Japanese New Potato Salad

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.

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  1. Posted November 19, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    wow! This is sooooo creative! (and, of course, very yummy looking!). These days I try to cook simple, clean, and healthy dishes, and I think it is perfect! thanx for the recipe! :)

  2. Posted November 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Alecho! Let me know what you think if you end up trying it… curious what others think of this recipe!

  3. Posted November 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    This looks like a fantastic recipe. I can already taste the clean, crisp flavors of the shoyu and rice vinegar cutting right through rich, creamy tofu or mayo. When it comes to seasoning the warm potatoes, I’m definitely with the Germans and their tradition of adding a little bit of acid and salt for deeper flavor penetration. Another truly beautiful photo.

  4. Marika
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    You know what? I just made this tonight, and it was a HIT. I was a little hesitant to ditch the kewpie mayo at first, but wow I wasn’t expecting this to come out so well. I just recently came across your blog – I’m officially hooked! Thank you :)

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