Potato Salad Recipe – Japanese Style, Healthy

potato salad in a glass container

This Japanese-style potato salad recipe is easy to make and healthy. It’s top 9 allergen free, perfect for sharing at picnics and potlucks. This is a perfect make-ahead recipe for when the weather warms up.

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Many reasons to love this recipe

This Japanese-style potato salad combines cooked potatoes with carrots and seasoned cucumbers with a little bit of rice vinegar, sugar, and black pepper. The recipe is free of the top 9 allergens and does not need mayonaise.

What do you call the flavor of potatoes? It’s considered an umami or savory flavor. This recipe also has such great salty, sweet, and sour flavors from the seasonings. No wonder it’s a delicious recipe.

The potato salad is soft but still has a lot of texture from the sliced carrots and cucumbers. People who need to eat soft foods due to age, orthodontic braces, or other dental issues will appreciate this recipe.

I made this potato salad in advance and stored it in a 4-cup Snapware glass storage container for a few hours before dinner and served from this container.

How to Make Japanese Potato Salad

This recipe is inspired by the Potato and Cucumber Salad recipe from Healthy Japanese Cooking, a cookbook by Hiroko Fukuhara and Yasuko Takahata.

Thinly slice the cucumbers and salt for a few minutes, then squeeze and drain. Peel, chop, and boil the potatoes. During the last few minutes of cooking, add sliced carrots to cook. Drain the liquid (or you can save it for soup), let the potatoes cool slightly, and then gently combine the potatoes, carrots, and prepared cucumbers with the seasonings.

Serve warm or chilled for a more refreshing taste. This recipe is perfect to make in the morning when you know the rest of the day will be too busy or too hot to cook. And it’s also easy to double the recipe so you can enjoy more potato salad the next day.

Allergy Aware Japanese Style Potato Salad

This recipe is free of the top 9 allergens as written.

Perhaps the only possible unfamiliar ingredient in this recipe is Japanese rice vinegar. It’s basically made from fermented rice and the same kind of vinegar that is used to make Easy and Allergy Friendly Cucumber and Avocado Sushi Rolls. Most rice vinegars are gluten-free, if you avoid gluten, select a rice vinegar that is specifically labelled gluten-free.

I usally use Marukan rice vinegar. Sometimes you will see “seasoned rice vinegar” or “sushi vinegar” on the label which means that it’s rice vinegar with a touch of sugar. That’s what I usually have in my cupboard, so if you use plain rice vinegar, you might like the tanginess or adjust with a tiny bit more sugar.

Avoid any accidental mix-ups with rice vinegar with mirin, which is sweet and contains alcohol. They look very similar and since I keep both bottles side by side, I always check that I have the right product.

potato salad in a glass container
5 from 2 votes

Japanese-Style Potato Salad

This Japanese-style potato salad recipe is easy to make and healthy. It's top 9 allergen free, perfect for sharing at picnics and potlucks.

Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Japanese style potato salad, mayo-free potato salad, potato salad, top allergen free potato salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Sharon Wong/NutFreeWok.com


  • 2 medium Persian cucumbers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 pound yukon potatoes approximately 4, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium carrot thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk scallion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (seasoned or sushi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Combine the cucumber slices and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium mixing bowl and wait a few minutes until the cucumbers soften slightly. Squeeze the cucumbers and pour out the liquid. Set aside.
  2. Pour 2 cups water into a small saucepan (2 quart) with a lid and bring to a boil on medium heat. Add the potatoes and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and boil on low-medium heat for 15-17 minutes until nearly soft. Add the sliced carrots and cook for 2 more minutes. Drain the liquid and add the potatoes and carrots to the cucumber bowl.

  3. Add the chopped scallion, rice vinegar, sugar, and black pepper to the bowl and gently use a spoon to combine all the ingredients. Use the spoon to break up some of the large pieces of potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Related Recipes:

If you need some main entree ideas, you might like eating potato salad with Instant Pot Chicken Thighs with Teriyaki Sauce or the oven version, Broiled Teriyaki Chicken Thighs Recipe.

Sometimes we need more sides to make a meal complete or meal prep for the week. I love Japanese Sweet Cucumber Salad Recipe and Edamame with Sichuan Peppers. I love to make a batch of Ramen Eggs (Japanese Marinated Eggs) to add to our lunches. If you have extra cucumbers, use them up in a Cucumber Salad with Soy & Sesame Dressing.

We all love potato salads at picnics but sometimes the mayo can get us! Since this recipe does not contain mayo, you can take this potato salad with you on an outing or a picnic and make some Turkey Spam Musubi. For easy grab and go snacks, The Best Instant Pot Eggs are so convenient and are always easy to peel.

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About Sharon Wong 282 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.


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