Saturday, March 31, 2012

Potato Korokke (Croquette)

At this point, some of you must be wondering why I am constantly cooking Japanese food. Well, Japanese recipes are often simple and span only half a page of a cookbook, which makes it less daunting especially when they usually come with a list of less than ten ingredients. Compare that to Malaysian cooking which may use spices and sauces from A-Z, with plenty of chopping, pounding, crushing, toasting, frying, simmering and keeping a constant watch while cooking. I hardly have half a day to spend doing all that especially now that I'm back at work, and it's impossible to keep the children out of mischief. Just today, while I was preparing pork chops for dinner, my little toddler managed to empty almost an entire bottle of shampoo all over the floor in the shower.

So, anyway, as I was saying, I'm in the Japanese food phase recently and I decided to have a go at making Japanese potato croquettes (known as Korokke, no prizes for guessing why). I haven't eaten them in a long time, and the last time I had these at a sushi train restaurant doesn't count as I was unfortunate enough to get a batch that was cold and soggy.

Thankfully, Nami had recently posted her mum's recipe for korokke on Just One Cookbook, and I was eager to try it. It's basically ground beef and potatoes, so I bought a 2kg (4 lb) bag of potatoes, of which I still have 2 lbs left which might go to making more korokke or perhaps a potato salad or something. Looking at the recipe, it's relatively easy to make, but when I came to the actual process of shaping and breading them, it was slightly slow and fiddly, and needed a little patience. The potato and beef mixture is rather soft, and so the shaped balls/patties have to be delicately handled when rolling them in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs.

It seemed to make a rather large batch, or so I thought, until I started eating them, got addicted and couldn't stop going for seconds, thirds, forths etc. They are so good dipped in tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice too. The next day, I decided to use the leftovers to make korokke sandwiches. They tasted even better this way! I spread some butter on the bread, placed some shredded lettuce on top along with some mayonnaise, added the hot and crispy korokke that I heated up in the oven, and then drizzled tonkatsu sauce over them before topping it off with another slice of bread. Heavenly!

Check out also this delicious recipe for Spanish Chicken Croquettes, made with chicken and a creamy bechamel sauce. A great alternative to beef and potatoes! Please find the recipe for Potato Korokke after the jump.

Korokke Recipe
Adapted from Just One Cookbook


1kg (2 lb) russet potatoes (or other potatoes good for mashing), peeled and halved
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
500g (1 lb) ground beef (I used about 350g as I preferred more potatoes to beef)
1-2 tsp soy sauce (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 eggs
2 cups Panko crumbs
½ cup flour
Oil for deep frying
Aonori, for sprinkling (optional)

  1. In a large pot, put water and potatoes and bring it to a boil. Cook potatoes until a fork goes through the potato easily. (I boiled the potatoes in their skins and then peeled them afterwards)
  2. Remove the potato from the heat and drain the water completely.
  3. Move the pot back to the stove and let the remaining heat in the pot dry the potatoes.
  4. Transfer the potatoes into a large bowl and mash the potatoes. Add salt, pepper, and butter.
  5. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Sauté onion until soft.
  6. Add the meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. Use the back of a spoon/spatula to mash up the meat as finely as possible. When the meat is cooked, add soy sauce, salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  7. Before adding the meat into the mashed potatoes in the bowl, drain off any excess liquid from the pan. Mix the meat and potatoes well with a spoon.
  8. When it has cooled down, refrigerate for a few hours if you like, to firm up the mixture a little.
  9. Scoop the mixture into your hands (I used an ice-cream scoop) and shape them into round or oval balls (about 2 inches diameter).
  10. Dredge each ball in flour, egg and Panko and place on a plate.  Let the Korokke balls rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  11. In a wok, heat oil over medium high heat. To test, drop a piece of breadcrumb into the oil and it should float to the surface quickly and sizzle. Also, make sure you use enough oil (about 2 inches deep), otherwise there's a chance the korokke might fall apart while frying. Deep fry Korokke until they are golden brown.
  12. Drain the Korokke on a wire rack or use absorbent kitchen paper. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with aonori if desired. Serve immediately with Tonkatsu Sauce and/or mayonnaise. Otherwise, keep warm in a low preheated oven.
  13. To reheat leftovers, place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper/foil and bake in the oven at 180C (350F) for 10 minutes, turning once. Turn off the oven and leave the korokke inside for 5 minutes or so to crisp up further if desired.


Mel said...

Croquette or Korokke is my favourite. My mum used to make this for us when I was still very young! I have learn to made this same recipe too from Nami! She is also a wonderful cook! Using this ground beef is absolutely more delicious.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Fern! You already made it! =D So happy you liked it. The difficulty in rolling comes from the moistness from the onion/beef mixture. If it's too much juice came out from the mixture, you really need to drain it (or squeeze) well. When you make patties (or balls) with the potato/onion/beef mixture, it should be pretty firm, not too soft. Korokke takes some time and effort but the result is amazing, right? My record is 6 Korokke. Hehee. I know, I'm a big fan! Thank you again for trying this recipe and linkingn back to me!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

And thanks Mel! I remember your delicious korokke post. :-)

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Hi Nami! I think maybe my mixture was slightly soft because I used less beef. I can't remember how much I had at one go though (too embarrassed to say...haha) but I ate so much before dinner that I skipped eating any rice at all after that :p

lena said...

i think this will taste great with ground chicken too, right ? that mixture of tonkatsu and mayonnaise sounds tasty to me.

Asmita said...

These look so delicious! I love your plating and presentation too!

Shoutforfood said...

A very wholesome and homey dish! I love it

Anonymous said...

Fern! This is just not fair! Here I am drooling and craving for something-sumthin... Then, you got me all wanting a korokke... I miss that stuff! I used to have them every week! Now, I'm just biting on my arm..... :'(

Zoe said...

These will be great winner amongst kids :D

A Little Yumminess said...

Love this recipe! dont dare to make it. i can see the japanese kick you are on!