Mom Kaiura’s Potato Salad

Mom Kaiura's Potato Salad in a serving bowl

June 16, 2023

Potato salad, macaroni salad, and potato-macaroni salad are all popular in Hawaii. As I’ve said before, we love our carbs. And while I can’t speak for all of Hawaii, I don’t remember ever seeing a German-style, vinegar-based potato salad served here.

Macaroni salad is a staple of the local plate lunch. Generally it’s a very simple recipe. Beyond the macaroni and mayo, it may have a little carrot for color and maybe a little onion for flavor. Some places definitely add too much mayo but most have a good balance.

Mom Kaiura's Potato Salad served with Huli Huli Chicken

A zhushed up potato salad

This recipe is from a beloved member of our extended family. The “recipe” can be found in our family’s cookbook – but you will note some key information is left out. The first time I wanted to make this salad, I had to call my aunt to ask her for guidance on how much of each ingredient to use.

Potato salad recipe from family cookbook
Original recipe found in our family cookbook

This potato salad is something you make for family and friends – those you want to spend a little more time on and serve something special. The addition of a few more ingredients takes this salad from meh to yum.

Mom Kaiura's Potato Salad - closeup

A few notes

  • Generally speaking I don’t refer to specific brands in my recipes but in this instance, Best Foods (or Hellmann’s, east of the Rockies) is the only mayonnaise we use. My aunt made a point of telling me to only use Best Foods.
  • I prefer to use a waxy potato – like Yukon Gold or Red Bliss. Floury potatoes like Russets work but tend to fall apart as you mix the salad.
  • Eggs are optional. My sister hates eggs (unless they are mixed into a baked good) so I will set aside a portion just for her. I think the eggs make the salad creamier and richer and the whites add a little additional texture. But the choice is yours.
  • If you have access to fresh crabmeat, by all means, substitute it for the canned crabmeat.
  • This is a mayonnaise-based salad so you want to keep it cool. Do not let it sit out in the sun or in a warm room for an extended period of time.
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Mom Kaiura's Potato Salad in a serving bowl

Mom Kaiura’s Potato Salad

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x


This potato salad is made extra special with the addition of crabmeat. It is a great addition to any picnic or potluck. It is a family favorite for good reason.



4 pounds potatoes, cooked, peeled, warm*

6 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups dried macaroni, cooked and drained

1/4 cup minced onion

1/4 cup sweet relish

1 carrot, grated

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 6-ounce can crabmeat, drained

1/23/4 cup mayonnaise

Salt and pepper, to taste


Cut the potatoes into ¾” dice. Place in a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients, starting with ½ cup mayonnaise and increasing to achieve desired consistency. The potatoes will breakdown a little as you mix it.

Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed.

Potato salad can be served warm. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready for serving.


*I prefer a waxy potato like Yukon Golds or Red Bliss rather than a starchy potato like a Russet (which tend to fall apart when the salad is mixed).

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Salads
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 127.62
  • Sugar: 1.57 g.
  • Sodium: 117.69 mg.
  • Fat: 1.9 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.56 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 21.49 g.
  • Fiber: 2.77 g.
  • Protein: 6.34 g.
  • Cholesterol: 64.21 g.

Keywords: potato, macaroni, crab

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