Japanese Potatoes in Soy-Based Sauce - My Mother's Favorite Side Dish

Updated on August 8, 2017
japanese potatoes
japanese potatoes

When my mother recently came to visit me in Tokyo, her mission was to clean, dust and organize my entire apartment. She made it clear to me that she would not be doing any cooking whatsoever, but as she's always never been a fan of cooking, I wasn't surprised. As a matter of fact, I've gotten used to cooking for my mother and have been doing it since my teen years. It actually works out perfectly because I love to cook anyway.

Now I'll get straight to the point and tell you that my mother is one picky eater. She basically won't eat anything with butter, doesn't care for bread and will only eat things she's accustomed to.

A Traditional Japanese Side Dish

One evening I decided to make one of her favorite side dishes. It's a traditional Japanese dish using new potatoes and it's a good one that never fails to please my mother.

Hearty Potatoes in a Savory Soy-Based Sauce

The ingredients are simple and requires very little effort other than scrubbing the potatoes clean. The potatoes are basically simmered in a savory and sweet soy sauce mixture and is best served as a side dish to other Japanese dishes. But they also go well with simply grilled fish or chicken.

I made a large bowl of it and it literally disappeared in less an a day. When I asked her what happened to the potatoes, she told me that she basically snacked on them while cleaning the apartment. I had to make them for her three more times during her visit so I'm guessing she was happy with them potatoes.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Make sure potatoes are of the same size to ensure even cooking.
  • Don't overcook potatoes as there is nothing worse than soggy potatoes.
  • If you have, the instant dashi packet really adds a punch of umami to the dish.
  • Turn the potatoes around occasionally to prevent burning.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 25 min
Yields: 2-4


  • 10 new potatoes ( or potatoes cut into small pieces ) scrubbed clean
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 packet instant dashi ( optional )
  • 2/3 cup water


  1. Add all ingredients into a saucepan except for the potatoes and stir well.
  2. Add potatoes and bring to boil.
  3. Lower heat to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes turning potatoes occasionally.
  4. Lower heat to medium and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Sauce will start to caramelize.
  5. Move the potatoes around now and then to coat with the thickened sauce.
  6. Once potatoes are done, turn off heat and transfer to a bowl.
  7. Serve as a side dish to your favorite foods.

Have you tried this dish before? Do you like potatoes? What would you serve with these if you made them? Let me know and drop me a message. Thanks!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      These look amazing! Yum!

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 3 years ago

      This sounds very tempting and soothing on the tummy. I've only had them once, but you make them sound easy to make at home, thanks for sharing!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @MarathonRunning: Let me know how it turns out.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @ecogranny: Thanks so much for visiting. I sent you a note on your profile page. Thanks.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      @PierreFrederic: Hi there. Shiitake will always taste stronger because it easily absorbs liquids much more readily than other ingredients such as potatoes. Are you using fresh shiitake or dehydrated ones? If fresh, simply broiling them with a drizzle of oil and soy sauce is a good way to eat them. For dehydrated shiitake, the dashi is almost a necessity to bring out the flavors. You would also need to cut down on the sugar for shiitake as it'll just make it too sweet.

    • profile image

      PierreFrederic 3 years ago

      It was delicious. I haven't used dashi but before I put the sweetened soy sauce, I slightly roasted the potato slices in butter. I did not have small size potatoes so I cut huge ones in slices. It works as well. But today I made the same using shitake mushrooms instead of potatoes but the taste was not good. It was somehow too boring, too sweet. Do you have a good recipe for making shitake mushrooms?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      I have not heard of this dish until now, and I love potatoes. They are always a hit at our house, almost any way I cook them. I would love to try these, although I haven't a clue what dashi is and will have to look that up. What would I serve them with? We almost never eat meat at home, so I think I might serve them with a fresh cabbage salad or perhaps steamed whole peas with a yogurt/cheese dip on the side. It's hard to be sure when I don't yet know what flavors the dashi will impart.

    • MarathonRunning profile image

      Martina 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Mmmm...I must try this! It sound delicious and we love to eat potatoes and season thing with soy sos in my home.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haven't tried this, but it does sound wonderful! - just had a roast potato dish here at my mom's - was so good too :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I haven't tried this, but I will. They sound so good. Soy sauce goes on anything, doesn't it? If your mom likes them that much, I'm convinced. Thanks for sharing another most excellent recipe.