Father's Day is June 16

Microwave cooking is big in Japan. Just like buying panties from vending machines. People do it all the time and there is no need to be ashamed when doing it.

One of the most genius ideas I acquired while living in Japan was microwaving a potato. Japan has these cute little jagaimo (potatoes) that make our russets look like the sumo wrestler equivalent of potatoes. It was definitely a pain to cut and peel all those tiny jagaimo when making curry, but they were the perfect size for a "nuked potato."

I was transported back to the aisles of Peacock the other day when I came across these adorable potatoes from Full Belly Farm at the local store. Not only are they the same size as the jagaimo in Japan, they also have the dreamy, creamy consistency of mochi.


Jaga-mayo Nuked Potato


1 small potato (fingerlings work too)
Japanese mayonnaise
Soy sauce
Butter (optional)


1. Poke tiny holes into your potato with a toothpick.

2. Wrap your potato tightly in saran wrap.


3. Nuke the potato for 2-3 minutes depending on the intensity of your microwave.


4. After the nukage, the potato should give a little when you press it with your finger. Be careful when removing the saran wrap from the potato. It's hot! I like to use a pair of scissors to break the potato free from the saran wrap.

5. Squirt some mayo and pour some soy sauce over the potato. Add a pad of butter for more body.

Stoneware by Anders Arhøj.

もちもち! (Mochi-mochi!)


*Every Thursday, Japanify aims to make Japanese cooking at home easy, accessible and affordable. For questions, please email Yoko directly at yoko@umamimart.com or simply comment below!
Column: Japanify


  • I’ve got a microwave rice cooker, pasta boiler and ramen cooker (although I have to admit I haven’t used the latter). But the rice cooker makes amazing rice. Genius.

    sakura on

  • Japanese microwave usage is out of control now. They sell silicon case, where you place dry pasta, liquid, and all the toppings, and nuke for like 8 minutes, and pasta dinner is done. Something Americans will be so disgusted by this recipe. http://www.sachikocooking.com/english/en0001.htm

    Yamahomo on

  • Nice tip! But.. nuking is totally ok healthwise, right.. or?
    Every morning I nuke a bunch of precooked frozen rice in a Japanese ceramic bowl. This morning I saw that it had cracked – perhaps due to all microwaving. But serain wrap isn’t for microwaving, it says on my wrap case.
    What should I do?

    Anders on

  • I have one of those silicon cooker things. I make asparagus in it all the time!

    yoko on

  • Don’t use Melamine in microwave. Sometimes I use plastic wrap (like Saran Wrap or any brand) to reheat leftovers or cook light items like a piece of fish. It’s perfectly fine to use to wrap and cook a potato.

    Avoid high temperatures, because then chemicals transfer into the food. This happens with tomato sauce (the acid and oil cause that) and also food items that have high fat content.

    Ignore anyone that says it causes cancer, they just want to scare people.

    More info from USDA at this link: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Cooking_Safely_in_the_Microwave/index.asp

    Luis on

  • I have only read some things about microwave cooking and that it’s not harmful. But I don’t know the exact science behind microwaving. Any one know?

    yoko on

  • Oh, and thanks for showcasing my ceramics!

    Anders on

  • Anders, do you individually wrap cooked rice? If so, there’s no need to use ceramic bowl to nuke. If you have an access to Japanese saran wrap, it’s microwave safe. By the way, what happened to the myth that pregnant women shouldn’t be near microwave?

    yamahomo on

  • lol You don’t gotta use plastic wrap. In the US I just use a paper towel and wrap it around the potato then swipe it under the faucet so the towels kinda wet and mold the towel around the potato. Then I just put it in the microwave for about 6 minutes (if using medium-large size potato) or the 2-3 min for small ones. I like just putting salt and pepper and some butter on it!

    Macchan on

  • Yeah, I cook a big batch and wrap it individually. I want to use that saran wrap thing, but all plastic wrap you can get in DK is not microwave safe with warning signs on the package. But it’s ok, I just want to avoid lots of plastic touching my food as it does get kinda hot in there…

    Anders on

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