Strolling down the vibrant streets of Japan, I wouldn’t expect to stumble upon a taste of France here. I’m talking about korokke, or Japanese potato croquette.
Korokke is a Japanese take on the croquette – one of the most popular French dishes. It was introduced to Japan in the late 19th century. However, the Japanese have embraced and adapted this croquette to suit their culinary preferences.
Both dishes are deep-fried but their core ingredients are different. While korokke leans towards potatoes and has a distinct Japanese flavor profile, croquettes have a more European touch with their béchamel base. Their spices and seasonings are also different.
My favorite part about this Japanese croquette is the breadcrumbs cover the dish. They are crunchy and crispy.
According to my friend, most traditional Japanese croquette recipe uses ground meat, such as beef or pork, mixed with mashed potatoes or white sauce. However, I tried many other Japanese croquettes using potatoes only, sweet potatoes, mixed vegetables (yasai), chicken, seafood (tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, etc), pumpkins (Kabocha squash), or curry flavor. The choice of filling can vary regionally and seasonally.
What surprised me most is that Japanese-style croquette is not only a street food. It’s also used in bento lunches and soba noodles, served as a side dish, or even tucked into a sandwich. Many households in Japan also make Japanese croquette from scratch, and they are a common item in grocery stores and convenience stores.
There are many variations, but I’ll stick to the original Japanese croquette recipe. Here is how to make the classic korokke:
Simple Baked Korokke
- 3 large potatoes peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup ground chicken or beef optional
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs panko breadcrumbs work well
- 2 eggs beaten
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for brushing
- Boil the potatoes until they are soft enough to mash. Drain and mash them thoroughly.
- In a pan, sauté the chopped onions, carrots, and ground meat until they are softened and cooked through.
- In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add flour and stir well to form a roux. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables/meat, and white sauce together. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Shape the mixture into oval or round patties.
- Dip each korokke into beaten eggs and then coat them with breadcrumbs.
- Place the coated beef croquettes Japanese on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush them with a bit of oil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Allow the korokke to cool for a few minutes before serving.