This Korean potato salad recipe combines fluffy mashed potatoes with crunchy carrots and fresh cucumber. It’s also loaded with fatty egg pieces and sweet mayonnaise and rice syrup.
Gamja salad is a popular side dish at many Korean restaurants. Now you can make it at home.
What is Korean potato salad?
Gamja salad, also known as “potato salad”, is a Korean side dish that I love to eat alongside japchae. You’ll often hear potato salad at American parties and BBQs, but it’s gaining popularity in Korean food.
Many believe that gamja may have been influenced in part by American mayonnaise and potatoes. This recipe is different because it includes rice syrup to sweeten the dish and other ingredient add-ons such as eggs, raisins, cucumbers, and carrots.
It doesn’t matter where it came from, I just love it and will eat it at any Korean restaurant or KBBQ spot that serves it. This Korean-style potato salad can be found at many places like Morangak and BCD Tofu House. This particular banchan can sometimes run out so I make it at home whenever possible to satisfy any cravings.
Ingredients in Korean potato salad
These potatoes are the same ones you use to make regular mashed potatoes with russet potatoes. A starchy potato is best as it won’t overwhelm the flavors of the mayonnaise and seasonings.
Although many chefs believe Yukon gold potatoes are the best for mashed potatoes (and I agree), we don’t really need the buttery Yukon flavor in this recipe. Russet potatoes are a good base for all the other ingredients. They’re not as buttery as Yukon gold potatoes, which we use for Smashed Potatoes.
My favourite ingredients for gamja are eggs, carrots, and cucumbers. You can also add sweet apples (think Fuji), raisins or onions. These ingredients can vary depending on where you are eating, but the best thing about this dish is that you can add anything you like.
How to make Korean mashed potato and salad
Gamja salad should be fluffy, but not too stiff. You shouldn’t make it too creamy that you can’t use chopsticks. I prefer my potato salad thicker and more chunky. This consistency can be achieved by using a potato fork or potato masher and stopping when there are small chunks of potatoes. To mash potatoes, do not use a food processor.
Make sure you drain the potatoes from the water before you start to mash them. Because russet potatoes can absorb too much water during boiling, it is important to let them dry on the counter for a while. This allows the potatoes to absorb the mayonnaise seasoning.
To make the potatoes more manageable, I use a potato mashing machine to smash them down. These potatoes will not be processed in an immersion blender or food processor. They will become sticky and over-processed.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Taste to ensure that seasoning is just right. You can make it sweeter by adding more rice syrup or more mayonnaise to give it a more eggy taste.
Other Asian salad:
- Cold Broccolini Salad with Sesame Dressing
- Authentic Chinese Cucumber Salad
- Viral TikTok Green Goddess Salad
- Vietnamese Rare Beef in Lime Juice Salad
- Vietnamese Chicken Salad
How to store and serve gamja salad
It’s best to chill the gamja lettuce in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins or until it is cold. This is the best way to serve it. It’s usually served with spicy and hot bbq foods such as grilled spicy pork bulgogi or tteokbokki, Korean fried chicken or Korean dipping sauces.
This dish is great because you can prepare it ahead of time and have it ready to go when you are ready. You can store extra portions in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4 days.
SIMILAR SALAD: VIETNAMESE POTATO SALAD
Korean Potato Salad Recipe (Gamja Salad)
- Masher or fork
- 642 g (1 ½ lb) russet potatoes peeled and cubed into ½ inch pieces
- water for boiling and iced water bath
- 2 tbsp (17.5 g) kosher salt for boiling
- 77 g (1 medium) Persian cucumber sliced as thinly as possible
- ¼ tsp (2 g) rice wine vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 30 g (1 medium) carrot peeled and cut into ⅛ inch pieces
- 65 g (⅓ c) mayonnaise
- 2.5 g (¾ tsp) kosher salt for seasoning
- 15 g (1 tbsp) rice syrup or honey
- Potatoes: Clean and peel your potatoes. Cut into half-inch pieces. Add the potatoes to a large saucepan of boiling water on medium heat. Once the water has come to a boil, boil the potatoes for 10 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce them. Once the potatoes have been cooked, place the potatoes in a strainer. Then, let them dry on the counter. NOTICE: Do not throw away the water. The water will be used for eggs and carrots.
- Cucumbers Slice the cucumbers thinly and then salt them with 1/3 of your seasoning kosher Salt. Mix the salt until all the cucumbers are coated. Allow the cucumbers to drain the excess water for 10 minutes. Place the cucumbers in the strainer, and let them run under running water for 10 minutes to drain the excess salt. Use your hands to squeeze as much water out of the cucumbers as you can, but keep them from getting damaged. Mix the rice wine vinegar and cucumbers in a bowl. Season with salt.
- Eggs Place the eggs in the boiling water and let them boil for 11 minutes. To cool the eggs, make an iced bath of water. For 2 minutes, place the eggs in an ice-bath. Peel the eggs and then remove them from the ice bath. Cut them in half, then remove the yolks. The egg whites can be beaten and then chopped into 1/8 inch pieces. The boiled egg yolk pieces should be broken up between your fingers. Keep 1/4 cup of the egg yolk crumbles aside in a separate bowl.
- Carrots Cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces. Place the carrots in boiling water. Blanch the carrots for 2 minutes, or until they are slightly softened but still retain their bite. Take the carrots out of the boiling water and let them cool in cold water until they reach room temperature.
- Mix the cooked potatoes in a bowl. Use a masher, or a fork, to mash them until they are broken down, but not smooth. They will be too sticky and gloopy if you over-mash them.
- Combine the rice syrup, 1/3 of the leftover kosher salt and the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Mix it until well combined.
- Mix the mayonnaise and mashed potatoes in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
- Mix the carrots, egg whites and egg yolk crumbles together. Stir until combined.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup of reserved egg yolk crumbles.
- Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 mins before serving. Or until the mixture is chilled to the touch. This can be made up to one day in advance.