Japanese Potato Salad

There are so many varieties of potato salad in the world.  Every country and often every home has its own unique recipe, and it’s all good.   Japan is not an exception; we have our own potato salads that are different from the American, German or other well known potato salads.

Probably the main difference is the type of mayonnaise we use.  We have our own mayonnaise called Kewpie mayonnaise by Ajinomo.  Some of you might know it already because it is getting popular even in the U.S. for its tangier and sweeter flavor.  But if don’t, please read my separate post about Kewpie mayonnaise with a recipe to make your own at home.

As you might imagine, there are a many variations of potato salad even within Japan.  As far as the ingredients go, the most common ones are thinly sliced onions and cucumbers.  Probably the next most popular ingredients

are blanched carrots, and then boiled eggs, sliced ham and corn.  I like the simplest one has just cucumbers and onions, but feel free to add additional ingredients.  If you do so, you might need to adjust the seasonings.

Japanese Potato Salad

1 lb Russet potatoes, washed
1/2 English cucumber or 2 Japanese (or Armenian cucumber), cut into half or quarter lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 large or 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
salt for salting and blanching
pepper for taste
1 teaspoon sugar
4-6 tablespoon Kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese mayonnaise)
Optional ingredients:
1 carrots, blanched, cut into half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1-2 boiled eggs, diced or mashed
2 slices of ham, diced
1/4 cup corn


  1. Place potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large pot of water, and boil until fork tender.  Drain in a colander, and let it cool enough to handle (needs to be still warm),
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumber, onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl, and mix well with your hands. Set aside for about 10 minutes.  Rinse and squeeze well to take excess water.
  3. Peel the potato skin, and mash the potatoes to consistency you like – chunky, creamy or in between.  Add rice vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar, and mix.
  4. Add mayonnaise, onions, and cucumbers to the potatoes, and mix.  Adjust the seasoning.
  5. Serve cold or at room temperature.


If you don’t have Kewpie mayonnaise, add the following ingredients so the taste gets a little closer.

  • 1/4 teaspoon creamy Dijon mustard
  • 1 extra teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 extra teaspoon vinegar


I am originally from Japan and have been living in the US for about 20 years. Over the past 20 years I have traveled to many different parts of the world, seen different cultures, and tasted all kinds of interesting food. In between I studied anthropology, art and interior design. I currently live outside Boston and I teach cooking in continuing education programs and at home. I also take on freelance interior design projects. I hope you enjoy the blog! Yoko

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