It’s one of those things that I don’t get all the time, but when I do order it at a Japanese restaurant, it’s so deliciously good, I can’t help but want to make it. And so I did!
Korokke can be said to be the Japanese version of the French “croquette”. The French croquette is quite similar as it is a small mashed potato patty with filling ranging from meat to shellfish to vegetables. They are much smaller than the Japanese version I believe, and the Japanese version also differs with the panko breading. There are quite a few countries that have their individual version of the croquette as well with different fillings. More information can be found here, on Wikipedia.
I found this recipe for the Japanese version, the korokke, off Japanese Cooking 101. Their link can be found off the References Page on the left side along with other recipes. I didn’t watch the video as it seemed to be self explanatory, but I want to say that after my personal experience, I may want to watch it. For one, the recipe didn’t say how to apply the egg onto the korokke patty. In addition, I attempted to slightly modify the recipe by adding two pats of butter to the mashed potatoes. In doing this, I believe it prevented the mashed potato patties from somewhat solidifying in the refrigerator.
I believe that the 1-hr in the fridge requirement allows the patty to “harden” which should technically make it easier to baste with egg and all the necessary toppings. However, by adding the butter, it essentially creates that softer mashed potato texture we all love so much. This results in one helluva hard patty to dunk. Literally the first patty I dunked almost disintegrated into my hands. Subsequently, I had to cup the patty after softly rolling it in cornstarch (another modification since I did not have all-purpose flour on hand) in order to literally spoon beaten egg on to the patty. Somehow I had to gently flip the patty so baste the other side with egg and then get it into the bowl of panko. Every patty left my hands completely disastrous, and I had to wash my hands after almost every patty.
However, the patties came out a success! A few notes on deep frying without a deep fryer:
- If you don’t have a dutch oven, I recommend lining your stove with tinfoil. Most Asians do this because it limits cleaning and is very easy to “clean” by just wrapping up the aluminum after you are done frying.
- Make sure you have enough oil to cover up to half of your patty. I ended up having a bit more patties than expected because I could half the original size after flattening them to the appropriate size for frying.
- (this is probably the most important), make sure you strain out or remove as much of the loose panko that falls into the pan. Otherwise, subsequent patties will stick to the cooked (and sometimes burned) panko crumbs at the bottom of the pan and instead of that nice golden color, you get spots of burnt panko.
I do not recommend a deep fryer for this actually because the patties are so fragile to handle. In addition, they aren’t really best to eat plain because there isn’t too much salt. Most of the time, they are served with mayo or tonkatsu sauce. I do like to eat them also with sweet chili sauce (SE Asian thing) and ketchup. However, that tends to be more of a hashbrown in that sense. Despite the odd shapes, it turned out really well and tasted quite yummy as well! It’s definitely labor intensive even though it’s a really easy recipe so if you have the patience, I definitely recommend it! Let’s get started shall we?
- 1 lb potatoes (used approximately 8 small to medium organic potatoes and resulted in about 15 patties, 7 of medium size and 8 of small nugget size)
- 1 tsp oil (used to brown onion – I used about a half-cup to a whole cup of canola for the deep frying process)
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- flour (subbed with cornstarch)
- Panko(bread crumbs)
- oil for deep frying
- Tonkatsu sauce
Peel potatoes and cut into 4 pieces each. Cook in boiling water until soft. In a big bowl, mash potatoes well.
Heat oil in a pan, and start cooking onion. Then add ground beef and cook until browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix potatoes and meat mixture and add some more salt and pepper to taste. Let it cool.
Divide potato mixture into 8 pieces and make oval patties. Refrigerate for an hour.
Coat with flour, then eggs, and finally Panko (bread crumbs).
Heat deep frying oil to 350-375F, and fry the patties for 3-4 minutes each side.
I hope that if you try this recipe, you enjoy it. It’s a great treat for kids although not the most healthy because of the deep frying. I definitely recommend it with Japanese mayo and tonkatsu sauce. Next time, I plan on trying this with imitation crab and/or cheese! Thanks for tuning it, until next time…