Don’t you often find mayo-based macaroni salad to be bland? The dressing causes the pasta to slip and slide and sometimes pool in the dish. Even with veggies added the salad never seems together; it’s like separate ingredients tossed together barely coated in dressing. It is for this reason that I have been indifferent to a standalone macaroni salad. However, all of that changed when I made the Hawaiian version; it’s a game changer for the way I make macaroni salad. I think that you will like it too.
Macaroni salad, though only a small part of the meal, is a key component of a typical “plate lunch” in Hawaii. A “plate lunch” consists of rice, a generous serving of a meat or fish and would not be complete without a scoop of macaroni salad. Think of it this way, you know how there is always the ubiquitous piece of lettuce, tomato and cucumber with cooked food that you buy? Well the macaroni salad is in the same vein, only much more substantial and enjoyable. Not only does the macaroni salad appear on the everyday lunch plate but also on weekends, holidays and any time there is feasting. What sets the Hawaiian macaroni salad apart from others is the addition of potatoes to the salad which gives it body and helps hold the dressing around the pasta. Starchy russet/Idaho potatoes are boiled, roughly mashed leaving little chucks for added texture, and mixed with the macaroni, vegetables and dressing. Don’t be misguided. This is not a macaroni and potato salad. There is more pasta than potatoes and the potatoes are there to play a key role – that of assisting the dressing to adhere to the pasta. And it is not only the potatoes that make this pasta salad stand out; the grated onions and vinegar which help make up the dressing bring good flavour and a welcome little tang to the salad…..