Japanese Potato Croquettes, or “Korokke” as they are called in Japanese, is a delicious fried food made from panko-crumbed mashed potato with carrot, onion, and mince. In Japan, these are tasty street food but are also one of those Japanese home-style dishes that can easily be made from scratch.
What is Korokke?
Korokke is the Japanese name for potato croquettes. The outside of Korokke is perfect golden-brown that gives a wonderful “Crunch!” sound as you bite into it. And inside is the perfect “hoku hoku” mashed potato with the ultimate ratio of potato to beef mince.
What Makes Delicious Japanese Potato Croquettes?
The secrets to “hoku hoku” Japanese Potato Croquettes are; 1. Choose a starchy variety of potato. 2. Before you mash the cooked potato, shake it around to fluff up the outside and fry off the excess moisture from the potato. 3. Use Panko crumbs
What is “Hoku Hoku” Texture?
Sometimes food textures are described in Japanese using onomatopoeias (where the sound of the word is similar to the sound of the thing you are describing). It is very difficult to translate these words exactly. Sadly, only those who have bitten into a Korokke will know the comforting softness and warmth of the starchy steamy potato texture and know what I am talking about…..
Potato Types Suited to Korokke
So, let’s make some “hoku hoku” deliciousness so you can know the hidden meaning too! In order to achieve the perfect “hoku hoku” texture, using the right type of potato is the key. The two main types that you find in Japan are “Meekuin” (メークイン) and “Danshaku” (男爵).
Three Potato Types
Usually, potatoes are classified into three types: Starchy, Waxy, and All-purpose. The Starchy type makes for a great “hoku hoku” texture in Japanese Potato Croquettes because they are high in starch and low in moisture. And the Japanese variety Danshaku is the one most suitable for Korokke.
So I recommend making your Japanese korokke with a starchy type of potato in your country to experience the “hoku hoku” texture. For example, in the USA, the classic Idaho, or Russet would be a great choice for Japanese potato croquettes. In Australia, I usually use the Sabago variety which is more of an all-rounder.
How to Cook Potato for Making Croquettes
There is also one other important cooking tip to create the “hoku hoku” texture. After the potato is cooked and before you mash it, drain the water from the potatoes, put them back in the pot and shake them around to rough up the outsides.
This will result in the potatoes looking like they are covered in snowy-like potato powder. This technique helps decrease the amount of moisture in the potato through evaporation and makes the potato fluffier overall. This technique is called “kofuki imo”, and potatoes made this way are served as side dishes in Japanese cuisine.
In order to get the crispy and crunchy outer coating, you need to use Japanese panko crumbs. Since the word “Panko” adopted into English and gained popularity over ordinary bread crumbs, you can purchase Panko from supermarkets and also online. If you can not access, Panko can be made easily at home following my Panko recipe.
Short Cut for the Batter
I usually short cut the process by making the batter before coating panko crumbs. Generally, Japanese cover shaped mashed potato with all-purpose flour, then dip it into beaten egg, then coat with panko crumbs. I mix the egg and flour together to make the first two steps into one and cut out one step.
Japanese Potato Croquettes are Great for an Obento Menu
My mother often cooked this for us because Japanese Potato Croquettes are a favorite dish of most Japanese children. Japanese Potato Croquettes are served either for lunch or dinner because this little croquette is like an all-in-one-meal! They’re especially great for Bento menu on-the-go!
FAQ for Japanese Potato Croquettes
Q1: Can I use any potatoes that I already have in my pantry?
A: Of course you can. You need to make sure that it is good to use and preferably the potato you have is the starchy type. If not, make sure that you follow the cooking potato tip in the above post. Also, read this tip from Tipbuzz whether your potato is good to use or not.
Q2: Could I make in bulk and store korokke for later use?
A: Yes you can. Make Korokke in bulk and freeze them before you deep fry. Wrap with cling wrap individually then place them in a freezer ziplock bag. It will keep for about a month in the freezer. And you can deep fry without defrosting them.
Suggested Side Dishes
The following Japanese side dishes are good to have with korokke.
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Japanese potato croquettes (Korokke)
- 1lb/500g Starchy potatoes *1
- 0.3lb/120g Ground Beef
- 0.15lb/70g Onion *2
- 0.15lb/70g Carrot *3
- 1/2 tbs olive oil
- Oil for deep frying
- 1 egg
- 4 tbs plain flour
- 3 tbs water
- 1 tbs kewpie mayonnaise
- 2 cups of Japanese panko bread crumb *4
- Peel and dice the potatoes.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- While the potato is being cooked, chop the onion and carrot finely and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and add the mince to cook.
- When the color of most of the ground beef changes, add onion and carrot to cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- 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. *5
- Then mash the potato with a potato masher while the potato is warm.
- Add cooked ground beef, onion and carrot to the mashed potato and combine them all well.
- Divide the mix into 8 equal sized flat ovals. *6
- Combine the egg, water, mayonnaise, and flour in a small bowl to make a batter. *7
- Coat each of the ovals with the batter, then place the potato oval into the panko crumbs.
- Coat all potato ovals with the panko crumbs.
- Heat deep frying oil in a deep pan until it reaches around 350°F (180°C). *8
- Fry each of the potato ovals until crispy and golden brown.
- Serve croquettes with salad leaves or any side dish of your choice. *9
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