Bang bang sauce and yum yum sauce are both condiments popular in Asia. But are they the same sauces or completely different?
The main difference between bang bang sauce and yum yum sauce is that the spice level and, therefore, the flavour are different. This is because, although they’re both sauces, the ingredients are far from the same.
What is Bang Bang Sauce?
Bang Bang sauce is one of the most popular sauces served on or alongside many street foods, most famously Bang Bang Chicken.
It is one of the simplest sauces to knock together at home with a combination of mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, sriracha and honey. Stir 2 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce, 1 tbsp of sriracha and 1 tsp of honey into half a cup of mayonnaise until combined. That’s it!
Bang Bang sauce is traditionally served on deep-fried chicken. The name Bang Bang comes from the noise the cleaver would make when street sellers cut the chicken to make the dish.
Bang Bang sauce can be used to coat deep-fried meat or it can be used as a dipping sauce for a range of vegetables and meats. If you want to give a dish some Asian flavour, then Bang Bang sauce is the easy way to do that.
What is Yum Yum Sauce?
Although now popular in Japanese steakhouses, Yum Yum sauce is actually an American invention. It has since become popular in Japanese steakhouses which is why many people assume it originates in Japan.
Yum Yum sauce is made of a combination of mayonnaise mixed with ketchup, vinegar, garlic, sugar and paprika. A range of foods can be dunked into the sauce – if you’re going to try anything dipped in it, give steak a go!
The name Yum Yum sauce is far from imaginative… It’s simply because the sauce tastes so yummy!
Differences Between Bang Bang Sauce and Yum Yum Sauce
Although both sauces have a remotely similar appearance and are both popular in Asia, the list of differences is extensive:
- Ingredients – The combination of ingredients in each of the two dips are completely different. For spice, Bang Bang sauce has sriracha, whereas Yum Yum sauce has paprika. Bang Bang sauce has honey for sweetness, whereas Yum Yum sauce has sugar.
- Spice Level – Sriracha in Bang Bang sauce will give it a prominent heat. Yum Yum sauce tends to only have paprika for spice which is far milder. Some variations of Yum Yum sauce will add some sort of hot sauce to increase the spice level.
- Origins – Bang Bang sauce originates in the Szechuan region of China, where street vendors would serve it up with deep-fried chicken. Yum Yum sauce, however, is from the United States. And no, it’s not Japanese!
Similarities Between Bang Bang Sauce and Yum Yum Sauce
Although there is quite an extensive list of differences, Bang Bang and Yum Yum sauces are not entirely different. Here are some of the things they share:
- Use – Both sauces are used as a dip for deep-fried chicken and vegetables or steak. Ultimately, either sauce can be used in place of mayonnaise or ketchup. Think burgers, chips, fried chicken, sandwiches and more!
- Appearance (Just) – Bang Bang and Yum Yum sauce have a pale pink to orangey hue. If you put them side-by-side, most people would struggle to tell the difference.
- Method – The method for making both of the sauces remains the same. You take mayonnaise, combine it with all the other ingredients and then stir until fully incorporated.
- Base Ingredient – Although they both taste different, the base ingredient for both Bang Bang and Yum Yum sauce is mayonnaise. This will instantly give them a similar smooth texture and appearance.
Bang Bang Sauce vs Yum Yum Sauce: Which Wins?
Both sauces have spice, are used to dip foods into and are often served alongside Asian-inspired meals. But which is your favourite?
Do You Prefer Bang Bang Sauce or Yum Yum Sauce?
Bang Bang Sauce and Yum Yum Sauce FAQs
Do you still have questions about Bang Bang and Yum Yum sauces? Then these FAQs might help you out:
Bang Bang sauce works well at cutting through rich, greasy fried foods. This is why it’s so notable for being sold as Bang Bang chicken and Bang Bang cauliflower.
You can smother anything with Yum Yum sauce. It is most popularly served alongside steak, but it would work anywhere you normally use ketchup.
Yum Yum sauce goes by various names, including Pink Sauce, Sakura Sauce, Seafood Sauce or Japanese Shrimp Sauce.
Lewis is the founder and editor of Let’s Foodie alongside other food-related platforms including FreezeIt and SubstituteIt. He launched Let’s Foodie to provide aspiring cooks with one place to get the answers to some of the most commonly asked cooking questions.