One of the things that slowly grew on me (no, not mold) as I spent more and more time in Japan is their version of potato salad.

Growing up Lutheran with Pennsylvania Dutch roots meant that I spent a lot of time with German potato salad or potato salad with a secret ingredient of Pickle juice. (The food network was having a special and as all like “we’ll give you the secret to the best potato salad” and it was only pickle juice. I mean, come on! Everybody in the midwest KNOWS that.)

But now I am a confirmed fan of the Japanese version. At Shinjuku station in Tokyo, (which is on the way to naoto’s parent’s house, so we always go there) there is a food stand called “Sozai’ which sells all these incredibly delicious and fresh foods. They have a “Thirty ingredient salad” with like EVERYTHING (pine nuts, broccoli, mizuna, corn, lotus root, etc.) that is to die for. They also sell a version of Japanese potato salad with grilled shrimp. YUM.

So here’s my recreation:

Remembering that Japanese people eat small portions of several different foods instead of loading up their plates with gobs of something, this recipe makes about three servings.

Two potatos washed and peeled and cut into chunks

frozen mixed vegetables (the kind with peas and carrots and lima beans or whatever)

Japanese mayonnaise (it really has to be the Japanese kind to be extremely delicious, or if that’s impossible, just get the highest fat content you can find)

rice vinegar

salt and pepper

olive oil


Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Pour a teaspoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar over the drained potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Mash all together with a fork. Add cooked and drained frozen vegetables. Add 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise and mix together. In a non-stick pan, put the peeled shrimp on medium high heat. When they get curly and pink, flip ’em over.

Put some lettuce leaves in a bowl. Mound potato salad on top. Dot with shrimp.