Vegan Japanese Potato Salad
Potato salad is a classic summer food in my mind. It goes so perfectly with other picnic foods or foods that you might cook on the grill. My FAVORITE style of potato salad is Japanese potato salad, which I’ve written about before.
As I previously wrote, Japanese-style potato salad is bit different because you roughly mash the potatoes before adding the other ingredients. You also use Japanese mayonnaise, which I loooooooove, and add sliced cucumbers and carrots. It’s made with Japanese-style mayonnaise, which is a bit tangier, sweeter, and creamier than American mayonnaise, which also influences the final flavor of the potato salad. Veganizing my Japanese potato salad recipe is super easy. Just replace the mayo with a veganized mayo (and hey, I just shared a recipe for a vegan Japanese-style mayonnaise…how convenient!), and do not add the egg. In place of the egg you can always add a bit of Indian black salat (kala namak), which has a distinct egg smell and flavor. (I buy mine at either an Indian market or Asian market.)
Vegan Japanese Potato Salad
This is a veganized version of my Japanese potato salad recipe. Japanese-style potato salad is bit different because you roughly mash the potatoes before adding the other ingredients. You also use Japanese mayonnaise and add sliced cucumbers and carrots.
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large 2-inch chunks
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 5 inches Japanese cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/8 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup vegan Japanese-style mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Indian black salt (kala namak), plus more to taste, optional
Put the potatoes, carrot, and a large pinch of fine grain sea salt in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat and let the potatoes simmer until they are fork tender. Remove the carrot when it is starting to soften, but before it can be pierced through with a bamboo skewer. Start checking the carrot and potatoes after they’ve been simmering for about 8 minutes. When the potatoes are done, drain them well.
While the potatoes are cooking, sprinkle the cucumber slices with 1 teaspoon of fine grain sea salt, toss, and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes, then gently squeeze them and drain out the excess cucumber water.
Slice the cooled carrots in half lengthwise, then slice each half into thin half-moons. Coarsely mash the potatoes so some small chunks of potato still remain, then let the mash cool.
After the potato mash has cooled, stir in the cucumbers, carrots, red onion, and hard-boiled eggs. Gently stir in the mayonnaise and rice wine vinegar. Add additional mayonnaise, if desired. Cover the potato salad with plastic wrap, or place it in an airtight container and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- If you don’t have access to Japanese cucumbers, use a thin-skinned cucumber like a Persian cucumber or small snacking cucumbers. If you only have regular cucumbers, peel them, slice them in half lengthwise and remove the seeds, then thinly slice them.
- Japanese mayonnaise is typically made with rice vinegar, which gives it a different flavor from American mayonnaise which is made from distilled vinegar or lemon juice and is a bit sweeter and creamier than American mayonnaise. The most well-known Japanese brand of mayonnaise is Kewpie, sold in plastic squeeze bottles in many Asian markets here in the US. Since Kewpie mayonnaise is not vegan, you can make your own! Or you can just substitute your favorite vegan mayo.
- This potato salad is also delicious with other veggies thrown in, like fresh peas or corn. Get creative!