So perhaps this post is a bit off-schedule; Japanese potato salad is a a staple in our home all summer long. But I have a feeling that we'll enjoy it a few times more as the seasons transition. After all, it stays quite warm round these parts until October, and frankly, this potato salad is good enough to eat all year long.
You may wonder what the difference is between western-style potato salad and Japanese potato salad and that is a valid question. In short, Japanese potato salad is a sort of summer-inspired mashed potato dish with just enough mayonnaise to make it interesting. PBS has a short article and recipe here. the Just Hungry blog offers another version here. But this is the way mom taught me:
Kumi's Japanese Potato Salad
- 6-8 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (I've used all sorts of different potatoes, even mixed them and it always comes out good. So use whatever you have on hand or whatever your favorite is)
- 3-4 boiled eggs, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, peeled
- 2 apples, cored, quartered and sliced (I like Pink Lady)
- 1-2 Japanese cucumbers, thinly sliced (Persian cukes also work well - something without big seeds)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (Kewpie for the most authentic version, but any brand will do)
- salt and black pepper to taste
Cook potatoes and carrots (and eggs if you haven't boiled them yet) in boiling water until soft, then drain. Remove carrots and slice into chunks. Mash the potatoes to desired consistency (soft but with a few chunks for texture). Gently fold in all other ingredients and season to taste.
I usually make ours vegetarian style, but I've had it before with chopped ham, which is also delicious. It is a very forgiving dish and you can make it with fewer or more vegetable/fruit, according to your tastes. We like ours to be bursting with fruit and veggies...
If you try it, let me know how it worked for you!