Tag Archives: sour

Potato Salad

24 Oct

mmmmmYesterday, my Mak Enda had a barbeque to welcome her daughter, S, back home. I find that Malaysians tend to be nomads… we wander the earth, but somehow always come back home. I dont know if its the heat or the chili that draws us, but we always find our way back somehow.

May be because I was pining for my family in the US, but I decided to make this potato salad. Its very American – and in fact the double dipping of the potatoes was taught to me by my brother in law, R, an American. It makes for a bright, tangy, sweet, creamy and yet not too heavy potato salad. If you can find Vegannaise or another vegan mayonnaise, this can be a vegan recipe.

I love the sour tastes of pickle, onion, and peppadew as well as the green fresh herbs in this creamy mix. The balance of flavours and textures is lovely, and ensures that this potato salad is not overwhelmingly rich and creamy. Dont get me wrong, I enjoy rich and creamy, but the contrasts in this salad are beautiful!

In typical Malaysian style, the potato salad was served with the grilled meats, sausages, vegetables and mee goreng (fried noodles). Someone clever realised that eating the mee goreng and potato salad together, with some cut chili in soy, was the perfect balance! I know, sounds crazy, but it was actually quite a delicious mixture (if slightly odd), and the perfect example of us mixed up nomads with taste buds from everywhere!

This will serve about 10 – 12 people with leftovers (which are fabulous the next day with a fried egg for breakfast!). Make sure you use waxy potatoes – gold, red-skinned, new, fingerling, and charlotte – because these will keep their shape best after having been boiled. If you use baking or mashing potatoes which are more floury, the potato salad will just fall apart when you try and mix in all the ingredients.

I like a cold potato salad but this is just as good if served warm.

  • 10 – 12 medium to large waxy potatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 + 1 tsp salt (plus additional to taste)
  • 1 + 1 tsp cracked black pepper (plus additional to taste)
  • 3 heaping tbsp mayonnaise (I like Kraft or Japanese mayo – but try Vegannaise for a totally vegan salad)
  • 1 heaping tbsp Dijon mustard (with whole mustard seeds if you can find it)
  • 1 tbsp pickle water
  • 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 5 pickles
  • 7 small cocktail onions
  • 7 peppadews (pickled sweet red peppers)
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, chopped

Peel and roughly chop the potatoes, and place in a large pot. Cover with water, and bring to the boil over high heat. Keep the water simmering, and boil the potatoes for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until a knife can cut through the potato easily. Test every 10 minutes or so, as different varieties of potato cook at different speeds. You want the potatoes to be just cooked through because they will continue to cook once drained.

While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. As soon as the potatoes have cooked, drain them and put them in a large bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette, and using a large spatula, gently mix to ensure all the potatoes are coated. Leave to cool down a bit, about 20 minutes or so.

Whisk together 1 tsp each salt and pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, pickle water and minced garlic cloves. Once the potato salad is warm (not piping hot), fold in the mayonnaise mixture and gently mix to ensure all the potatoes are coated well.

Chop the pickles, cocktail onions, and peppadews, and fold into the salad along with the parsley and spring onions. Taste, and adjust seasonings. I often add a bit more salt, and sometimes a few more pickles if I want it especially tangy.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or serve at room temperature.