Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Recipe Rip-Off *edited*

In the town where we live there is a small chain of restaurants called Cafe Yumm. They serve stuff like rice bowls with black beans, spouts, and salsa. Every dish they make comes with their famous Yumm Sauce. It's delicious!! We love it. You can buy their Yumm Sauce from their restaurants, but it's pricey: $3.75 for an 8oz jar. 8oz doesn't last very long in our house. I was recently chatting with a friend about a craving I was having for Cafe Yumm and she told me she has a recipe for Yumm Sauce.

"No way!! I have to have it!"
"Way. It's easy. I'll email it to you."

And so I waited for a couple of days but sadly, the email never came. I prompted her, and she finally obliged. So yesterday I went to the store, both kids in tow, to buy the ingredients necessary to concoct this coveted delicacy. And it's a close facsimile to the original! It was easy to make and turned out yummy (ha! pun intended!). And so, I share this recipe with you and strongly encourage you to try it:

Original Yumm Sauce:
1/2 cup oil (I used a canola oil)
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup brewers yeast (the grocery store didn't carry brewers yeast specifically but assured me that fast acting yeast would be a good substitute. It seems to have worked).
1/3 cup garbonzo beans - drained (I used closer to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup soybeans (again, the store didn't carry soybeans so I used a silken tofu and used approx. 1/2 cup. This seems to have worked.)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp curry powder

Blend nuts, beans and oil in food processor. Then blend in yeast and liquids one at a time. Puree until smooth. Voila!

This sauce is great with rice or pasta. It can also be used as a dressing for salads, a topping on soup & chili, a spread for sandwiches, a dipping sauce for veggies, a basting sauce for grilling, or a mayo alternative. It's really quite versatile! But best of all, it's egg free, dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, cholesterol free and low in sodium. There are nuts in it, however, for anyone with allergies to nuts. My kids love it! I'm sure if you make it you'll find a ton of creative uses for such a flavorful, yummy sauce. Go for it!


I just went to go use the sauce I made with my lunch and discovered that it's a good idea to let the sauce "rest" overnight before bottling it up (I put it into 3 jelly jars with tight fitting lids). You see, the yeast will expand and the sauce needs room to accommodate that. Otherwise, you find jelly jars weeping sauce out of bulging lids and, shall we say, explosive results upon opening? Yeah, I'm an idiot. The sauce still tastes great, though! Live and learn...

That sounds so good! I'm going to have to try it once the holiday insanity is over.
long time no chat! your kids look great!!
happy thanksgiving
We just tried the recipe tonight- pretty close to the original. We found nutritional yeast at Whole Foods bulk dept and canned organic soybeans. Made our own yumm bowls too. I don't actually think $3.75 a bottle is that pricey- but you have to buy a six pack and the shipping is $48.00. They insist on overnight shipping with special ice packs- that motivated me to wait until we're back in OR again to buy- so your recipe was a real treat.
HEY!! I was making a burrito tonight and all of a sudden had a flash of Yumm Sauce! I used to live in Eugene and Portland but I am located in SF now....WOW..You made my night with this recipe!


I live in Eugene and have been hooked on Yumm sauce for months. I figured someone might have the recipe, THANKS for sharing! I have made it twice, both times to rave reviews! I am going to work with a vegan/raw chef friend to see if we can refine it a touch more and get it closer to the original. BUT, it's darn good as it is. The only thing is that I can't get it smooth enough. Don't know if I need to run it longer in the food processor. I am going to try soaking the almonds overnight and that might help.
Yes, I'm another Yumm addict a far way from home, now living in NYC, but hooked on Yumm during 13 years of living in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks so much for the recipe. I'm getting the ingredients today!! From my cooking experience I wouldn't substitute baking yeast for nutritional yeast, I urge you to try to find nutritional yeast, I think you'll be happier with the flavor and the leftovers won't try to escape from the container :)
Yay-happy to find this! Can't wait to try it. thanks for posting it.
Uhhh... the reason why your stuff is expanding and weeping all over the place is because you're using the wrong type of yeast. Why ever told you to use brewers yeast is off the mark. What you should be using is nutritional yeast, which is cultured on molasses, so it'll help the taste be closer to real Yumm sauce, too...
I'm so glad to have found this recipe. I'm going to make it up tomorrow. We lived in Oregon for three years (we've been in Seattle for 4 years now), and like junervy said, I emailed Cafe Yumm this very day and got severe sticker shock - having to buy a whole case and then overnighting it to me in gel packs. No, thanks. I really appreciate you posting this - glad I Googled it. And there's nothing wrong with using baking yeast. Once it's done being yeasty I think no harm's done.

Oh my Lord. We made this today - finally - and your friend (or whoever thought the recipe up) is a genius. We followed the recipe to the letter, and this IS the stuff. We're making Yumm bowls tonight.

Thank you thank you thank you. This is a culinary miracle in our home. :-)
I am soooo excited about trying this and sharing it with all of the people in my life that have heard but not tasted - I got hooked on Yumm sauce when the cafe opened in Eugene over on 18th - then when living in Portland was sooo excited when I found it in the food coop off NW 23rd - now in the sf bay area for 2 years with only the yumm sauce that friends have brought down in there coolers (yes that addicted) when visiting from OR ... I just happened to google search yumm sauce - when what I was really looking for was hummas and tabule recipes to mix together to get something close to yumm ... but there was your recipe, first hit! I don't know, maybe this is all a dream - but I'm making a list for the store right now and have read over all the comments and suggestions ... have i mentioned that i am a little excited!!! Thank you from my taste-buds!! And thank you Yumm Cafe for coming up with the sauce in the first place!!
WOW thanks! You're a life saver to all those who used to live in Eugene and came to love Cafe Yumm. I would buy a big bottle of sauce every time I visited friends there, but I don't have to anymore!
This is great! I live in Chicago and just flew back from Eugene last night after visiting my sister and her family. I tried to get a jar of Yumm sauce through security, but they took it away after I had kept it cool for hours in a little cooler bag with ice! I was so disappointed because I became addicted to Yumm sauce after only a nine-day visit. This morning I googled Yumm sauce and this is the first hit I came across--exactly what I was looking for! I am making my grocery list this minute and we're having Yumm bowls tonight! Thank you so much!!
another very happy family! We use to live in eugene, (now in ct) and my kids live on the stuff....so much so that we order two cases at a time every few months! my little picky eaters don't want anything else but rice, avacados and yumm sauce! We are going to make it tomorrow and try it before I have to put our next order in ! Thanks so much!
Missing Oregon! Carissa
I added a touch more soy beans and it seemed to get the recipe closer. Also, I'm not sure what it is but the original has some sort of green leaf in it. Bay leaf, basil, or something like that... I'm not really sure.
I went to Cafe Yumm one time on my way thru Eugene and was hooked. I've ordered Yumm Sauce to get my fix ever since, but with the shipping it does get too spendy! So, I tried your recipe yesterday and BLESS YOU!! I am thrilled. LOVE IT! Thanks ever soooo much!
I live 2 hours from Eugene. Tonight ate at Cafe Yumm for the first time. Oh wow! We bought a bottle of the sauce and came home intending to work on duplicating the sauce. But thought I'd do a web search, and there was your recipe! Thank you!! Kyle mentioned a green leaf. Try adding basil -- the woman who waited on us and described the food while we were trying to decide what to order mentioned that the sauce has basil.
Ok....I used to live in Eugene and ate this every day for lunch....so when I moved to Washington I was sure I'd starve. I too bought jars every time I visited and had several people pick me up a jar as they passed through. A special treat once in a while. I could not believe it when I saw the recipe!!! I used nutritional yeast and tofu, almond butter and cumin instead of curry.....WOW!!! I am again enjoying th food of the God's here in Washington. Thank you soooooo much for posting this!!!
Great recipe. I am off to try it out. I would recommend that instead of fast acting yeast, you try nutritional yeast. They are very different things. The latter is not used for baking but imparts a wonderful flavor. I bet that's what they use in Yumm sauce.
Ever since we found this recipe in January, we've been adjusting it. We had a bottle of the Original Yumm Sauce to which to compare the homemade version. We thought the recipe here, while great, was not quite right. Way too much curry powder; not tart enough, etc. Here is what we have come up with that we think is closer to the original:

1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c slivered almonds
1/3 c cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 c cooked soybeans
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c water
1/2 c lemon juice
1/3 c nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp ascorbic acid

Combine oil, almonds, beans, and garlic in food processor and blend. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

We have also discovered that you can replace all the garbanzo beans with soybeans without altering the taste. (We have a friend who is allergic to them.) Ascorbic acid adds a little more tang, but can be omitted if you can't find it at your health food store.

Thanks for the recipe! But be aware that despite what your grocer said, brewer's yeast (also called nutritional yeast) is definitely *NOT* the same as active dry yeast.

Brewer's yeast is used for nutrition and flavoring (and, ironically, not for brewing--that's yet another kind of yeast!)

Brewer's yeast is usually found in the bulk foods section of your local natural food store.
You are awesome- I love Yumm sauce but it is always too spendy. I just made your recipe and it is WONDERFUL! Thank you SO much!
Wish I can try the original but this is pretty good! Thanks for sharing this with us!

I used 1 Tbs of soy sauce instead of salt, and it tasted awesome!
I tried using Bragg Liquid Amino instead of salt and also turned out very good.

Thanks for posting this recipe and thanks to Nancy for sharing her test kitchen results.

Kind regards Yumm fans!
Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I am going to make it tomorrow for a dinner party:-)
On the bottle of Yumm sauce, they actually list the ingredients. With the exception of herbs (which can be anything) we at least know what most of the ingredients are. Nobody here has mentioned the use of Lecithin (which is on the list.) Has anybody tried making it with that? If so, how much did you use?
I have tried making Yumm sauce about 10 times now following various versions of the recipe I've found on the internet including the two found here. Unfortunately, none of my attempts come anything close to the real thing. Mine does not come out as tangy but seems to have a stronger scent. Also, real yumm sauce is a little darker (touch of brown color) whereas mine comes out mostly light yellow. When I make it, there doesn't seem to be enough moisture to puree it and thus I wind up adding more water and more oil just to get it to blend. Any suggestion on what I might be doing wrong? Does the sauce need to age/ferment for awhile?
The bulk health food section of Fred Meyer (next to the produce section in most stores) carries nutritional yeast.

I went to cafe yum for the first time last week and loved it. Living in Florence, it's way to far to drive for a craving, so I'm excited to try out the recipe.

Cafe Yumm and will have to try this sauce (the adjusted version). I'm also addicted to Whole Bowl. Do you have a recipe for their Tali sauce (maybe tahini, lemon juice, brewers yeast and garlic... what else and in what quantities?)

Thank you for this!!!
I've been trying to figure out the ingredients to the Tali Sauce at The Whole Bowl and had a friend tell me that she thought it was the same as the Yumm Sauce. I've never tried Yumm Suace and wondered what others think about the their comparison.
Hi there. I was excited to find this recipe, as I moved away from Eugene 7 months ago and have really missed Yumm sauce. I finally used up the sauce I bought when I visited Eugene two months ago and Googled the recipe on a whim.

You should definitely have not used regular yeast. The nutritional yeast won't swell as much and will give you a better flavor.

I forgot to bring my grocery list to the store, so I had to substitute a few ingredients. I used silken tofu for soy beans, added oregano and basil, and used garam masala instead of curry powder, but it's pretty close. I actually really like the flavor the masala gave the sauce. It's yummy.
Hey there ... GREAT recipe ... I live in Cottage Grove, and with the economy what it has been I was thrilled to find this about 8 months ago.

My only improvement is to use Almond Meal instead of grinding the almonds myself. It smooths the texture out allot, and is significantly cheaper than Almond Butter :)

Great post!
I have found that the key to making this is to be sure to add the asorbic acid...it really makes a difference. I use less curry powder, and add dried basil, oregano, cilantro, and paprika. The original yumm sauce seems to have red specks, which could be paprika, and it seems to make the sauce a darker color.
Good receipe, BUT, do not use Brewers Yeast. It must be Nutritional Yeast! Dried cilantro is a nice addition too.
Use Nutritional Yeast not Brewers Yeast. Brewers yeast makes it bitter.
I don't think it's right that the recipe is now on the internet, and NOT given through Cafe Yumm. I don't think it's right that Cafe Yumm is now losing business due to the fact that this recipe can now be found online. If you truly are a fan of Cafe Yumm then I suggest you go to the restuarant and support local owners, especially in this economy.

As for people in NY, SF, and all across the country who don't have this sauce. I guess it's different for you, because like you all I am a huge fan. However, I live in San Francisco as well, and taking a short 5 hour drive to Phoenix OR where the original sauce was developed is more worth it to me than stealing the recipe. Go to Rising Farms in Phoenix, and get bottles there. No point in stealing business away from Cafe Yumm.

Please people, think twice before making this recipe. Each time you do so you're taking away from Cafe Yumm.
Lecithin, usually derived from soy, is a preservative used to increase the shelf life of packaged foods and should not change the flavor of the sauce. You can find it in both liquid and granular form in the nutritional section of some markets.
Lecithin is an emulsifier. It prevents the oil and water-soluble ingredients from separating, for example in a salad dressing. I used to use it in salad dressing...I think I'd put in about 2t for about this amount of dressing.
OMG I am so excited. I haven't had YUMM sauce since I left Eugene!
hey, thanks for the recipe. Maybe try using nutritional yeast. Its an inactive yeast that is really high in B vites, and won't expand. Many people use this in non-baking recipes, but it is often commonly mistaken for brewers yeast (which is active).
Lecithin is used as an emulsifier to keep things from separating. If you don't mind shaking your sauce after it's sat a while, don't worry about it.
I'm a former PNWer now living in Phoenix, so thank you for posting this!

I just returned from Oregon with 5 litres of Yumm! sauce in my suitcase. If you buy some intending to take it on a plane, put it in an insulated bag and put it in your checked baggage. At 30K feet, it will certainly be refrigerated, and you can freeze it when you get home (if, like me, you've bought a year's supply).

BTW, it's been 4 years since the original post, and Cafe Yumm switched from 8oz. glass jars to 6oz. plastic containers, and upped the price to $4.49.
We lived in Eugene for years and love Yumm! Sauce. We moved to Colorado and have since been without, thank for the great recipe. We added 1/2 tsp. Basil like someone else suggested and that added alot of taste. I think I might add a touch less lemon juice next time. Overall very happy with the outcome! Thanks for sharing, very Yummmmmmyyyyy!
This is not yumm sauce. Close, but not yumm sauce. It is missing some herbiness and the distinct tanginess of real yumm sauce. Also curry powder has no place in yumm sauce and the soy lechtin might be useful in keeping the ingredients from separating when they hit the hot rice and beans.
Hi my name is Chelsea and I am a Cafe Yumm addict!! I moved back to Boise about 3 years ago from Eugene, and if you think the price of the 8 oz. containers is a rip try having them shipped!!! I have done it 3 times now, and if I remember correctly the shipping alone is $60 (and they can only ship between October and April!!)
I can't tell you how excited I was when a friend of mine mentioned your post and then said that she had made some!! I have to say very close and delicious, I have one "jar" (:-( when did they switch to plastic?)left in my fridge and cant wait to make my own and compare. Thank you for posting!!!
yumm sauce and tali sauce (from whole bowl) are not the same. tali is tangier. yumm is better.

making this recipe tonight. thanks!

happy cooking.
I have a question for either the recipe's vicarious author or anyone else who has tried it. How long does it last? I want to know, because I want to know how much I should make. I would make some to store if it keeps. Thanks bunches.
I also agree that this recipe is awesome, but should NOT be used with active yeast. Aside from the fact that nutritional yeast is what it is made with in the first place, the active yeast makes you emit gasses like CRAZY if you eat the sauce right after you first make it.

Honestly, I've been burping non-stop for the past 5 hours.

Aside from that though, great recipe, and thanks for all the comments that clear up any confusion.
You should never eat active yeast, ever. It starts to grow in your intestines and robs your body of the nutrients in your food. Only use nutritional or brewer's yeast in this recipe.
Yeast is a living microscopic organism which converts sugar or starch into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which is why beer brewers, wine makers and bread bakers like it. Baker's yeast is what we use most often for leavening when cooking. Baker's yeast is either active dry yeast (where the yeast is alive but inactive due to lack of moisture) or compressed fresh yeast (where the yeast is alive and extremely perishable as a result). Brewer's yeast is a non-leavening yeast used in brewing beer and can be eaten as a food supplement for its healthful properties (as you would wheat germ), unlike baker's yeast which is used for leavening. Brewer's years has a bitter hops flavor. Nutritional yeast is similar to brewer's yeast, but not as bitter because it is grown on molasses. You should not use a live yeast (i.e. baking yeast) as a food supplement because it continues to grow in the intestine and uses up vitamin B instead of replenishing it.
I'm surprised I didn't see anyone mention cumin, which seems to be a very strong flavor coming out of the sauce, though I could be wrong. I also really tasted the tahini and lemon juice.
I used to get the Whole Bowl for lunch when I lived in Portland. I started making it myself with Yumm Sauce and it is very close to the Tali Sauce. I moved to Coeur d'Alene two years ago and have been craving a whole bowl with yumm sauce ever since - am excited to try this recipe. Thank you!
The active yeast used for baking is NOT the same as nutritional yeast.
AND BREWERS YEAST is NOT THE SAME as nutritional yeast EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make this using NUTRITIONAL YEAST. Not brewers, not baking... it'll be awesome!
I've been making this recipe for nearly a year now and use it over quinoa salad which includes green onion, feta cheese, cucumber (love the lemon ones of summer) halved cherry tomatoes, edemame, and salad shrimp. YUM is right!
Brewer's yeast is NOT the correct ingredient. Nutritional yeast is what you want. I live in Eugene and have made a close copycat of this recipe. NOT brewer's yeast. I repeat!
You are awesome! I am from Canada so it is hard to transport this stuff up to here. I think its the nutritional yeast that makes it!!!
I love Yum and I felt a bit burned paying around $5.00 for a small jar of the sauce. Googling for recipes, yours is the only one on the internet! Thanks so much for posting it and I can't wait to try it.

I have discovered that the store-bought Yum has a very short shelf life. I've had some jars taste bad after only a few days in the fridge.

Thanks again.
We tried this (the modified version), with a bottle of real Yumm side-by-side to taste test. We ended up having to add more salt and nutritional yeast and quite a bit of ascorbic acid (we used ground up vitamin C tablets, 9 of them total got pretty close to the right taste.)
We still think we made some mistakes. Next time I think I would try roasting the almonds slightly first. The taste of the canola oil showed through too much. We also think that perhaps we didn't cook our soybeans long enough. Maybe using silken tofu would be an easier and more dependable choice.

I felt like the flavor was close, but the aftertaste wasn't quite right, and whatever it was that makes actual Yumm Sauce so addicting, that wasn't there.

Will report back after next attempt.

I'm excited to try this recipe. As others have noted, you want nutritional yeast, not brewer's yeast. There also seems to be some confusion about the distinction here. Brewer's yeast is used from brewing; I'm not sure where someone got the idea it's not.

Nutritional yeast does come from similar strains to brewer's yeast, but it has been deactivated--it won't consume sugars and create gasses. You probably won't find it at supermarkets, but most coops and health food stores will stock it.

Yeast used for baking--fast acting yeast, for instance--comes from completely different strains.
For those of you who venture over the Cascades Mts. to Bend, OR - AKA: the Dry Side, Cafe Yumm opened up in Bend a number of years ago in the Old Mill District. Check it and the Yumm Sauce out!
I AM SO EXCITED!!! Was looking to order Yum!Sause and found this reciepe...I AM SO HAPPY!! I too am old lover of this sause...I've tried duplicating myself with mixed results : always good but never the same as the original. I've made my shopping list and can't wait for the next "town trip". Let you know how it turns out.
~peg KempHenry
I would suggest using almond meal in place of the almonds if you are concerned about the smoothness factor - it's very well priced at Trader Joe's!
This is a great recipe...just made a batch and I LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing.
Hi all,

Glad to find this recipe. But I have a doubt. It may sound silly, but I am using yeast for the first time, so please guide. When you say 1/3 cup nutritional yeast, do you mean to put 1/3 cup powder of that as it is or do you mean to mix a small quantity of it in 1/3 cup of sugared water and add that?
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