripe avocado, chopped into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup Kewpie mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon of shio-koji (or sub in a pinch of salt)
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Slice cooked shrimp into small bite-sized pieces. Place in a medium-sized bowl. Combine with cherry tomatoes, avocado and red onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together Kewpie, lime juice, sriracha, garlic, shio-koji and pepper.
3. Pour dressing over shrimp mixture. Gently toss together.
4. Give the flavors a chance to meld together (I throw it in the fridge for a half hour).
5. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Makes 2 servings
* If you're in Sacramento, Oto's sells Kewpie.