or why I always freeze beer mugs when this Japanese potato salad comes to our table.
After a few days in Japan, I had ordered a lot of different bar food in izakayas, but of course not a “plain” potato salad; even if it was Japanese potato salad. I just wanted to enjoy everything that I can’t get here in Germany. Luckily I was taught better! And in a totally rustic izakaya in tranquil Omaezaki in Shizuoka Prefecture, which we found by accident. I liked the izakaya from the start. It was loud and sociable inside and when we ordered whiskey highballsthe barman came straight back to us with dice to play for the size of the highball. By the way, whiskey highballs are super popular in Japan and you can get them everywhere. Also in cans. Whiskey Highball and Ume Sour definitely became my favorite evenings on our vacation in Japan.
But back to the Japanese potato salad. When it came time for the beer and we ordered the snacks that are so typical of an izakaya, they gave us something to try on the house: Japanese potato salad aka “Potetosarada”. With a beer so ice cold that the beer mug was definitely frozen beforehand. The first sip of ice-cold beer that rolled down my throat was so refreshing and delicious that I definitely made it a point to do the same with the frozen beer mugs at home.
And then came the first bite of Japanese potato salad- swoosh!!!! Despite the mayonnaise, it was rather light and fluffy and instead of using large pieces of potato, it was more like potato cream, since the potatoes were mashed as if with a fork, but the Japanese potato salad still had crunch, because the cucumbers were fresh but pickled in salt and had lost their water as a result and still bite. There was also a slight sweetness from the mayonnaise that came from Mirin. That also made it taste Asian and no longer European. Perfect interplay of consistency and variety of taste. This Japanese potato salad immediately catapulted itself into my culinary comfort food hit list, especially in combination with this ice-ice-cold beer.
And since ice-cold beer and potetosarada are forever interwoven in taste for my brain and I just love that izakaya feeling, I now always freeze the beer mugs at home when there is Japanese potato salad. Get on the stove and try it out – soon only this Japanese potato salad will be in demand at your parties. 🙂 (…Ok, or maybe my Arabic potato salad 😉
Recipe: Japanese Potato Salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Difficulty level: Beginner plus
- 1kg potatoes, mainly waxy
- ½ cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 3 fresh eggs (very small) or 2 regular sized eggs
- 300ml sunflower oil (not native, because the mayo will be bitter)
- 1 teaspoonful of mustard (spicy)
- 1 tbsp mirin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ red onion
- Cut half the cucumber into small cubes, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and salt for at least 1 hour, it loses its water in the process. Discard this water later, you don’t want it in the salad.
- Peel the potatoes and cook in large pieces in well-salted water until tender. In any case, put on with cold water so that they get the right consistency afterwards. Drain and let cool in a colander.
- While the potatoes are cooking, peel and grate the carrots, peel and dice the red onion and salt the onion – similar to the cucumber – but here with only ½ teaspoon salt.
- After the potatoes have cooled in the colander, mash them in a bowl with a fork until crumbly. I do this in stages so it’s easier to get an even result than tossing the whole pound into the bowl and mashing it all at once.
- Now you make the mayonnaise. Crack the eggs into a tall bowl. Add the mirin and mustard to the eggs. Add a good pinch of salt. Now pour the sunflower oil over it and put the magic wand in and turn it on, slowly pulling up to emulsify the ingredients. (see photos)
- Now mix the cucumbers, onions, carrots and mashed potatoes in a large bowl and then stir in the mayonnaise. Only now, after all the ingredients have been mixed well, season with salt and pepper, because the cucumbers and onions are already salty. Voilà – already done! Enjoy your meal!
hp If you don’t have mirin or don’t want to buy extra for it, use apple cider vinegar. It doesn’t taste as authentic as with Mirin, but it comes close and is also very tasty.