I made meatloaf hamburgers for the Fourth of July and California fusion burgers call out for an international salad. Japanese potato salad has quickly become a favorite of our house. I have been trying to replicate the potato salad of our favorite Japanese restaurant Gombei. Last time I came close, but it was still slightly off.
My daughter, Eilene introduced me the key secret ingredient Japanese mayonnaise—which has a markedly different flavor than European/American mayonnaise. I had looked to my go-to-blog for Japanese home cooking, Just One Cookbook, in building my last salad. I had used boiled eggs as suggested, but I found that they dominated over the potatoes. This time I decided to leave them out—it was not that this produced a bad salad, but it was not Gombei’s.
After Dinner Note: This recipe produced a potato salad that was much closer to Gombei’s. It was really tasty and creamy.
Karl’s Japanese Style Potato Salad II
1 large Russet potato
2 green onions, white parts only, sliced finely
1 small orange carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, diced finely
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced finely
1 Tbs. rice vinegar, unseasoned
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
¼-⅓ cup Japanese mayonnaise
1. Peel and cut the potato into large chunks.
Note: Last time I used two potatoes. It made a lot of salad for just three people and with the quantities I had used for the other ingredients it was a bit “over starchy.” This time I added another vegetable and kept the amounts for the other ingredients the same.
2. Place the potato chunks in to a pot with water to cover.
3. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
Tip: The potatoes are done when a knife easily pierces the thickest potato chunk.
Note: An energy saving trick is to remove the post from the heat after 10 minutes and to leave the pot, covered, for an additionally 20 minutes. The heat of the water will finish cooking the potatoes.
4. Drain the potatoes well.
5. Use a large whisk to partly mash the potatoes.
Tip: A large metal whisk is the perfect tool for getting the right consistency, because it gives you a random and uneven mash.
Note: You want about a 50/50 ratio of mash to medium/small potato chunks.
6. Add the remaining ingredients and fold in the Japanese mayonnaise.
Tip: Add as much mayonnaise as you need to, in order reach your desired consistency.
Note: Do not overwork the potatoes, as they may turn “gluey.”
7. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl and let it meld, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes..
Tip: You may garnish the potato salad with black sesame seeds, or finely sliced green onion tops, or my daughter’s favorite, a serious sprinkle of shichimi tōgarashi.