Project Potato

Nov 3, 2023 | Cooking Club


Most white-fleshed potatoes generally fall into either of two categories: fluffy OR waxy.

Fluffy potatoes are high-starch and tend to crumble when simmered; they are perfect for mashing, and when making korokke (croquettes). The Japanese often describe these dishes as hokahoka (“steaming hot“). The most commonly available high-starch potato in Japan is DANSHAKU (男爵) — pictured above, to the left. These fluffy spuds are also good prepared as MISO KAMPURA.

Waxy potatoes are lower in starch. When you want potatoes to hold their shape and not crumble — many curries, stews and some potato salads — are best made with waxy spuds such as MayQueen ( メークイン) pictured above to the right. Dishes made with waxy potatoes are often described as shittori or moist.

Chips and fries can be made with either type of potato but tend to be crisper, crunchier if high starch spuds (such as danshaku) are used.

What kinds of potato dishes do you make?

Try your hand at making several (maybe one of each type?) and then share your kitchen activity with us by posting to the KCCC Facebook group.

Learn about Japan’s Potato Lingo & Lore by visiting my Kitchen Culture blog.

Read my November 2023 newsletter.

Show Us Your Kitchen Project

Ready to SHARE YOUR KITCHEN PROJECT with others?

KITCHEN CULTURE Cooking Club members, head over to our Facebook Group. Not yet a member? Please join – membership is opt-in and free of charge.

Looking forward to seeing what you’re making in your kitchen…

TONBURI: Caviar of the Fields

TONBURI: Caviar of the Fields

The Japanese eat a number of "unusual" foods, and TONBURI (とんぶり) surely qualifies as one of them. Tonburi are the seeds of Kochia scoparia/Bassia scoparia,  also known as 箒草 hōki-gusa. Branches of the mature kochia plant are crafted into hōki brooms (yes, brooms that...

Project Tonburi

Project Tonburi

Tonburi, the seeds of the broom plant, are tiny and black-green in color. Because they mimic the appearance and mouthfeel of sturgeon caviar tonburi is often referred to as  hataké no kyabia (“caviar of the field”).  Akita prefecture in the Tohoku produces most of...

Kakashi Guarding the Fields

Kakashi Guarding the Fields

Farmers around the world deploy “scarecrows” to guard their crops from undesirable flying, crawling, and burrowing creatures. Japan’s kakashi 案山子 scarecrows that stand guard over rice fields tend to be more whimsical than frightening figures. Above, rice fields in...



Takikomi-style rice dishes are cooked in a flavorful stock extracted from the ingredient being featured (in this case, MUSHROOMS). Takikomi rice is truly a delicious way to enjoy seasonal bounty. Download a recipe for KINOKO GOHAN to get started. It does, however,...

Recent Posts & Projects