Macaroni Salad is macaroni mixed with vegetables and mayonnaise, very similar to American macaroni salad. Because Japanese mayo has a very different flavor from mayo in the US, Japanese Macaroni Salad tastes quite different, just like Japanese Potato Salad. It is a very good side dish for Yoshoku (western style dishes) such as Hamburger Steaks and Menchi Katsu.
In Japan, Macaroni Salad can be found at supermarket delis, hot Bento shops, and even convenience stores. You can also see it next to main dishes at a lot of restaurants. Even though you find Macaroni Salad everywhere in Japan, it is almost a forgotten dish since it is such a small dish and easily dismissed. It is hard to be a main dish, but it is still a nice accompaniment to a main dish. We showed a very basic type of Macaroni Salad, but you can add to it too if you think it’s too plain. Add some Japanese hot mustard or curry powder, or drizzle some Worcestershire sauce to change the flavor.
It is very easy to make, and it only needs simple ingredients – except Japanese Mayonnaise. Try to find it since that’s the key flavor of the dish. If you can’t, substitute with regular American mayo adding some lemon juice and salt. If you like Japanese Potato Salad, you’ll love this dish too. Try it with your next meal!
- 1/4 lb (120g) Macaroni
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 carrot
- 2-3 slices ham
- 1/4 cup (60ml) mayonnaise
- Boil water with a table spoon of salt. Cook macaroni according to the package. Strain, drizzle oil over macaroni, and coat well with oil. Let cool.
- Slice cucumber thinly. Cut carrot into very thin 2" long strips. Put cucumber and carrot in a bowl, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and let sit for 5 minutes until soft. Squeeze out water. Slice ham into thin 2" long slices.
- In a medium size bowl, add cooled macaroni, cucumber, carrot, ham, and mayo. Season with some salt and pepper.