Daughter Miriam has been sick and cannot eat anything with onions or peppers. As a result, I have adapted my Japanese potato salad to meet her needs for our Sunday dinner. Removing these ingredients left the salad a bit vegetable deprived, so I boosted the amounts of celery and grated carrot.
Karl’s Japanese Style Potato Salad without Onions
2 medium-large white potatoes
2 stalks celery, diced finely
1 large carrot, grated
¼-⅓ cup Japanese mayonnaise
1 Tbs. rice vinegar, unseasoned
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1. Place the potatoes in a pot and add water to cover by one inch.
Tip: If you have the time, use this whole potato method of boiling your potatoes. If you are in a hurry, you may cut them up and simmer until tender.
Note: While cutting up your potatoes will reduce the cooking time, it comes with certain problems. A cut potato causes the exposed surfaces to absorb water and the starches swell and burst open. This can add a somewhat slimy texture to your salad. Leaving the skins on the potatoes protects the starches inside.
2. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
Tip: Simmer medium potatoes for 15 minutes and 20 minutes for large potatoes.
3. Leave the lid on the pot and remove it from the heat.
4. Let the pot rest for 20-30 minutes, undisturbed.
Tip: The potatoes are done when a knife easily pierces the thickest potato chunk.
Note: This is an energy saving trick. The residual heat of the water will finish cooking the potatoes.
5. Drain the potatoes well and remove the skins.
Tip: The skins will easily slip off of the potatoes.
6. Dice the potatoes into ¾ inch chunks.
7. Use a large whisk to partly mash the potatoes.
Tip: You want about a 50/50 ratio of mash to medium/small potato chunks.
8. Put the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mix them together.
Tip: Add as much mayonnaise as you need to, in order reach your desired consistency, but do not overwork the potatoes, as they may turn “gluey.”
9. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and add the celery and carrots.
10. Fold the potatoes, dressing and vegetables until well blended.
Tip: You may be fairly rough with this mixing, because you want a fairly creamy consistency. Do not over work the potatoes, because they may turn “gluey.”
Note: If the potatoes seem a bit dry you may add more mayonnaise
11.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.