Potato salad with ramen eggs

  • Side
  • 4
  • 45 minutes plus at least 2 hours to marinate the eggs

Take the humble potato salad to the next level with this Japanese-inspired recipe topped with salty, gooey ramen eggs. The eggs are perfectly medium-boiled then submerged in a solution of soy sauce, dashi, mirin and vinegar and left for at least two hours – but leave them overnight if you can. As the name suggests, the eggs are commonly used to garnish ramen, but they are delicious served with most things; rice, noodles or even eaten as a snack with a cold beer.

This recipe is taken from Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £26). Photography by Laura Edwards.

First published in 2021

Most potato salads wouldn’t make particularly good drinking food. But most potato salads aren’t Japanese potato salad. Japanese potato salad is the best in the world and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. The potatoes are partially mashed with a generous amount of mayo, so it has a gorgeously airy, creamy texture – like a cold potato cloud – and it’s studded with crunchy-salty bits like sliced carrots and cucumber as well as ham, so every mouthful is delightfully different. Often, Japanese potato salad also contains eggs and occasionally these are the always-a-good-idea ajitsuke tamago, more commonly known in English as ramen eggs. They add a savoury depth and richness for some seriously superlative potato salad.




Ramen eggs

Potato salad

  • 250g of potatoes, use a fluffy, floury variety like Maris Piper or King Edward
  • 5cm of cucumber
  • 1/2 small carrot
  • 2 cornichons
  • 30g of ham, (Tim uses a smoky ham)
  • 60g of Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp MSG (monosodium glutamate) powder, or dashi powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard, (any kind)
  • 1 pinch of garlic powder, (optional)
  • 1 handful of chives, finely sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste



Begin with the ramen eggs. Prepare a large saucepan full of water and bring it to a rolling boil, then lower in the eggs. If you are using fridge-temperature, medium eggs, cook them for 7 minutes exactly. If yours are large, cook them for 7 minutes and 20 seconds; if they’re small, cook them for 6 minutes. If you keep your eggs at room temperature, cook them for about 20 seconds less. When the timer’s up, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, then chill them quickly in cold (ideally iced) water


Peel them and soak them in the soy sauce, mirin, dashi and vinegar for as long as you can – they’ll marinate most evenly in a plastic bag, but any container will do, so long as the eggs are submerged. They’ll pick up the flavour after about 2 hours, but they’ll be way, way better if you leave them overnight


Wash the potatoes and cut them into big chunks, about 3cm, thick, similar to how you would prepare them for roasting, but with the skins on. Place in a saucepan and cover with water, then bring to the boil and cook until fork-tender, about 10–12 minutes. Drain well and leave to dry out and cool completely, then remove their skins

  • 250g of potatoes, use a fluffy, floury variety like Maris Piper or King Edward

Meanwhile, cut the cucumber and carrot in half lengthways, then slice them very thinly (no more than 2mm thick) into little half rounds. Sprinkle them with a generous amount of salt, massage it into the vegetables, then leave them for 30 minutes to tenderise


After 30 minutes, rinse them well under cold running water to remove the salt, and squeeze out any excess liquid


Dice the cornichons and cut the ham into thin strips

  • 2 cornichons
  • 30g of ham, (Tim uses a smoky ham)

Stir together the mayo, dashi powder or MSG, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic powder, if using. With a fork or sturdy whisk, mix the mayo mixture into the cooked and cooled potatoes somewhat violently – you want to break up the potatoes and half-mash them to give the salad a fluffy, creamy texture

  • 60g of Kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp MSG (monosodium glutamate) powder, or dashi powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard, (any kind)
  • 1 pinch of garlic powder

Mix in the cucumbers, carrots, cornichons and ham, then taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking


Break or chop the ramen eggs up into coarse chunks and scatter them over the salad. Top with chopped chives and serve

  • 1 handful of chives, finely sliced
First published in 2021

Tim Anderson is a chef, writer, restaurateur, and MasterChef champion.

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