My mother-in-law makes the dressing for this potato salad using a product called Ymer, or A-38, or A-Tykmælk. For info on Ymer, see What the heck is Ymer? None of those ingredients listed above are available for purchase beyond the highly vigilant Customs police who patrol Denmark’s border. I’m not kidding. The Danes have even declared that our Marmite is contraband, “Ah pokkers,” as Danes who enjoy the flavours of Britain might well say. BBC Video – Marmite Ban
So as any creative ex-pat who can’t find familiar ingredients is apt to do, you start experimenting to find a reasonable facsimile. A combination of full-fat sour cream and mayonnaise (again, not reduced fat) produce a passable flavour and texture. Don’t use crème fraîche as a substitute for the sour cream because it’s too thick. The dressing needs a hint of sharpness, not creamy smoothness. Another ingredient that can’t be sourced outside of Denmark are proper Danish new potatoes. It’s the soil that produces that special flavour and gold colour. Jersey Royals are a good substitute. If that’s not possible, any new potato will work okay, but they must be new. Not baking potatoes!
A quick note about reduced fat mayonnaise or sour cream — Don’t use it unless you must, for health reasons, etc. The corn starch, tapioca starch and pectin used to re-thicken the product after its fat and calories are cut with added water…. well, adding more liquid (lemon juice in this case) causes the mayo and/or sour cream to stiffen up like tarmac as soon as you start to stir it. Just suck in your tummy and pretend that there’s not a jillion calories in this to-die-for-delicious salad. If you must use reduced fat sour cream or mayo, be aware that the more you stir, the thicker the dressing becomes, so don’t overwork it.
Danish Cold Potato Salad — “Kold Dansk Kartoffelsalat”
1 kilo cooked, cold new potatoes (peeled or not, your choice)
1/2 white onion, grated or very finely chopped
200 ml full-fat sour cream 18% fat *
100 ml good quality mayonnaise (not reduced fat) *
milk to thin if too gloopy
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons each of chopped dill and chopped chives
1 tablespoon lemon juice (add more if you want it more tart)
salt and white pepper to taste
Dill, chives, parsley and/or chopped radishes
Cut the potatoes into slices and place them in a bowl. Grate the onion over the sliced potatoes. Stir together the dressing ingredients, season with lemon juice, salt and white pepper, and then pour over potatoes and onions. Turn gently so as not to break the potato slices. Allow the potato salad to rest in the refrigerator for approx. half hour before serving. Stir and decorate with dill, chives and chopped radishes before serving. Serves 4
Variations and Substitutions:
1. Replace the dill and chives with 250g fresh or frozen peas (blanched and/or thawed, at room temperature)
2. Replace dill and chives with 2 teaspoons of mild curry powder
3. Replace chives with chopped fresh mint
4. * Low-Fat, reduced-calorie version as shown in the photograph. Use 200ml of low-fat, natural yogurt and 100ml half-fat crème fraîche. The texture and flavour won’t be the same as the full-fat version though.
© MiskMask 2011