Tart Yellow Sauce

Kimizu Aé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

This is a velvety egg sauce for napping boiled seafood and green vegetables. Piquant in flavor and smooth in texture, it combines beautifully with chunks of lobster meat, crabmeat, shrimp, squid or octopus and thin-sliced cucumber rounds, fresh cooked asparagus or string beans.



Combine the yolks and 2–2½ tablespoons of the sweet and sour sauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until it is well mixed.

The cooking of this sauce is a bit tricky. Strong, direct heat is necessary to ensure gloss and vivid color, though it increases the danger of scorching and curdling. The Japanese resolve this by stirring the sauce constantly and cooking it at repeated short intervals over a medium-high flame. In the interim they cool the saucepan on a damp towel. The rhythm is something like 10 seconds heat then 5 seconds rest on the damp towel. It should take no longer than 1–1½ minutes for the sauce to thicken to the consistency of loosely scrambled eggs. Don’t worry about lumpiness at this stage.

Let the sauce cool for a minute or two before transferring it to a dry, white linen towel or a table napkin. Gather up the ends of the towel to enclose the thick sauce in a small bag (1). Twist the bag, forcing the sauce through the weave of the cloth (2). Scrape off the smooth, thick yellow sauce from the outside of the bag (lumps will have smoothed out) and place in a small bowl (3). Thin it to the consistency of heavy cream with the remaining sweet and sour sauce. Tart yellow sauce will keep well for 1–2 days, refrigerated and covered.

Chill the yellow sauce, seafood and vegetables separately. Assemble your salad just before serving: a mound of pink-tinted seafood, a bundle of verdant vegetables, and a dollop of bright yellow sauce.