Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Japanese potato salad


It's summer time. It's time for picnics and bbqs. It's time for cold beers and short shorts. Even though the cicadas will soon be out, it's still one of my favorite times of year.

I never really liked potato salad, but I always liked this style recipe. It's a slightly different take, using japanese quick pickles instead of relish, and using kewpie mayonaise. Kewpie is a slightly sweet Japanese mayonaise. (The three cultures that like mayonaise most in the world are the Dutch, Americans, and the Japanese).

Potato salad is one of those foods that you can't provide a recipe for. Everyone prefers it a particular way: more or less salt, more or less mayo, soft or firm potatoes, etc. What I give is just a suggestion of how I enjoy it.

Note: a more expensive version uses mentaiko (spicy cod roe), which is great. In that case, I would omit the bacon.


Japanese Potato Salad



Ingredients
  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • 3 carrots, cut into batons and blanched
  • 3 japanese cucumbers, sliced and salted
    1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • mayonnaise or kewpie mayo
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 4 - 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shichimi
    Optional: thick cut bacon or ham

Ingredients
  1. Boil potatoes with skins on in salted water until tender. Blanch carrots until slightly tender but still firm.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice cucumber and salt until biting into one tastes quite salty. This will draw the water out of the cucumbers. After 20 minutes, squeeze cucumbers in your hands. They should now be slightly salty and quite crunchy. If they are not crunchy, squeeze them again. If they are too salty, wash them and squeeze again.
  3. Gently break up cooled potatoes into large chunks, tossing gently with carrots and cucumbers. They should be more like smashed potatoes instead of cubed. Some large pieces, and some soft smashed parts
  4. Mix mayonnaise and curry powder with the vegetables and eggs. Add cubed bacon/pancetta or ham if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  5. Garnish with shichimi

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