The ultimate potato salad — Korean Potato Salad! Light, soft, fluffy, and creamy — like biting into a billowy Korean Potato Salad cloud! Make mouth-wateringly delicious Gamja Salad for your next BBQ!
Out of all the potato salads in the world, Korean Potato Salad is definitely my favorite.
What is Korean Potato Salad or Gamja Salad?
Gamja Salad or Korean Potato Salad is a popular potato side dish or banchan at the Korean table.
Gamja means “potato” in Korean and that’s exactly what it is — the Korean version of potato salad. It’s commonly served with Korean BBQ.
How is Korean Potato Salad different from other potato salads?
- Texture. Korean Potato Salad is soft and fluffy. This is not a heavy, dense potato salad. It’s light and airy and creamy — like biting into a billowy potato salad cloud!
- Flavor. Gamja Salad also has that distinctive Korean flavor. A little bit sweet and tangy. With an eggy richness that’s so very luscious and satisfying!
- Added vegetables and fruit. An assortment of fruit and vegetables are standard in Korean Potato Salad. Carrot, apple, corn, cucumber, raisins, bell pepper, etc.! The vegetable and fruit add freshness to an otherwise very starchy dish. Cubed ham, spam, and canned tuna fish are also common additions.
- Russet Potatoes. High starch content makes Russet Potatoes the ideal potato for Gamja Salad. Soft, fluffy, light — russet potatoes lend an ethereal, even dreamy texture. While I love Golden Yukons for regular mashed potatoes, I don’t use them for this recipe. The texture won’t be quite right; they are too heavy and dense.
- Kewpie Mayo. Kewpie is a Japanese mayonnaise that comes in a squeeze bottle. Sweeter and eggier than regular mayo, Kewpie adds another flavor dimension.
- Hard Boiled Eggs. They add SO much flavor. Grate them finely (on a box grater) to keep that nice, fluffy texture.
- Sugar + Vinegar. Vinegar is commonly used in potato salad recipes. Sugar is not. But this combination makes for a dressing with a distinctly Korean flavor profile: sweet and tangy.
- Vegetables. As mentioned above, vegetables + fruit add freshness and crunch. At minimum, add the salted cucumbers. But if you want to load up, go for it!
- Slice and salt the cucumbers. Set aside.
- Cook potatoes and mash until soft and fluffy.
- Add Kewpie mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Add salted cucumbers (drained and squeezed of excess liquid) and finely grated hard-boiled egg.
- Gently mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Use an ice cream scoop to plate onto a small dish. Enjoy!
- Fully cook the potatoes. Check for doneness with a fork. It should slide in easily. You don’t want hard bits of potato in this ultra-creamy and extra-fluffy potato salad.
- Use a potato masher. And mash very well until smooth!
- Combine ingredients while warm. The flavors meld together better.
There are so many variations and ways to enjoy Korean Gamja Salad! I change mine up frequently. At minimum, I recommend adding cucumbers. But I often add carrots to make it look extra colorful and festive!
Typical additions: Cucumber (lightly salted), Carrot (parboiled), Apples (crunchy cubes), Raisins, Canned corn (rinsed + drained), Ham or Spam (tiny cubes), Celery, Red Onion, Canned Tuna, etc.
Some classic combinations:
- Cucumber + Carrot + Corn
- Corn + Ham
- Celery + Bell Pepper + Spam
- Apples + Raisins
- Red Onion + Tuna
- Lettuce Wraps
- Spicy Pork Belly Bulgogi
- Ssamjang (Korean BBQ Dipping Sauce)
- Doenjang Jjigae (Soybean Paste Stew)
Korean Potato Salad (Gamja Salad)
- 1 mini cucumber
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large Russet potato, about 1 lb
- 1 small carrot, peeled + chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 large eggs, preferably organic or free run
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie), plus a little more if necessary
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp rice vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar also works)
- salt + pepper, to taste
- Thinly slice cucumbers. Add salt and scrunch together. Set aside for 10 minutes; the cucumbers will slightly wilt.
- In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes and eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer. After 10 minutes, transfer eggs to a cold water bath. The potatoes should remain in the pot. Cook until completely soft, about 4-5 minutes more. (If using carrots, throw into the water and parboil alongside potatoes for the remaining 4-5 minutes.)
- Remove carrots with a hand held strainer and set aside in a separate bowl. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Mash with a potato masher until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add Kewpie mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar. Mix until well combined, making sure not to over-mash.
- Add finely grated hard boiled eggs. Squeeze cucumbers to remove excess water and add to the potatoes. Switch to a spoon or spatula and gently mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Use an ice cream scoop to plate onto a small dish. Enjoy!