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Char Siu Potato Salad

2015-06-09 14.06.57

Potatoes weren’t around too much growing up in a Chinese household.  We were rice-based.  We only had potatoes during Thanksgiving and Christmas and they were mashed.  My mom would take the opportunity to grab a few cooked potatoes before they got smashed and use them for potato salad.  My recipe is roughly hers’ give or take a few things.

I’ve had a few potato salads in my lifetime and this recipe is not like a potato salad you get at the deli which has a vinegar tang to it, and more like a Korean-style potato salad that’s a little sweeter with some crunchy texture added.

Potato Salad  (Serves 5-6)  Prep time 15 minutes |  Cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

4-5 Medium potatoes.  Peeled, washed, and halved.
1 Cup mayonnaise.  Use your favorite brand or make your own.
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon mustard
2 Tablespoons relish.  Remember all those relish packets you took but never used?  Hint, hint.
1 Stalk celery, minced to small pieces.
1/4 Cup char siu, diced.
1 Tablespoon Salt (to add to potato cooking water) and extra for seasoning.
Pepper to taste
1/4 Teaspoon paprika
2 Eggs, hardboiled and diced.
(Optional) 1 Red pepper, minced.  I had one in my fridge so I used one.  It adds a nice bright flavor.
(Optional) 1 Persian cucumber, diced.  I also had one laying around.
(Optional) 1/4 Cup shrimp, cooked and chopped.  My mom used to throw some in, but I didn’t have any.
(Optional) 1/4 Cup cooked salad macaroni.  I would’ve used this but didn’t have any.

First things first… boil enough water to cover the potatoes along with the tablespoon of salt to flavor the water and in turn will flavor the potatoes during cooking.  Cooking time depending on the size of the potatoes.  I cut mine in half so it doesn’t cook too fast and allows me to prep everything else.  When the water boils, add the potatoes and turn down the heat to medium high uncovered.  Your potatoes will be done when you can use a knife to poke through a piece with a little resistance.  If it pokes through with no resistance, then you overcooked them.  Mine took about 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Let it cool for a bit.

While the potatoes are cooking, mince and dice everything that you’re going to throw in.

When the potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, cut them up into 1 inch chunks and place in a container.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper.  Add the mayo and mix till the potatoes are coated.  Add the sugar, relish, and mustard and mix.  Next, just dump all the cut stuff and mix again!  Finally add the paprika and any additional seasoning to your liking and mix for the final time.  You can serve now, but if you let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour it would be better.

You gotta admit that this is a hefty potato salad.  As a kid, this wasn’t just a side dish, but an entire meal.  You can easily adjust things in this recipe.  No char siu?  Ham, Spam, or Polish sausage would be good too.

The Grand Poobah

The Grand Poobah

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