Korean Potato Salad

04aKoreanPotatoSaladbfLOWe were meeting friends at a Korean restaurant in Milwaukee, and the start of the evening was not going well…

Despite having been to this restaurant and neighborhood, a lot, we got turned around looking for parking, and then our GPS went just a bit insane, telling us that a parking spot seven blocks away would be great. We started walking to where the GPS claimed the restaurant was when the heavens opened up and buckets of water started to fall.

Our umbrella failed, and we headed back to the car, soaked to the skin, late for dinner, and still blocks away from our destination.

Another look at the GPS had us deciding to try to find parking at least on the same street as the restaurant, so off we went.

Eventually, now 30 minutes late, we found a spot within a few blocks and, even though the rain was still falling, we were already soaked, so, what was the big deal about a walk?

Finally at the restaurant, we greet our friends, I order a triple vodka, and we settle down to dry out, catch up, and consider the menu.

I settled on the kimchee cheese bibimbop for dinner – and it was lovely – but the standout, for me, was this tasty little lump of potato salad served, along with a bit of kimchee and other treats, as a kindofa munchie assortment while we decided what to order.

And dried out.

The potato salad was smooth, a bit sweet, and tasted a lot like the potato salad I base all others on: from a long gone neighborhood deli on Granby Road in Chicopee, Massachusetts. I doubt Granby Road delis were doing Korean potato salad in the late 1960’s, but the flavor profile was spot on, so, when we got home, I went to the interwebs 01bEggsbfLOand did a bit of research…

After I totally dried off.

This potato salad recipe is the combination of several I found, and it is very close to that served at the restaurant – a bit less sweet, but Rich had thought that the restaurant’s version too sugary, so that’s all to the good.

• 1 lb peeled russet potatoes
•2 eggs, hard boiled
•1/2 English cucumber, chopped
•1/4 tsp salt

•1/2 cup mayonnaise
•1/4 tsp white pepper
•1 pinch seasoned salt
•2 tsp sugar

02aPotatoesbfLOPlace the eggs in a small sauce pan and add cold water to cover them by at about an inch. Bring just to a boil over high heat, then remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let rest for 12 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water and go on to the rest of the salad.

Toss the cucumber with the salt in a bowl and set aside to rest for five minutes to draw out excess moisture.

02bPotatoesCookedbfLODrain, rinse, and squeeze the cucumber dry, then set aside.

Cover the potato pieces with water and let rest for ten minutes, then drain, rinse, and add to a heavy bottomed pot with 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt.

Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium high heat.

02cPotbfLONote: my potatoes were perfect, and the water mostly cooked away after 15 minutes, so keep an eye on the pot.

Once the water has been cooked off, remove the pot from the heat and let rest, covered, for five minutes or so.

Note: my pot looked like this after cooking the potatoes, but a nice soak in hot, soapy water and a light scrub left it perfect.

So. Eggs boiled, cucumber salted and rinsed and squeezed, potatoes cooked; we are ready to make the salad.


Turn the warm potatoes into a bowl and add the cooked egg yolks (save the cooked whites for a tossed salad or something).

Using a potato masher or a wooden spoon, mash the potatoes and egg yolks until smooth and well blended.

Stir in the cucumber, then the mayonnaise, white pepper, and seasoned salt.

03cPotatoSaladbfLONow for the big decision…

As noted, Rich thought the salad a bit sweet, but I thought it practically perfect in every way; so I took the advice of one of the recipes I found on the interwebs and added the sugar in bits, a teaspoon at a time, until I had a salad that was only slightly sweet.


And, as I told Rich when he said I should have just made it as sweet as I wanted, I can always add a bit of sugar to my own serving, and he can enjoy his as is.

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