Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Japanese Potato Salad. Since it's been a bit since I posted a recipe, I thought I'd make something up, and log in the instructions.

Given that I also had some organic ingredients -- and needed to use them while fresh, I thought I'd make some Japanese Potato Salad and pair it with some left over chicken breast tenders for a meal.

The essential ingredients for this salad are potatoes (duh!) and Kewpie mayonnaise.

Kewpie mayonnaise definitely qualifies as a 'cool find' though I found out about it when I was in Hiroshima, Japan at age 16. Actually, my home economics teacher there, Dotan-sensei nicknamed me 'Kewpie' because she thought I looked like a Kewpie doll! So began my relationship with Kewpie mayonnaise.

Kewpie mayonnaise is somewhat sweeter than typical American brands, and it give a distinctive taste to many Japanese dishes. In recent years, this mayonnaise has been added to sushi, okonomiyaki, and even curry! There seems to be a Kewpie mayo craze in Japan where it was the first mayonnaise introduced to the Japanese public in 1925.

As for Japanese Potato Salad, my first introduction to it had some surprise... the Japanese have no inhibitions about adding unusual ingredients to the mix. As long as there are potatoes and Kewpie mayonnaise they feel free to add such things as carrots, apples and yes, even octopus arms. It was the octopus arms that gave me a jolt the first time I tried potato salad in Japan.

My recipe today uses carrots as the unusual ingredient.

Japanese Potato Salad

Potatoes (creamer) and carrots, peeled and filling 2/3 of 2 1/2 qt. pan, filled with filtered water
Thinly sliced celery (3 ribs)
Minced garlic (3 cloves)
Kewpie mayonnaise
Sea Salt

While potatoes and carrots are boiling, thinly slice celery and mince garlic finely. Put the celery and garlic in a mixing bowl. When potatoes and carrots are done (not mushy, but so that you can easily put a fork through), pour off water and let cool slightly. Add the potatoes to the mixing bowl first, salt and add Kewpie mayonnaise to taste. Roughly mix the potatoes so that they are not left whole, but are in irregular chunks. Don't go overboard and get mashed potatoes! Add carrots, and more Kewpie mayonnaise. Fold in carrots so that they do not break. Cool to lukewarm or colder, and enjoy!

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