I love the idea of taking an American classic and reinterpreting it with Japanese ingredients. The use of tofu instead of mayonnaise was interesting! The miso, rice vinegar, and mirin all sounded promising! Even the photo looks like it delivers, no?
No, something was missing. The recipe was on the right track, but the flavors didn’t come through like I had expected. I was hoping for something close to the American version, but it was nothing like it. But I’m not giving up on it! Maybe next time I’ll take a cue from the Germans and let the hot potatoes soak up some vinegar and shoyu to give it more flavor. Or I’ll use mayonnaise instead of the tofu. Health-wise, cutting out the mayo was a great idea, but who are we kidding? Tofu is never a sufficient substitute for mayo.
Japanese New Potato Salad
Adapted from Japanese Pure and Simple
Makes 4 servings
14 oz. new potatoes, washed and scrubbed
10.5 oz. silken tofu
1/2 Tbsp. sesame paste (or smooth peanut butter)
1 1/2 Tbsp. white miso
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. light shoyu
1 tsp. mirin
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 stalk green onion, chopped
Double up 2 paper towel sheets (or use a kitchen towel) and carefully wrap the tofu. Set in a strainer and let sit for a couple of hours to drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter, miso, sugar, shoyu, mirin, vinegar. Add the tofu and with a fork or a whisk, break up the tofu and mix until well incorporated.
Boil the potatoes until a knife easily passes through, about 5-8 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Drain and once cool to touch, peel the skin off with your fingers by pinching the skin and slipping off in pieces. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add 5-6 tablespoons of the tofu mixture, sprinkle with green onions and serve.
The tofu mixture is best eaten the day it’s made, but can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also serve this as a dip for vegetables.