Every homemaker hates wasting food and tries to recycle their leftover food. This often leads to trying out intriguing recipes, including me. This is why I thought of sharing this recipe for Japanese croquettes that can be made using any leftover mashed potatoes.
Of course, you can always make it with fresh potatoes, but I’m just suggesting a way to use leftover mashed potatoes. Even potato lovers tend to detest eating mashed potatoes the next day. However, this wonderful Japanese dish, the korokke or Karokke, gives you a solution.
To make things better, the recipe is very basic and easy to make. It’s also very tasty, and pretty versatile. This is because while the basic recipe uses ground meat, you can add other ingredients like shredded carrots, hard-boiled eggs or anything else that you like.
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What is korokke?
In basic language, a korokke or karokke (コロッケ, potato, and ground meat croquette) is a Japanese version of the famous French croquette. It’s a potato and ground meat dish fried to a perfect golden brown.
It has a crunchy outer layer with a slightly sweet inner filling. It’s a very popular home-cooked Japanese dish which tastes delicious on its own. However, it also goes well with tonkatsu or Katsu sauce, a slightly sweet Japanese sauce or sweet Worcestershire sauce.
The korokke is a prime example of Yoshoku cuisine comprising of dishes adopted from other countries. It was started after the Meiji Restoration, and all of these dishes have a unique Japanese twist.
How croquette became korokke
The word croquette means ‘to crunch’ which aptly describes this dish, which is crunchy enough. The question is how this delicious creamy deep-fried French dish ended up a popular Japanese street food!
The name stems from the French dish croquette. The word croquette is converted to something similar to, and easier for the Japanese to pronounce. The word is even written in katakana instead of the usual Japanese kanji characters.
Katakana is a set of phonetic characters used by the Japanese for expressing sounds and foreign words. This is why you find the two words ‘croquette’ and ‘korokke’ sounding so similar.
Difference between the French croquette and traditional korroke
French croquettes are made using a béchamel sauce while traditional korokkes are made of potato and some ground meat and onions. The blend is then flavored by adding some typical Japanese seasonings like mirin, soy sauce, and sake.
Korokkes also have a coating of panko breadcrumbs. Panko is a light and flaky form of Japanese breadcrumbs is used because they are much coarser than the usual breadcrumbs.
Besides, they do not soak up oil while frying, so you get light, crunchy and crispy korokkes when it’s deep-fried.
I have a useful secret to share with you, for keeping these croquettes crispy and crunchy for a longer time.
All you have to do is to leave the fried mini croquettes on a wire rack. This lets air circulate it to not only help it cool down but to also prevent hot steam from moistening its crispy crust.
As mentioned earlier, korokke were traditionally made by blending mashed potatoes with ground meat or a hamburger, and fried onions.
However, nowadays there are quite a few variations possible where you can use vegetables and seafood like crab instead of meat, and béchamel sauce or pumpkin instead of potato.
It’s not only the ingredients of korokkes that varies. There are even variations in its shape. Instead of making korokkes in the traditional flat, oval shape; you can also try making a log, ball or flat and round shaped versions.
You can probably find some great pre-packaged korokke from the shelves of your local Asian supermarket or large grocery stores.
But it can never beat the taste of piping hot korokke taken straight out of the fryer, and eaten with some tonkatsu sauce! Then again, you can always make your own, and make use of any leftover mashed potatoes you have.
People living in Japan don’t even have to go through the hassle of making korokkes. There are so many shops selling korokkes at affordable prices. It was the butchers who originally sold korokkes.
They made it from scratch, with some secret seasoning. They then deep fry it with a coating of panko breadcrumbs in front of you to give you sizzling hot, delicious korokke.
If you ask me, korokkes taste best eaten straight from the frying pot, while taking a walk. I’d say that it tastes just like McDonald’s hash brown. You don’t even need any messy sauce while eating it like this because the patties are simply out-of-this-world!
It’s slightly sweet inside that made me try so many recipes to finally come up with korokke tasting just like the ones you get from Japanese butchers. This final recipe I’ve come up with comes pretty close to it!
Crunchy in the outside, fluffy and a little bit sweet inside. Korokke (コロッケ, potato and ground meat croquette) is one of the very popular Japanese street food, you can pair it with tonkatsu sauce. 1.) Panko is a type of large, flaky breadcrumb that becomes super crispy when fried and is available at most major supermarkets or any Asian grocer.
Japanese Potato Croquette Recipe | Korokke
2.) Tonkatsu sauce is a Japanese-style barbecue sauce and is available in some major supermarkets or an Asian grocer. Alternatively, substitute your favourite barbecue sauce.
Crunchy in the outside, fluffy and a little bit sweet inside. Korokke (コロッケ, potato and ground meat croquette) is one of the very popular Japanese street food, you can pair it with tonkatsu sauce.
1.) Panko is a type of large, flaky breadcrumb that becomes super crispy when fried and is available at most major supermarkets or any Asian grocer.