Japanese Potato Salad With Eggs, Ham, And Cucumbers
This Japanese Potato Salad is super tasty out-of-the-bowl! Creamy and tart, with a hint of sweetness. This homemade potato salad is economical to make and chances are you already have the ingredients at home! Let me show you how to make this Japanese style potato salad. One bite you’ll fall in love quickly!
Japanese potato salad is a popular side dish. The potatoes are half-mashed and with crunchy carrots and cucumbers, tossed in a Japanese style mayonnaise dressing. It’s so delicious that I often eat it on its own and even my husband who grew up eating American style potato salad told me that he really likes this Japanese version!
What is Japanese Potato Salad
Japanese potato salad is a Western-influenced dish. There are many Western-influenced Japanese dishes, called Yoshoku (洋食 western food). They are neither European nor Japanese but an adaptation of Western food from the late 1800s as an integral part of Japanese cuisine. While the roots of yoshoku is Western, the dishes have been clearly modified to suit Japanese taste. My hamburger steak, creamed cabbage, tomato pasta shrimp, and chicken katsu are the perfect examples of yoshoku.
Homemade potato salad is often served as a side dish with fried foods in the bar or with western-influenced dishes.
What’s in Japanese potato salad and why it is so special and good
The homemade version of Japanese potato salad is seriously the best. It tastes so creamy, refreshing, and full of crunchy veggies. I’ve made it so many times that I don’t even need a recipe – it’s that simple and yummy!
Most of the ingredients are easy to find in regular grocery stores and some might already be in your pantry!
- Potatoes (Russet or Yukon gold)
- Cucumbers (mini Persian or English)
- Frozen peas and carrots (or use fresh)
- Cooked ham
- Rice vinegar
- Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie mayonnaise OR my homemade version: Whole30 compliant mayo + Takii Mushroom Powder)
To make this potato salad uniquely Japanese, you must use Japanese style mayo which contains dashi. It adds extra umami flavor. Japanese mayonnaise is not only creamy but also rich (use egg yolk) and tangy (with rice vinegar). I found a shortcut to mimic Japanese style mayo by adding Takii’s Shiitake Mushroom powder. The flavor is really excellent!
Note: Not every mushroom powder is the same! Quite a lot of them taste more Western (for example using herbs such as thyme, onion,..etc.). Japanese or Asian flavored mushroom powder uses either bonito and kelp or shiitake. So read your labels before you buy. 😉
What if you want to make this salad now and don’t have the mushroom seasoning? Season the mayo you have at home with salt and pepper and a dash more rice vinegar for the tangy flavor. Order the mushroom seasoning now for next time around!
Difference between Japanese potato salad and American potato salad
Besides the mayonnaise, Japanese homemade potato salad has a lot more vegetables in it. Diced carrots, sliced cucumbers, peas, cooked ham and boiled eggs. To make it easy and convenient, I use frozen diced carrots and peas in my recipe to help speed up the process.
The potatoes are roughly mashed so it creates texture contrast in the mouthfeel. The salad is not only eye-catching with all the colorful crunchy veggies but also super delicious. I often enjoy it on its own and it tastes great even the day after!
Tips for making the best Japanese Potato Salad
- Potatoes – Use russet or yukon gold. Russet gives a creamy texture to the salad whereas yukon adds a more buttery flavor.
- Cucumbers – Use mini Persian or English cucumbers. It’s important to salt them first and then squeeze them well so that your potato salad will not get soggy. If you use other cucumber varieties, please peel the skin and seed them first.
- Japanese style mayonnaise – To make it Whole30 and Paleo, I use Whole30 compliant mayo and seasoned with Takii mushroom powder. If you aren’t following either diet, try Kewpie mayonnaise. (links in the recipe card)
How long to boil potatoes for Japanese potato salad
Here’s a faster way to do it –
- Peel the skin and dice to ¾ chunks (dice them to similar sizes)
- Add them to a large pot, filled with cold water then gradually bring to a boi, then simmer to finish cooking, about 10 minutes.
Cooking potatoes from cold water will help the potatoes cook evenly from the inside out.
It’s easy to create variety with this homemade easy potato salad. Try with –
- Chopped apples
- Broccoli florets
- Corns if your stomach tolerates it
How long does potato salad last?
This potato salad with egg can be prepared and assembled up to 2 days before serving.
It tastes even better when it’s chilled so give it some time to allow the flavors meld. If I’m planning to serve in the evening, I’ll prepare it at lunch so it can sit and build the flavors.
I recommend finishing the salad within 2-3 days but it rarely lasts that long! The sweet, tangy, and creamy flavor really make this dish excellent. It’ll be gone before you know it! 🙂
Recipes that go with Japanese potato salad
- Bang Bang Shrimp (bonefish grill copycat)
- Chicken Yakitori Skewers
- Japanese Roasted Lemon Chicken Legs
- Crispy Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs
- Keto Egg Rolls
- Keto Potstickers
- Beef and Broccoli recipe
- More Paleo Main Dishes
More delicious healthy side dish recipes
- Sautéed Cabbage Recipe (2 ingredients!)
- Savory Sweet Potato Cakes
- Asian Coleslaw
- Gomaae Japanese Spinach With Goma Dressing
- Thai Chicken Salad
- Bok Choy Salad with Toasted Sesame Dressing
- More delicious and healthy Paleo Side Dishes
This Japanese potato salad is creamy and tart and with a touch of sweetness. It’s super tasty out of the bowl but even more delicious after spending a few hours in the fridge. It’s full of vegetables and texture contrast that makes it great on its own, but also pairs well with any BBQ grilling meaty dishes. Give this dish a try and leave a comment below let me know how it goes! You’ll be so happy to add this delicious Japanese version into your potato salad repertoire!
Japanese Potato Salad (Paleo, Whole30)
For the Japanese potato salad:
- 3 whole persian cucumbers, 6 oz. total, or English cucumber
- 2 whole Russet potatoes, 8 oz. each, or yukon gold
- 1 ¼ tsp coarse sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2-3 large boiled eggs
- 1 cup frozen carrots and peas
- 3-4 pieces cooked ham, diced
- 1-2 bulbs scallions, chopped, optional
- Thinly slice the cucumbers. Add them to a mixing bowl with 1tsp salt. Use your hands to gently rub the salt into the cucumber slices. Set the bowl aside.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into ¾-inch dice. Immediately place them in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.
- Bring the water to boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium, and simmer. Stir a few times, until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Season with ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the potatoes and leave some small chunks for texture.
- In the meantime, in a separate saucepan bring the water to boil then reduce heat to medium-low, add the eggs and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove the eggs and blanch the carrots and peas until tender, about 10 seconds. Set them aside to cool.
- To assemble, add eggs to the potato bowl and lightly mash them together. Squeeze the cucumbers well and add them to the potato bowl with peas and carrots, ham, and scallions, if using.
- Add the dressing and toss to incorporate. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve in room temperature or best slightly chilled.
- This potato salad with egg can be prepared and assembled up to 2 days before serving.
- It tastes even better when it’s chilled so give it some time to allow the flavors meld. If I’m planning to serve in the evening, I’ll prepare it at lunch so it can sit and build the flavors.
- I recommend finishing the salad within 2-3 days but it rarely lasts that long! The sweet, tangy, and creamy flavor really make this dish excellent. It’ll be gone before you know it! 🙂
- Chopped apples
- Broccoli florets
- Corns if you tolerate it
Season the mayo you have at home with salt and pepper and a dash more rice vinegar for the tangy flavor. Order the mushroom seasoning now for next time around! Note: Not every mushroom powder is the same! Quite a lot of them taste more Western (for example using herbs such as thyme, onion,..etc.). Japanese or Asian flavored mushroom powder uses either bonito and kelp or shiitake. So read your labels before you buy. 😉
Leave a comment below and rate the recipe. Let me know how it goes! Cheers!