Picky eaters

Yondu Sauce Got My Kid to Eat—Now We're Obsessed

The veggie-based umami flavor of Yondu sauce made just about everything appealing to my toddler.

Yondu Sauce Got My Kid to Eat—Now We're Obsessed

Lauren Harden

I consider myself very lucky not to have a terribly picky eater—but I know that that can change on a dime by virtue of my child being a toddler. We've been through all sorts of phases, such as throwing food, not using our toddler forks and feeding the dog copious amounts of our meal.

One phase I have needed help with? The occasional insistence on not eating vegetables. Enter Yondu sauce.

What is Yondu sauce?

Yondu sauce is an umami sauce. Umami is a taste like salty, sweet, bitter and sour—it usually refers to something that is savory and is usually derived from animal-based products like meats and cheeses. (That’s why a cheeseburger tastes so good.)

And even though a bottle of Yondu seems hard to find or fancy, it's totally affordable and easy to access.

yondu sauce, what is yondu sauce Lauren Harden

Yondu umami is made from vegetables, though. and can enhance the flavor of any savory dish you’re making, veggie-forward or otherwise.

It’s 100% plant-based, made from organic soybeans, sea salt, a veggie broth loaded with eight different vegetables and yeast extract. That’s it—really. Plus, it has all the good labels: USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, vegan and gluten-free.

How to use Yondu fermented veggie sauce


Yondu umami can be used as a substitute for salt, bouillon cubes, soy sauce and fish sauce; in other words, a salt replacement in things like broth, sauteed dishes or salad dressings. It has more flavor depth than traditional salt, hence the vegetable umami moniker.

Yondu umami sauce can be used as an umami boost in many recipes, not just Asian-inspired ones, including dips and pasta dishes. It only takes a little to get an explosion of amplified savory flavor and makes just about any dish taste divine.

Not sure where to start? Each bottle comes with a little guide to help cooks get acclimated with just how much of this wonderful seasoning sauce to use, plus it has recipes to help you get creative.

My Yondu sauce review

As mentioned, it's 50/50 on getting my kid to eat her veggies—and I'm very grateful that the odds are often in my favor. On occasions when they're not, adding something like a sauce is a tried-and-true parenting trick. To really seal the deal, I added Yondu umami sauce to a dressing that I was making for a salad, something my child has absolutely refused to eat.

I added just a splash to a standard Russian-inspired dressing and tossed it with some lettuce. And yes—she ate it.


She. Ate. A. Salad.

yondu sauce umami, what is yondu sauce Lauren Harden

Our bottle of Yondu sauce now sits out on the counter next to our salt, pepper, olive oil and other staples. It's an easy thing to dash into a sauce or broth, and I like that it came with a little guide to help me get comfortable on the amount to use when cooking different things.

I love that it's not super salty but adds dimension to any dish.

TL;DR: you only need a small amount of this slowly fermented, vegan-friendly flavor booster.

Where to buy Yondu sauce


Getting your hands on naturally-fermented, umami-rich Yondu sauce is as simple as adding it to your Amazon cart. Its Amazon page even has a handy measuring ratio graphic to help you know just how much to use, plus cooking videos to inspire. 

Need a free Amazon membership? Check out this page with loads of free stuff from Amazon.

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

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Lauren is a writer, leader, content strategist and storyteller based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her work can also be found in publications such as Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest (U.S.) and Ocean Drive Magazine