Potato salad is every bit an Asian dish without having to add sesame oil, bok choy or kimchi to it. Haven’t you noticed that it’s served as a side dish with rice alongside tonkatsu from your best Japanese fast food joint? Sometimes you’ll see it as a banchan at a Korean restaurant. The tang from the mayo and relish and the starchy and toothy-textured potatoes can be the perfect complement to a panko-encrusted pork cutlet or even braised short ribs. I’ve been known to eat a plate of it with a side of kimchi for lunch.
As I was planning the menu for my Christmas Eve dinner, I was thinking about the starches to serve with this meal headlined by kalbi jjim or braised short ribs. Steamed white rice was a given, but I wanted something with a little zip. Potato salad popped into my head. Perfect.
This is a recipe that combines all the right flavors and textures I look for in potato salad with the crunch from the celery, the tang from the relish and mustard, and the bite from the red onion. I hate to admit it, but the folks at Cook’s Illustrated know what they’re doing.
All-American [Asian] Potato Salad
from Cook’s Illustrated The Best Make-Ahead Recipe
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups mayonnaise
2 medium celery ribs, minced
1/2 cup of your favorite sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Ground black pepper
1 – Place potatoes in a large Dutch oven and cover by 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes. If you overcook the potatoes, they will get mealy and mushy. A good way to test for doneness is if a paring knife can be slipped into and out of one of the potato chunks with little resistance.
2 – Drain the potatoes in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Gently stir in the vinegar and let stand until the potatoes are just warm, about 20 minutes.
3 – Meanwhile, stir together 1 cup of the mayonnaise with celery, pickle relish, onion, parsley, celery salt, dry mustard, 1/4 black pepper in a small bowl.
4 – Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the mayonnaise mixture into the potatoes. Stir in remaining 1 cup of mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.