If you’ve never had Japanese-style potato salad, you’re in for a treat. It’s enough like classic potato salad to please the pickiest of eaters. But it’s different enough so that people will be asking you for the recipe.

Japanese potato salad. A unique and totally delicious spin on classic potato salad. Click through for recipe!

Potato salad may not immediately come to mind when you think of common Japanese foods. But hear me out: Japan has its own version of potato salad, and it is absolutely delicious.

While Japanese food tends to be light with clean flavors, Japanese potato salad is rich and indulgent.

I have seen it included in bento boxes, sold in small containers at food markets, and even used as a sandwich filling.

It is typically served in very small portions.

When I was living in Japan, I was always left wanting more. Now that I have the recipe, this is no longer a problem!

Japanese potato salad: A few key differences make this potato salad irresistible!

How Is Japanese Potato Salad Different?

Japanese potato salad is different than its American counterpart in a few notable ways:

  • The potatoes are more mashed
  • There are pickled vegetables in it
  • It uses Japanese mayonnaise, like Kewpie (which has umami flavors and contains only egg yolks – with no whites)

I followed this awesome recipe from Lovely Lanvin.

The next time you’re making potato salad, why not mix it up and try this Japanese version? Itadakimasu!

Japanese potato salad: A few key differences make this potato salad irresistible!

Japanese-Style Potato Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

You can find Japanese mayonnaise at most Asian grocery stores. Look for the Kewpie brand (you can't miss the cartoon baby on the package). In a pinch, substitute regular mayonnaise.


  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced (English cucumbers work well)
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Additional sea salt (for salting and blanching vegetables)

Other ingredients:

  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon whole grain mustard (or Japanese spicy mustard)


  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and fill with salted water. The water should just cover the potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place onion and cucumber slices in a small bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and mix to ensure that the slices are evenly coated. Let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse vegetables with cold water and blot with a paper towel to dry them. (Do not skip this step, or your potato salad may become soggy!)
  3. Place carrots in a small saucepan filled with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for two minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  4. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork, leaving some chunks intact. Combine black pepper, sea salt, rice vinegar, sugar, and mustard in a small bowl. Pour this mixture over the potatoes. Add the cucumbers, onions, carrots, and mayonnaise. Mix gently to combine all flavors. You can serve this salad chilled or at room temperature - either is authentically Japanese!

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