Nope, not a euphemism. I’m talking about actual potato salad, in Japan.
Any time I pass near a prepared foods section of a grocery store, I always end up buying a small portion of potato salad. I used to buy some only when I was actually shopping for prepared foods, but I’ve given up practicing any restraint and get it pretty much every time I see it. Which is often. Which means that I eat a lot–and I mean a lot–of potato salad.
Many of you would not consider this a particularly Japanese dish, but I see it all over, both in grocery stores and restaurants.
I have given this particular type of potato salad a lot of thought–probably more than pretty much anyone would–and I’ve come up with the following characteristics that make it so incredibly awesome:
-Potatoes: cooked until really, really soft; almost mashed
-Cucumbers: the skinny, dense Japanese kind (not the watery, fat cukes from home), sliced into thin rounds
-Carrots: small dice, cooked until soft
-Mayo: the Japanese kind, kinda sweet–think more Miracle Whip and less Hellman’s
-Pork product: usually diced ham, sometimes bacon
And that’s it. There’s nothing terribly unusual about any one ingredient. But put the all together and it’s magic.