Sunday, October 5, 2008

Recipe: German Potato Salad

Every year I throw an Oktoberfest party. I'm not German and I'm not particularly fond of a lot of German food, but I love Autumn and I can appreciate getting together with friends, eating all kinds of sausage and tipping back big draft beers from a nice stein. Which leads me right to Hawaii 1986.

I was staying at my popular Brady Bunch refuge the Sheraton Waikiki. In front of the hotel lies the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Mall. It's a pretty nice mall. Its first level stores are occupied by overpriced outlets and the kind of jewelry stores that advertise quality and tradition, but really just sell status. Well, if status could be bought, but I'm getting too political. The second and third levels over the years have seen a number of shops and restaurants come and go. In 1986 there was a German restaurant on the 3rd level. I do not remember the name of the place, I do not remember the interior, I do not remember anything of what I ate except for the potato salad.

I am not even really qualified to judge potato salad as I'm not an especially big fan of it. In fact the first time I ever had a warm potato salad was that night. The recipe below isn't even for the potato salad I had that night. I did ask for it though. Yeah, I've got big balls. The server excused himself and went in the kitchen and returned to the kitchen door with the chef a few moments later. They kind of looked me over for a moment and disappeared back into the kitchen. A short time later my server returned to say "I am sorry but the chef doesn't want to give it to you."

I often wonder why I didn't get the recipe. I mean the chef must have considered it. He came to have a look at me to size me up and perhaps my motives. Did I not get it because I look like some kind of spy in the German restaurant world? I don't know. Maybe he didn't want to give up the recipe because it was remarkable. Maybe I instinctively knew what he knew all the time, that this was the best damn German potato salad in the world! Or not.

In the end it was all moot. They were out of business by the next year and I forgot about him until my 2003 Oktoberfest party. Along with all the sausages and beer I wanted to have a nice warm German potato salad to offer my guests. I found one on line and monkeyed with it and produced the recipe to the right. I really like it and so do my guests.

I wish that bastard would have come across with his recipe though.

German Potato Salad

3 lbs of potatoes cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup of chopped onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 olive oil
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs dried parsley
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the cubed potatoes and cook until tender while still firm.

Drain the potatoes and then place them in a large bowl. Carefully mix in the onions until well blended.

In another bowl add the mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, sugar, parsley flakes, salt and pepper. Mix these ingredients together until well blended.

Carefully fold the liquid mixture into the potatoes and onions.

Let set for 1-2 hours before serving.

Adjust seasoning to your taste.

German Potato Salad by Henry Krauzyk, Chop Onions, Boil Water


  1. Real german potato salad does not use olive oil. Prior to WWII it was either not available or was just to expensive for ordinary people to use. They used just simple vegetable oil. Some also used rendered pork fat (lard). This is my favourite verison. It is simply yummy>

  2. Thank you for that information Manfred. Other readers will now be able to use your information to prepare it to their preference. I use olive oil because it is a healthy alternative to both vegetable oil and pork fat. My preference would of course be pork fat! My doctor would want different though! Thanks again Manfred!