Japanese style potato salad

Japanese style potato salad

Japanese potato salad has been popular for a long time. It’s not a traditional food here in Japan, but we feel something nostalgic for it. It’s probably because this potato salad is categorized as so-called 洋食 (yoshoku), western-style dishes which started being made by Japanese chefs after the Meiji era (1868-1912), such as “Japanese curry”, ” Omurice” etc. I’d like to talk about “Yoshoku” in the future, but for now, let me tell you how to make Japanese potato salad.
The recipe for this dish is pretty simple. I also think that you have similar recipes in your country. However, If you’d like to make authentic Japanese potato salad, here are some tips.

What kind of potato should be used

男爵芋 (danshaku imo) is the most consumed potato in Japan, and this potato is suitable for Japanese potato salad.
Dansyaku imo is fluffy and not soggy, it falls apart easily when cooked in stock. So I don’t use this potato when I make stew, but it’s essential for this potato salad.
However, you don’t need to look too hard for a Dansyaku imo.
If you can’t find it, there’s no need to worry. You can use Idaho (or any other russet) potatoes instead. As far as I know, the texture is very similar to the Danshaku imo.


Mayonnaise is one of the key ingredients for this salad.
I prefer homemade mayonnaise over commercial mayonnaise.
However, I always use Japanese branded Mayonnaise when making potato salad. Otherwise, I don’t feel that it’s Japanese potato salad.
So, I would like you to try Japanese mayonnaise when making authentic Japanese potato salad. I believe that “Kewpie mayonnaise” is the biggest brand in Japan although I’m not a big fan of that. In my experience, you should be able to make Japanese flavored potato salad as long as you use Japanese products regardless of the brand.


I have one more concern regarding this Japanese potato salad. As I said on the “About Me” page, I love watching foreign cooking shows, and I always think that foreign cucumbers look different from ours here in Japan.
The Japanese cucumber is thinner. It doesn’t have big seeds on the inside. It should make a crunchy sound when you bite into a fresh cucumber. Also, the crisp texture maintains even if it has been pickled or rubbed with salt. The texture is also one of the keys to this salad. I wonder if your cucumber has the same texture.
However, you don’t need to worry about it so much. In Japan, each person adds different ingredients to this dish, depending on our preferences. I sometimes substitute edamame for cucumber. It’s also good! You can enjoy different textures with the same flavor. I often do that!


Another characteristic of this potato salad is its rough texture. Try not to mash your potatoes too much. Japanese potato salad has some small chunks here and there.

This time, I added very basic ingredients, cucumbers, carrots, and onions to this potato salad but you can add other ingredients as you like. In Japan, ham, lettuce, boiled eggs are often used for this.
I personally don’t use onions when adding this potato salad to my bento. I don’t like the overpowering smell from the onions when opening a bento box.

I believe that this potato salad goes well with many different kinds of meals such as Japanese or western style, breakfast, lunch, and even dinner.

Why don’t you try adding a new salad to your regular meals?

Japanese style potato salad

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Recipe by MikaDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • 3 potatoes (450g or 16oz)

  • 50 g carrots (1.8oz)

  • 1/2 cucumber (50g or 1.8oz)

  • 1/4 onion (60g or 2oz)

  • 60 g mayonnaise (2oz)

  • About 1 Tbsp salt total


  • You want these ingredients.
  • Wash the potatoes and cut them into halves. Steam the potatoes over medium-high heat.Depending on the size of the potatoes. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes until they’re cooked.
  • Cut the carrots into quarters length-ways. Slice them sideways. Place the carrots in the steamer next to the potatoes.
  • Cut the cucumber into thin slices.
    Put the cucumbers in a bowl and add about a 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt. Massage the cucumbers gently and put them aside for about 5 minutes.
    Rinse and squeeze them.
  • Slice the onion thinly.
    Place the onions on a kitchen cloth, and add 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt.
    Wrap the onions with the cloth and massage them.
    Rinse the onions in the cold water to remove the pungent flavor.
    Then squeeze them.
    The onions should look like this,
  • As soon as the potatoes are cooked, hold the potato with a kitchen cloth and remove the skin with a table knife. Since we cut the potato into halves, it should be easy to remove the skin.
    Mash the potatoes quickly. You don’t need to make them completely smooth.
    Add the mayonnaise and a pinch of salt. Stir it together. It’s important to add the mayonnaise to the potatoes while they’re still hot. Otherwise, the mayonnaise doesn’t absorb into the potatoes.
    Add the other ingredients and stir them.


  • I know that many people use the microwave to cook potatoes althoguh I prefer steaming. Of course, you can use the microwave if you like.
  • Seasoning the potatoes while they’re hot. Be careful, try not to get burned.

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I look forward to seeing your dish!

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