What would a summer barbeque, picnic, or potluck be without potato salad? It seems to be popular with everyone and goes with so many other dishes. It’s also super-convenient to make ahead of time and store in the fridge.
Plus, it lasts for several days if kept chilled so you can make a big batch and use it in lunchboxes during the week.
A basic potato salad consists of boiled potato cubes and mayonnaise. To this, many cooks add things like chopped spring onion, chopped hard-boiled eggs, dill pickles or dill weed, mustard, and seasonings.
Because of its simplicity, it is well worth using the best waxy potatoes you can find plus a really good, rich, creamy mayonnaise to bind it all together.
Help! My potato salad is undercooked!
For a truly luscious potato salad, the potatoes need to be cooked perfectly.
Boiling the potatoes is a fine balancing act because while you don’t want to end up with mashed potatoes, you definitely don’t want hard, glassy potato cubes in your salad either.
Ideally, the cubes should be firm but soft when you bite into them with no hint of glassiness in the middle. That is why, if you have undercooked the potatoes for your salad, you will need to get it fixed to enjoy the best taste and texture.
If you are looking to get an undercooked potato salad problem fixed, you have come to the right place because we have some tips to help you.
How to Fix Undercooked Potato Salad
1. Use your microwave
The most convenient and fastest way to get the problem sorted out is by using a microwave. Please note that this method will only work if the salad has not been made with celery or egg.
If it has, you’re probably going to have to throw it out because heating it will turn the celery to mush and the eggs to rubber.
Simply put the potato salad into a microwave-proof bowl such as a glass dish. Microwave on High for 30 seconds at a time, stirring it gently in between, being careful not to break up the potato cubes.
After a couple of minutes, test the potatoes with a fork or toothpick to see if they have softened. If not, continue the process for a few minutes more until you achieve success.
You may need to add a little more dressing at the end but only do this after the salad has cooled down.
Once the potatoes are cooked, you have two options. The first is that you can let the salad cool and then chill it to serve cold later. The second is to serve it hot, thereby turning it into a new dish.
We suggest mixing through a little cream and grated cheese before putting the salad into a shallow oven dish. You could also mix some fried bacon bits for extra deliciousness.
Next, top it with some extra grated cheese and cayenne pepper or paprika.
Put the salad into a preheated oven for 20 minutes or so until the cheese has melted. Serve the rescued salad as a “potato bake,” and nobody will even know!
2. Use the stovetop
This method is a bit messy but it will work so use it if you’re desperate not to waste your salad. First, scrape off as much of the dressing as you can. Remove any bits of egg, celery or other additions.
Half-fill a suitably sized pot with boiling salted water and place it on the stovetop. Add the undercooked potato salad and boil gently until the potato cubes soften. (Use a fork or toothpick to test.)
Strain off the water/wasted sauce mixture and leave the potatoes to cool. Mix up a fresh batch of mayonnaise dressing, adding celery, chopped hard-boiled eggs, dill or whatever you prefer.
Once the potatoes have cooled, mix them with the new sauce and serve with a knowing smile – you’ve saved the salad!
3. Pretend it’s supposed to be crunchy
If you don’t have access to a stove or microwave and you really don’t want to waste the salad, you can always invent a new dish. It is not harmful to eat slightly undercooked potatoes so here’s what to do.
Cut up the undercooked potato cubes to make them smaller. This will be a bit messy because of the dressing but hang in there. Now add a generous handful of chopped dill pickles and a finely chopped onion.
This all adds crunch so that hopefully your diners won’t notice that the potatoes are a little crunchy too. If you’re feeling extravagant, fry some chopped bacon until it is very crisp and mix it through the salad.
Mix through some extra mayonnaise sauce. Be sure it’s well seasoned so that the flavor distracts from the texture. Suggestions for seasoning the mayonnaise are a little dill pickle vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mustard.
Garnish the top with chopped dill pickles and finely chopped dill weed or parsley. Serve it with a flourish and never apologize for the crunchiness that has now become part of the dish.
Sometimes, to fix kitchen disasters, you have to think on your feet. And sometimes, you have to fake it. We hope our tips help you to rescue your undercooked potato salad. Let us know how it goes…we’d love to hear from you!