Japanese Potato Salad recipe

Japanese Potato Salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Potato salad

This creamy potato salad is comparable to mashed potatoes with bits in it. Enjoy with tomato wedges and lettuce or as a sandwich filler.

1 person made this

IngredientsMakes: 2 - 4 servings

  • 300g potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 50g cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 20g carrot, julienned
  • 40g red onion, finely sliced
  • 20g ham, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:15min ›Extra time:2hr cooling › Ready in:2hr35min

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook over medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain.
  2. Transfer the potatoes back into the pan over low heat. Mash the potatoes, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  3. Once cool, add the cucumber, carrot, red onion, ham, salt, pepper, sugar and mayonnaise. Chill until needed.


Japanese mayonnaise tastes a little different than ordinary mayonnaise. It's typically made with rice vinegar and a touch of monosodium glutamate. You can purchase in Oriental speciality shops or online.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (2)

Sounds disgusting - but it is delicious. Used ordinary low fat mayo, but next time, perhaps I might add a dash of white wine vineger. Also, left out the ham and served it with barbecue. Everyone loved it.-14 Aug 2013

Japanese Potato Salad Is the Only Side You Need for Labor Day

Welcome to Chow with Me, where Chowhound’s executive editor Hana Asbrink shares all of the irresistible things she’s cooking, eating, reading, buying, and more. Today: The best Japanese potato salad for summer and beyond.

I know the start of summer heralds hot dogs, watermelon, and potato salad and Labor Day marks the end of their seasonal heyday but in my mind, potato salad is something to be enjoyed year-round. Maybe it’s because our house favorite potato salad is a Japanese potato salad whose perfect balance of creaminess, tartness, and yes, even a touch of sweetness, is so delicious, I often eat it on its own, without any meaty or grilled companions.

The best recipe for Japanese potato salad comes from Shirley Karasawa of the now-defunct blog, Lovely Lanvin (lucky for us, she’s still very active on Instagram). The fashion-loving Japanese-American home cook, who splits her time between Seattle and Tokyo, has incredible taste in all things, but especially in food. She’s one of my trusted resources for Japanese home cooking, and her potato salad recipe doesn’t disappoint.

“My recipe was inspired by my favorite yoshoku-ya (a Japanese restaurant that specializes in Western-influenced Japanese cuisine), Edoya in our Azabujuban neighborhood of Tokyo,” she tells me. “Unfortunately the owner/chef retired earlier [last] year. After years of eating his potato salad and lots of experimenting, I was able to recreate it a few years ago.”

Let’s all benefit from Shirley’s diligence. If you’re not familiar with Japanese-style potato salad, it is downright delightful. Unlike Western- or German-style potato salad (which I also love), the Japanese version looks closer to roughly mashed potatoes. It’s flavored with ample mayonnaise (try the tangier, slightly sweeter Japanese Kewpie mayo for stellar results), rice wine vinegar, and studded with refreshing cucumber and carrots. There’s also a bit of onion, which doesn’t add color, but certainly a welcome kick in this creamy, tangy potato salad.

“His Japanese potato salad was always perfect and had just the right texture with a secret ingredient that made it extra flavorful: karashi, or Japanese spicy mustard,” Shirley explains. “I think the hint of karashi and using really good potatoes (I like Yukon Gold) that you keep a little chunky, totally makes this dish.”

I have riffed on this recipe endlessly, taking liberties with hard-boiled eggs (often seen in both Japanese and Korean potato salads), corn, diced ham (which I think is more common in Korean versions), and diced apples (an addition my mother prefers). It is tasty out of the bowl, but even more delicious after spending a few quality hours in the fridge. I always make a double portion because it disappears at an alarming rate. As I mentioned earlier, it’s great on its own, but stupendous with fresh-off-the-grill chorizos, BBQ, or even in a sandwich with a thin slice of ham on soft bread (carb-on-carb action!).

Kewpie Mayonnaise, $5.99 from Target

While talking to Shirley, I became more curious about the origins of this Asian-style potato salad. Was there a German influence? After some deft searching on Japanese Google, she found a theory. “It seems the Japanese believe it was influenced from the Russian Olivier salad, which was first made by a Belgian chef in Russia. A chef in Japan first tried to make a similar version in Japan in 1896 and that’s where the Japanese potato salad came from, and eventually evolved over the years.” Interesting, indeed!

Japanese Potato Salad

Courtesy of Shirley Karasawa/Lovely Lanvin

4 to 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup Kewpie (Japanese) mayonnaise
1/2 cucumber (preferably Japanese or English) thinly sliced
1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
Extra sea salt for salting & blanching vegetables

Group A ingredients:
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar (Japanese superfine sugar recommended, but regular sugar is fine)
1/3 teaspoon karashi, Japanese spicy mustard

1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water so the water is just covering the top of the potatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until a paring knife or wooden skewer poked into them goes in without resistance, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander.

2. While Potatoes are cooking prepare the other vegetables: Sprinkle both onion slices and cucumber slices lightly with sea salt, mix with your hands making sure the salt coats them evenly. Set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rinse off vegetables in a colander and wrap and gently squeeze vegetables in a clean dish cloth or a few paper towels to get all of the moisture out. This is a very important step and will prevent soggy potato salad.

3. Add carrot slices to a small saucepan of salted water, bring to a boil and blanch for two minutes. They should still have a slight crunch, do not overcook. Drain and set aside.

4. Place the cooked potatoes into a medium sized bowl and gently smash with a fork or potato masher making sure you leave some small chunks. In a small bowl mix together the Group A ingredients and pour over the smashed potatoes, gently tossing to evenly coat the potatoes. Add the onions, cucumber, carrots, and Kewpie Mayonnaise, and gently combine with the potato mixture until all of the ingredients are combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator.

Related Video: These Easy Potato Pancakes Are Another Favorite Way to Eat Them

Japanese Potato Salad

Try out this Japanese potato salad, and we promise that you will not be disappointed. Unlike the potato salads we know and love in the UK, Japanese potato salad contains other exciting vegetables and proteins (ham, egg, cucumber, carrot), as well as an umami-rich dressing full of Japanese seasonings (the most prominent of which being kewpie mayonnaise). Make this salad for parties, or as a side dish for a bento lunch.


4 potatoes
2 boiled eggs
2 slices cooked ham
1/4 cucumber
1/2 carrot
1/2 onion

3 tsp rice vinegar or sushi vinegar
1 tsp dashi
6 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp white sesame seeds
pinch of shichimi togarashi (optional)

How To Prepare

Begin by peeling your potatoes before cutting them into smaller chunks and rinsing with water. Place them in a pan with enough water to just cover the potatoes and boil until they become soft.

Now drain your potatoes and cover them with the dashi making sure it is well spread. Once done, mash the potatoes roughly with a fork, we want the mixture to retain lumps. Put them back to cook on the hob and add the rice or sushi vinegar. This method is better for the potato to absorb the vinegar’s flavour. Just let them cook for one or two minutes while mixing before removing them from the heat and putting in the fridge to cool off.

Let’s take care of the other ingredients now. Peel and cut your carrot and onion before cutting them along with the cucumber into small slices. Chop the boiled eggs roughly and the ham into small pieces then mix all of your ingredients along with the potato in a bowl with a bit of salt, yummy QP Mayonnaise and optional spicy shichimi togarashi. Garnish with sesame seeds and you’re done.

Tips and Information

- Spoon your potato salad between two slices of bread for a nice potato salad sarnie, big in Japan.

- Why not try the salad in a hot dog bun which is also popular in Japan?

Japanese Potato Salad

Japanese Potato Salad is a staple in Japanese-household&rsquos home-cooking because it&rsquos so easy to make, and uses ingredients everyone usually has at home! It has vegetables, carbs, and protein so it could make a nice little meal on its own, but it is usually used as a side dish. It also makes a great bento box filling!

There are many potato salads out there, but why is this one called &ldquoJapanese&rdquo Potato Salad and what is so special about it? It is the texture and flavour that really makes this a must try recipe. You can have variety of textures in one salad: a typical potato &ldquohoku hoku&rdquo texture, a crunchiness from ingredients like apple and carrot, and a creaminess from Japanese kewpie mayonnaise.

Many potato salad recipes say that waxy potatoes are most suitable for potato salad because they are high in water content therefore it will hold its shape when the cooked potato is tossed with other ingredients. That is the biggest difference I have noticed between regular potato salad and Japanese Potato Salad. Unlike many other potato salads, Japanese Potato Salads are half mashed so the potato should be a starchy or all-rounder variety. That way, when the potato is mixed with Japanese mayonnaise, the mashed part of the cooked potato creates a creamy texture but there is still some &ldquohoku hoku&rdquo potato texture left as well.

To achieve that &ldquohoku hoku&rdquo texture, it is usually suggested that you boil the whole potato with skin intact&hellip but this way the potatoes take a lot longer to cook. I usually peel and cut them into smaller sizes so they are cooked in a much shorter time. As I explained in Japanese potato croquettes recipe, the next step is to strain the water from the potatoes, put them back in the pot and give them a shake in order to help the moisture in the potato evaporate.

If you&rsquove seen my other recipes, you may have noticed that I use this mayonnaise a lot in so many different recipes. It can be used in almost anything I think&hellip I even use it in pancakes because it makes them really fluffy and you can&rsquot taste the mayonnaise at all. It&rsquos only Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie) that works in such a variety of recipes though. Regular mayonnaise has a different flavour and will dramatically change the taste of this recipe and others.

Japanese mayonnaise are made from egg yolks (there are about 4 egg yolks in 450g mayonnaise), vegetable oil, vinegar and salt. It does not contain MSG. If it did, I would not buy and use it. And according to the Kewpie mayonnaise web site, rapeseed and soybean blended oil is used to create the vegetable oil. The company also brew their own vinegar from apple juice and malt. I think this is why Kewpie mayonnaise has such a unique flavour.

My original Japanese Potato Salad was originally published in 2016, and I added ham, sliced cucumber, carrot and onion to add a great pop of colour to the dish. This time though, I did not have any carrots on hand, but I did have an apple. So, I used apple instead. Apple adds both a nice crunchiness and sweetness to the recipe. Another good thing about Japanese Potato Salad is that you can add variety of ingredients. My suggestions for some possible ingredients you could include are apples, chopped egg, raisins, and some people even add green peas if you don&rsquot have cucumber for a little hint of green colour!

Japanese Potato Salad is a dish that tastes great either hot or cold! It tastes so yummy when it&rsquos freshly made and still warm but it&rsquos also yummy to eat the cold leftovers. So you can always make a big batch and eat some while it&rsquos hot, then leave some in the fridge to eat cold later on &ndash which is what we always do in my family. However you choose to eat it, I hope you enjoy it!

If you liked my recipe for Japanese potato salad, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don&rsquot forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don&rsquot forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I see your wonderful creations!

Potato Salad Recipe

You might not think Potato Salad is Japanese food, but it is! Japanese Potato Salad is similar to American potato salad semi-smashed boiled potatoes mixed with mayonnaise. Still doesn’t sound like Japanese food, does it? What makes Japanese potato salad Japanese? … the secret is in mayonnaise.

To make ‘Japanese’ Potato Salad, you have to use Japanese mayonnaise. That is the key ingredient. Japanese mayonnaise tastes more tangy and salty, and is very different from American mayonnaise. While mayo is used mainly for sandwiches in the US, it is used almost like a sauce or seasoning for a lot of dishes in Japan. We use Japanese mayo for salad, like potato salad here, but also as a salad dressing. It is packaged in soft bottles, and you can just squeeze it over your green salad (hey, don’t say eew!). We can also use it as a sauce for dipping, a seasoned oil for stir frying and so on.

Another difference of Japanese Potato Salad from American potato salad is having a lot of vegetables in it. We usually use sliced cucumbers, carrots, onions, peas etc., and potato is almost like a binding ingredient for the other veggies. You can also add ham and boiled eggs. Even canned mandarin oranges are in it sometimes too (although a lot of people don’t care for that). It sounds like a whole meal in one dish.

Even though it could be a great dish, often times, Potato Salad is treated as a sad little side dish off in a corner of a bento box. And it is true, a lot of store bought Potato Salad in bentos are not so great. Home made Potato Salad is of course the best!

It is not hard to get Japanese mayonnaise. Just go online, and you’ll be able to make very Japanese Potato Salad that I promise you will love.

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 5 Sides 1 x


How to make Izakaya Style Japanese Potato Salad


  • 3 Medium sized potatoes
  • ⅓ Medium sized cucumber
  • ⅓ Medium sized carrot
  • 40g (approx 5 slices) Bacon (smoked or unsmoked depending on your preference but usually unsmoked in Japan)
  • 4 tbsp Mayonnaise (Preferably Kewpie)
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 pinch Sugar
  • ½ tsp Sesame oil


  1. First peel the potatoes and carrot.
  2. Cut the potatoes into medium size chunks and boil on the stove on a medium-high heat.
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the other ingredients. Cut the carrot into 5mm slices and then cut each circle slice into quarters.
  4. Cut the cucumber into 1-2mm slices. Once it's sliced, put it in a bowl and soak it in slightly salted water. Set aside.
  5. Cut the bacon into small pieces and add to a frying pan on a medium high heat. Cook until it's a little crispy. When it's done, set aside.
  6. When you can pierce the potatoes but they still feel a little hard, add the chopped carrots to the same pot.
  7. When the potatoes are soft enough to mash, remove them from the heat and drain. The carrots should be slightly softened but not mushy.
  8. Set the carrots aside, and mash the potatoes in a separate bowl.
  9. Once the potatoes are mashed, add the bacon and carrot, then mix well.
  10. Drain the salted water of the cucumber and add the cucumber to the mashed potato, mix again.
  11. Add 4 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 pinch sugar and ½ tsp sesame oil and mix well.
  12. Serve and enjoy!


You can always add extra ingredients that were mentioned earlier such as onions or sweetcorn.

To make it extra delicious, you can add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top!

Keywords: How to make Japanese potato salad,Japanese style potato salad recipe,Japanese mayonnaise potato salad,Potato salad with cucumber,Japanese salad,tasty potato salad recipe,Japanese potato recipe

Japanese Potato Salad

Getting potato salad right is no picnic. Too often it lacks the acidity or piquancy needed to cut through the richness of the mayonnaise. Our search for a better option led us to Japan, where potato salads are partially mashed to create a creamier texture. And they balance that texture with crumbled hard-boiled egg and the crisp bite of vegetables, such as cucumber and carrots. Tying everything together is Kewpie, a Japanese mayonnaise made with rice vinegar that is smoother and richer than American mayonnaise. We started by looking for the right potato, which turned out to be Yukon Gold. Salting the cooking water ensured even seasoning as did sprinkling them with vinegar and black pepper as they cooled. Waiting until the potatoes were at room temperature before adding mayonnaise was important to avoid oiliness. We used American mayonnaise but approximated the Kewpie flavor by increasing the vinegar and adding an extra hard-cooked egg yolk and 1 teaspoon sugar. For a savory touch, we added diced ham and finished with scallions.

Japanese Potato Salad Recipe

Japanese often make this classic potato salad recipe at home. It’s similar to western potato salad, but is flavored with dashi and sometimes rice vinegar. This recipe includes the best of classic mashed potatoes and combines it with a textural crunch. If you’re a potato salad lover, you will enjoy this slight alteration to a classic dish.

While Japan may be famous for sashimi, sushi, and other dishes, Japanese often cook dishes such as Karaage, Tonkatsu, and Hamburger Steak that are economical and comforting to eat at home. Potato salad is imported from western cuisine and known as youshoku in Japanese. Japanese potato salad contains cucumbers, eggs, potatoes, ham and is flavored with dashi, salt, mayonnaise and black pepper. Potato salad is great to cook at home because you can include a variety of left-overs and vegetables. You can add carrots, red and green bell peppers, onions, green onions, mushrooms and other ingredients if desired. You can make Japanese potato salad as a popular party side-dish or a cozy weekday dinner. Please let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments below!

Papa a la Huancaina (Peru)

Recipe tested by Mary Bergin

2 pounds russet potatoes (up to 8)

Peel potatoes and boil in salted water under tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Remove seeds and membrane from jalapenos rough-chop peppers. Slice boiled eggs in half separate yolks from whites. Reserve egg whites. Cut cheese into chunks (or shred).

Blend jalapenos, yolks, cheese, milk and oil to create a creamy sauce. It should be easy to pour.

Cover inside of a 13 by 9 inch casserole dish with lettuce leaves. Quarter each potato and spread evenly in casserole. Pour sauce over potatoes, making sure they are well covered. Garnish with parsley, slices of boiled egg whites and slices of black olives. Serve cool.

Japanese Potato Salad

A great side dish or sandwich with a Japanese twist from Marc Matsumoto of No Recipes. See the full post at the Fresh Tastes Blog.



Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.