Japanese Potato Salad

by Tokyo Terrace on April 30, 2011


Potato salad, in many forms, is a popular side dish in countries around world. I’ve always been a big fan- I love the creamy texture of the potatoes with the crispness of celery (or pickles in some cases). Potato salad is a sure sign that warmer months are upon us. I’ve always known potato salad to be a Midwestern/Southern favorite in the United States, but was shocked to find that it is just as popular in Japan. My first clue should have been the crazy obsession with mayonnaise. It’s amazing! If they can put mayo in it, on it, or under it, the Japanese will do it. Not that I’m complaining, but enough is enough. I can only take so much!

OK. Back to potato salad… So I was thinking about how much I love potato salad when it occurred to me that tonight would be the perfect time to whip some up. It had already been decided that we were grilling hamburgers, and so it seemed the natural side dish to choose. Instead of making the typical potato salad that my mom makes (and I absolutely love, for the record) I wanted to make it more reminiscent of the Japanese version. I found a great, easy to follow recipe on JapanEats.tv and got to work!

I made a few changes to the recipe based on the ingredients that I had on hand, and I didn’t peel the potatoes (because I like it that way) but it turned out quite well! And actually, you may want to call it a Japanese inspired potato salad. Although it does taste similar to what I’ve had in bento boxes.

What’s your favorite summer side dish? Does it have different variations from other countries? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Japanese Potato Salad

Adapted from JapanEats.tv

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

1 pound small red potatoes (or other small potato)

1  seedless cucumber, thinly sliced (just under 1 cup)

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon hot & sweet mustard or wholegrain mustard

salt and pepper

Cut the potatoes into quarters and place them in a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water until it just covers the potatoes. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water begins boiling, turn the heat down and continue cooking until the potatoes are easily punctured with a toothpick or knife.

While the potatoes are cooking, place the onion in a bowl of water and soak for 3 minutes. Place the cucumber slices in a small bowl and sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, rubbing the salt in a bit with your hands. Use paper towels or a clean dish/tea towel to wring the extra water out of the onions and cucumber.

Strain the potatoes when they are done cooking and put them in a large bowl. Gently mash the potatoes slightly with a large spoon or spatula, keeping most of the potatoes in their original shape. Add the cucumber, onions, and a bit of salt and black pepper. Mix together gently. Add the mayonnaise and mustard. Stir until thoroughly combined and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

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  • Ofstedal

    Great minds think alike. I am making potato salad tonight too to serve with grilled hamburgers. When I taught a potato salad unit to my high school each kitchen was making different version. I was horrified that the group doing the Betty Crocker Minnesota version were mashing their pototoes rather than cutting them into cubes. Now I love mashed potato salad too.
    Another thing a student taught me was the ease of making potato salad using only a microwave.

  • http://versesfrommykitchen.blogspot.com/ MikeVFMK

    I love potato salad but I don’t make it nearly enough. Maybe it’s been the long winter? With that changing soon I’ll be back to trying new recipes like this one. Love the addition of cucumbers and sweet mustard. Definitely worth a try!

  • Anonymous

    Man, that looks good.

  • Anonymous

    Long winters can certainly make it difficult to delve into dishes that should be savored in warmer weather. Still, it’s a good reminder that winter won’t last forever!

  • Anonymous

    It does seem counter-intuitive to mash potato salad at all. My Midwestern roots just scream DON’T! Still, I love the texture it creates.

  • cocopuff1212

    Oooooh, cucumber in potato salad! So Japanese :) (My mom would also put some chirimen-jako in this, believe it or not.) I have everything this recipe calls for — I think I’ll make this tonight! Thank you for the inspiration.

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    I love potatoes! That salad looks tasty but I might set aside the onions. I’m not an onion lover.

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  • Anonymous

    You could try using chives instead- they have a more mild, sweet flavor that might please your taste buds a bit more. And they would add a beautiful green color!

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