It was at a Japanese deli that I came across perfectly shaped ice cream scoops which upon further inspection turned out to be made of potatoes with bits of ham, bacon and cucumbers dotted about the perfect potato spheres and I absolutely had to buy some. It was different in a way that there was sweetness, some tang, and bites of chew courtesy the bacon alongside a refreshing crunch from the cucumbers and it was this interesting mingling of textures within the creamy heft of potatoes that made of me a complete convert.
I’d had japanese potato salads before , but perhaps never deconstructed their anatomy the way I did while eating these, mostly in part due to the scooped out shapes or perhaps because of the crunchy cucumber texture, but I knew I had to make these and so here we are.
There is boiled potato, cooked bacon shopped into tiniest possible bits, chopped ham as tiny as can be managed, thin cucumber slices, salt and sugar (not pictured)
and most importantly Japanese mayonnaise which makes this dish what it eventually will be. It’s a lot more different than regular mayonnaise in that it’s sweeter has a peculiar flavour to it which is both tangy and sweetly pungent.
Sprinkle over some salt and sugar on the cucumber slices and wait for them to release water, which then must be thoroughly squeezed out.
Mash the potatoes until it isn’t chunky. Potato ricer works best but if the potatoes are warm then just mashing it with an overzealous intensity will guarantee similar results. Add the japanese mayonnaise to it and mash until well incorporated.
Once the potato is well mashed with the mayo and there are no lumps add in the bacon and ham pieces. I switched to a wooden spoon once everything was well blended because it’s much easier to work with.
Finally add in the squeezed and drained cucumber slices and mix well. Check and adjust seasoning. The cucumber slices will retain a lot of the salty sweetness from the previous sprinkling of salt and sugar.
I let mine sit in the fridge for half an hour before scooping out using an ice cream scoop.
Of course this salad can be eaten just as but then you wouldn’t reflect upon the beauty of this salad or ponder over its subtle sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy texture.
Ingredients Potatoes: 2 large boiled Bacon: 2 rashers chopped and cooked crisp Ham: 2-3 slices chopped fine (2 tbsp) Cucumber: 1 small Japanese style mayonnaise: 2 heaped tbsp Salt: 2 tsp Sugar: 1 tsp
Add the salt and sugar to the thinly sliced cucumbers and keep aside for ten to fifteen minutes to draw out the water from the vegetable. Squeeze and drain the cucumbers and reserve.
Peel and mash the potatoes until there are no lumps. Add in the mayonnaise and beat it in, Add the chopped bacon, ham and mix well again.
Add in the cucumber slices and mix in. Check for seasoning and refrigerate for half an hour before serving.
can be served just as or can be scooped out using an ice cream scoop.