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Japanese Potatoes in Soy-Based Sauce

My recipe articles reflect my eating style and you'll find recipes that are Paleo, low carb, and Japanese.

Japanese potatoes

Japanese potatoes

Japanese Potato Recipe: My Mother's Favorite Dish

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 since she's 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 teens. It actually works out perfectly because I love to cook.

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. 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 her.

Hearty Potatoes in a Savory Soy-Based Sauce

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

I made a large bowl of it, and it literally disappeared in less than 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.

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 it, an instant dashi packet really adds a punch of umami to the dish.
  • Turn the potatoes around occasionally to prevent burning.
Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

20 min

25 min

2-4 servings


  • 10 new potatoes (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 a 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. The sauce will start to caramelize.
  5. Move the potatoes around now and then to coat them with the thickened sauce.
  6. Once the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and transfer them to a bowl.
  7. Serve as a side dish to your favorite foods.