Baked potatoes with butter, sour cream and kimchi are a house favorite and the inspiration for this salad. I’m sure I began adding kimchi to baked potatoes after eating rice with spicy pickled cabbage on Korean Zen meditation retreats thirty-five years ago. My refrigerator has rarely lacked a jar of kimchi or gojuchang ever since. I introduced our children to kimchi early and Roxanne, after seeing her older brother use it as a condiment on a baked potato, first tried it when she was four. The piece of pickled cabbage packed a punch too big for her and she spit it out. But in future dinners she still insisted on getting a teaspoon of “kimchi juice” drizzled over her baked potato, if only so she could join Oliver in bragging rights to Mom, the chef. By the time she was six, she was eating regular kimchi on her baked potato right along with Oliver and me.
Roxanne and Oliver visited from Brooklyn last week, staying in a friend’s empty apartment, the first time I’d seen them since February, joining us for alfresco meals in our patio garden. Jody’s seat was empty for so many family meals when our children were young, the price of cooking professionally. She made this salad off the top of her head for our Father’s Day dinner – Roxanne and Oliver loved it. For once, Mom was home, eating kimchi on her potatoes, just like the rest of us. Enjoy.
Potato and Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Kimchi Mayo Dressing
- 1 pound little potatoes
- Kosher salt
- 5 ounces sugar snap peas
- 4 radishes
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon miso
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ cup chopped kimchi + additional depending on the flavor
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- Juice of half a lime or so
- 1 red jalapeno or other red chili, about 2 tablespoons minced, (be sure to taste the chili before using it all. The heat varies, not just from variety to variety, but from chili to chili.)
- 1-2 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, torn
- Put the potatoes into a pot, cover with water and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Cool.
- String the snap peas and cut into ½-inch slices.
- Trim the radishes and slice as thin as possible.
- Toss the potatoes with the snap peas, radishes and red onion.
- To make the sauce, mix the miso with the rice vinegar to dissolve. Add the sesame oil, mayonnaise and yogurt and mix well. Add the kimchi.
- Add lime juice to taste.
- Taste and adjust salt balance.
- Pour the sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle with chilis, scallion and cilantro leaves.
- Toss before serving and add any left over scallions, radishes or chilis as desired.
When the kids were young, and I was working nights, I would hear tales about baked potato dinners with kimchi, butter and sour cream.
That’s it? No protein? No green vegetables?
My objections were met with unified protest and I learned not to try to micromanage Dad cuisine from a restaurant kitchen. That went for what they watched on TV as well – PAPILLON when Oliver was 9 and THE EXORCIST when Roxanne was about the same age – accompanied on Fridays, which they called “Mac and Cheese Night,” with Kraft Deluxe (in the blue box). Of course they were right about the kimchi, potatoes and sour cream.
You will find a salad interpretation of their “invention” here. Feel free to add soy sauce, fish sauce, Gochujang paste, or anything else you think makes sense. I know Oliver and Roxanne will.
The vegetables were too beautiful to hide so I simply poured the sauce over the top and tossed the salad after I presented it.
Looks amazing! You ate it alone?
Thanks. First batch was with our kids. Second batch was just us.
I love it that you use mayo in the recipe which goes well with kimchi, readily available in Japan as well. In general the Japanese love mayonnaise and would use it on lots of things whereas growing up I remember getting frowns from my American friends living here about the excess use of mayo in Japan. This was in the ‘80s.
Haha! Thanks. Wait – excess use of mayo?! Isn’t that an oxymoron?
This certainly isn’t my mother’s potato salad and as much as I love it, this is a must try.
Haha! Thanks. It’s always nice to have alternative in life, if only to keep you appreciative of the home team options. Ken