Add Seafood To Potato Salad For An Umami Punch

When taking a bite of potato salad at a cookout or picnic, a scrumptious combination of sweet and tangy flavors mix with crunchy and soft textures, unleashing a one-of-a-kind combination. These contrasts are the result of its standard ingredients, prepared in an unorthodox manner — the mayonnaise and mustard balance each other out, boiled potatoes escalate raw vegetables like celery — resulting in a delightful summer side dish. But there's a way to give your potato salad an increased umami punch that makes the dish even more distinctive, and appropriate during the summer months: Toss in your favorite seafood.

It could be calamari, crab, shrimp, mussels, or even caviar or lobster if you want a taste of luxury. But no matter which seafood you choose, the possibilities are endless — in essence, you're combining potato salad and seafood salad into one flavor-packed concoction. To further bring out the flavors, consider also mixing in Old Bay seasoning and Cajun spices, corn, fresh lemon juice, or fresh herbs like parsley.

Adding seafood to potato salad

Plenty of recipes for seafood variations on potato salad can be found online, but there's plenty of leeway. Stick with a go-to potato salad recipe, then toss in a cup of leftover boiled shrimp or lump crab meat. Other recipes suggest using multiple types of seafood. If opting for a more expensive option like caviar, put a dollop on top of the potato salad when it's served, so the salty punch can be enjoyed without the flavor getting lost in the other ingredients. Lump crab meat is another great option because it's readily available, easy to deal with, and will blends well with the other flavors — just don't over mix it, or the meat will shred into bits.

No matter what seafood you choose, fresh is always best. Sure, it's tempting to go with frozen seafood, which is more readily available and typically less expensive. But it should be avoided, as should fried seafood — its breading will get soggy and fall off into chunks when combined with competing potato salad ingredients. 

It's also important to make sure your seafood of choice is fully cooked (this isn't ceviche, after all) and there aren't any shell pieces remaining on something like shrimp or lobster. If any leftover seafood remains, toss it into a pasta salad for another out-of-the-box, always-welcomed summer treat.