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Mar 26, 2022

Japanese Potato Salad with Yukon Gold Potatoes

This Japanese Potato Salad with Yukon Gold Potatoes is creamy, acidic, and sweet at the same time.

Japanese Potato Salad in a serving bowl.

This is the second time I've posted a Japanese Potato Salad. I pretty much fell in love with it with my first post, using Idaho potatoes

So did Mr. Kitchen Stories, who, Irishman that he is, pretty much likes to have potatoes every day. 

This version of Japanese Potato salad uses Yukon Gold potatoes. In addition, the potatoes are partially mashed instead of riced. You kind of get the texture of American potato salads combined with mashed potatoes. 

Japanese Potato Salad in a serving bowl.

Japanese potato salad comes from yōshoku, or the Japanese adaptation of Western food, which began in the nineteenth century. While yōshoku food appears Western, it is definitely Japanese in taste. 

The mayonnaise that is typically used in Japanese potato salad is called Kewpie, and is based on mayonnaise from the United States. It was first created and marketed in the 1920s, and adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the salad. It also contains MSG, a probably unfairly vilified ingredient, and one that definitely enhances flavor. 

Note: This recipe does not call for Kewpie mayonnaise. If you do use Kewpie mayonnaise, omit the extra egg yolk, the sugar, and one tablespoon of the vinegar in this recipe. 

Japanese Potato Salad in a bowl with a spoon.

This Japanese potato salad is completely delicious. If you try it, it might just be your new favorite potato salad. Japanese potato salad typically is a mixture of potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, onions, and thinly sliced ham. You can also add hard cooked eggs. While you might be skeptical, give it a try! 

To shred the carrots, I used a peeler julienne tool. It produces longer and more uniform pieces of carrot than if you were to use a grater/shredder.

Save this recipe for an easy make-ahead Easter side dish and check out the rest of the Easter side dishes from the From Our Dinner Table group.

More Potato Salad Recipes:

Austrian Potato Salad

Country Style Potato Salad with Creole Mustard

Salmon and Potato Salad

Cause Limeña de Cangrejo (Peruvian Potato Salad with Crab)

German Potato Salad

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Easy Easter Side Dish Recipes

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Japanese Potato Salad in a bowl with a spoon.

Yield: 4 servings

Japanese Potato Salad with Yukon Gold Potatoes


  • 1 Persian cucumber, halved lengthwise, and then thinly cut crosswise
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, and then julienned
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 ounces smoked ham, diced
  • 1 hard boiled egg, plus one hard boiled egg yolk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Toss together the cucumber, carrot, onion, and 2 teaspoons of the salt in a bowl. Set aside. 
  2. In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, add the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt, and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Using a fork, mash half of the potatoes coarsely. Stir in the vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and then let cool for 20 minutes. 
  4. In a strainer, rinse the vegetables with water. Using your hand, squeeze the vegetables to remove and press out as much liquid as you can. 
  5. Add the vegetables to the potatoes. Add the mayonnaise, ham, eggs, and sugar. Fold the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the scallions. 
Recipe adapted from Milk Street Magazine, May-June 2017

This post was orginally published November, 2017 and has been updated March, 2022. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Very un-faired vilified indeed. Did you know I've never made potato salad at home? I've enjoyed it in potluck type parties a few times, but never attempted to make it

    this Japanese version definitely appeals more to me than any other

    1. I haven't made "regular" potato salad in years, but this recipe just called my name. It's so much less gloppy, and the crunchy vegetables and salty ham are wonderful in this. You might have to try it!

  2. I really enjoy a twist on classic recipes like this potato salad. The cucumber sounds refreshing in this!

  3. I have never mastered potato salad. This would be just the incentive I need to do so(and it looks like you have quite a list for variety!)

  4. I love the flavors in this potato salad. This twist in flavor sounds yum!


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