Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cooking Lab - Mentaiko Potato Salad (明太サラダ)

Getting ready for the New Year count down!!

Making an easy & delicious Mentaiko potato salad that is loved by adults & kids!!

I remembered I first tried Mentaiko potato salad at a local Izakaya - called Totoya. It was a friend's family business. It was always busy with afterwork businessmen enjoying a cool glass of beer on a hot Summer day. I always love the food there with fresh grills, sushi boat and various authentic Japanese dishes.

It was a place reserved for special occasions. I also remembered that I had my first graduation dinner there, too!! The gigantic sushi boat was a wow, but it was their pink Mentaiko salad served like a gelato in a cup that always linger on. From that point on, Mentai Potato Salad is reserved for celebratory occasions!

I know, it's just a simple salad, you can have at anytime, but it has a special spot in my heart ever since Totoya ceased trading :(

Tonight - it's definitely called for a special occasion! To welcome the new year ahead with my special Mentai Potato Salad! 

(c) GMV - Got My Vote!!

Mentaiko (spicy fish roe) is a delicacies in Japan. The savory of Mentai (明太子) and a hint of spicy is so addictive and surreal!

It has none of the fishiness taste and something you can't get out of your head  - taste it once, you will be hooked ~

- Washed Potatoes x 6 peeled & cubed
- Carrots x 6 peeled & cubed
- Eggs x 2
- Boneless Leg Ham @ $25.98/kg x 3 slices
- Frozen Peas 2 cups
- Mentaiko x 2 pieces
- Kewpie Japanese Mayonnaise 
- Salt & Pepper 
1. Hard boil eggs in salted water, peel and set aside.
2. Boil potato and carrot cubes until they are soft. Add peas in the last 5 minutes.
3. Let them cool down.
4. Remove Mentaiko from skin.
5. After the potatoes are cool, add Mentaiko, chopped boil eggs, ham slices and Kewpie mayonnaise and mix well.

The legendary Mentai potato salad is ready! Guarantee to jazz up the New Year dinner party ~~

The stunning display of the Mentai Salad dish! Keep it cool on the fridge until tonight - it is a very warm day!! I hope my friends are preparing enough drinks for tonight!!! 

This salad goes well with sake, beers on its own too!
We have kids coming to the party tonight - so tweak it just slightly to a kid-friendly version!!
Put some of chuck potato salad into the food processor and refine into a fine dip mash. Not too mashy - kids should still be able to taste the fine bits & pieces.
Serve in small bowls for the kids' table garnish with tomato and boil eggs. Not surprisingly, Mentai potato mash gone in a second, leaving the salad & tomato behind.

The processed version is also good as dip on crackers!!! Except they went quite quick before I can find a packet of crackers!!
This version also reminds me of Greek's taramasalata!! 

It's not as pink as I remembered - and I think Totoya use Mentaiko sauce to achieve that grapefruit colouring!

A really really good salad on a hot Summer day!!!