Japanese Style Potato Salad:

I never knew there existed a Potato Salad in Japanese cuisine till I was given cook book on Asian recipes by my father before my wedding. Ever since I have been in loooove with Poteto Sarada, Japanese Style Potato Salad. I’ve been making this salad for parties and potlucks without realising that this Japanese recipe , along with Tempura, has become a regular part of our routine menu. This Potato salad probably first appeared in the late 19th century when Japan opened up to the outside world and was exposed to western culture.

How Is Poteto Sarada Different From The Regular Potato Salad?

Japanese Style Potato Salad is different from typical versions of American potato salad and  it’s considered another import from western cuisine (known as yoshoku) which is now widely accepted in Japanese households. To make this salad you roughly mash up the potatoes, leaving some big chunks whole. Then other vegetables are added for colour and texture. For flavour rice wine or apple cider vinegar is used. But the main difference is the Japanese style mayonnaise, popularly know as kewpie mayonnaise   which has a deeper and more addictive flavour because of the addition of MSG which is a taste enhancer.

How To Make Japanese Style Mayonnaise At Home and Some Substitutes:

If you can’t find the Japanese style mayonnaise where you live, you can make your own. Just add only egg yolks instead of whole eggs that’s what makes it creamier, richer and slightly yellowish in colour. Add rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar but if you don’t like the smell, you can switch to synthetic white vinegar. If you want to omit ajinimoto or MSG, just add a touch of MSG free dashi powder or dijon mustard (easier to find) to give depth to your mayonnaise.

Poteto Sarada – a meal salad:

It’s mildly sweet and sour from the addition of vinegar and sugar that is why I do not add too much mayonnaise in it – just enough to moisten it a little bit. To me it is quite a meal in itself for a light lunch or a great side dish to accompany some meat main like Chicken Karaage Or Japanese Fried Chicken.  It’s a popular side in Japanese Bento box.


4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons  apple cider, rice wine or synthetic white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cucumber, very thinly sliced
2 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Black or white pepper for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt for seasoning, 1 teaspoon more for marinating cucumber

This Is What You Do:

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over cucumber slices and onion wedges. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vinegar over them and set aside for ten minutes.

Put the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot of water with a pinch of salt.  Boil the potatoes till half done. Now add the peeled and diced carrots as well. Boil till potatoes and carrots are fork tender.
Remove from heat and drain the water. Add boiled vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Roughly smash the potatoes.
Add hard boiled eggs and roughly mash them with a fork as well.
Gently squeeze out the liquid from cucumber slices and onion wedges. Add them to the salad bowl.
Mix mayonnaise, mustard, remaining vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper in a small bowl for dressing.
Add the dressing to potato salad. Mix.
Leave the salad to chill in the fridge for atleast an hour.
Serves 4

3 Replies to “Poteto Sarada, Japanese Style Potato Salad”

  1. What a change from the normal only potato salad. Love the addition of veggies and a totally different kind of mayo. Potato Sarada looks very inviting and I’ve learnt a new type of potato salad 🙂

  2. I want this right now! It looks so good,and you have explained everything so perfectly and made the recipe so easy to follow! Perfect for hot days!

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