Slice the onion thinly then put them on a plate, cover with cling wrap and microwave for 2 minutes on 500w and set aside.*1
Repeat step 1 with the carrot, chopped into small pieces (if using). *2
Peel the potatoes and cut into small chunks. Boil for 10 minutes. Check if the potatoes are cooked by inserting a skewer. If it goes through, the potato is cooked.
Strain the water from the potatoes, put them back in the pot and shake them around to rough up the outsides a little.
Mash the potatoes a little, but ensure you leave some potatoes still in shape. *3
Rip or slice the ham into small pieces and slice the cucumber and carrots/apples thinly.
Combine mayonnaise and milk.
Place the mashed potato, onion, carrot/apple, cucumber, and ham into a bowl and add the mayonnaise mixture and mix to combine. *4
Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.
*1. Cooking the onion in the microwave brings out the onion’s sweetness.*2. If you used apple, don’t cook it in microwave like carrot. Just chop them up into small pieces and add.*3. Mash while the potatoes while they are still hot because the pectin layer containing the potato starch is more elastic when it is hot. If you mash the potatoes after they’ve cooled down, the pectin layer loses its elasticity and starchiness which results in a mashed potato texture like “mochi” (a texture which is opposite to “hoku hoku”).*4. Add mayonnaise mixture while the mashed potatoes are cooled down to about 50-60 degree Celsius (120-140 Fahrenheit). Mayonnaise penetrates better at around that temperature and also stops the mayonnaise from separating. Other ingredients suggestions are boiled egg chopped up, green peas, sliced apple, raisins.