Korokke are mashed potato cakes that are coated with panko and deep fried. Korokke is a food people of all ages love in Japan. While it may not seem like a uniquely or traditionally Japanese food, Korokke has been popular for 100 years.
It’s said that Korokke originated from French croquette or Dutch kroket. It became a widespread western style food in the early 1900s in Japan. However, it evolved to suit more Japanese tastes. This recipe is for a very basic type of Korokke, but there are many variations. Curry Korokke spiced with curry powder, Kabocha pumpkin Korokke, and even Nikujaga Korokke using mashed leftover Nikujaga. (Nikujaga is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes, and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce.) So if you like making Korokke, be as creative as you want.
Korokke is found at many stores in Japan like hot delis inside supermarkets, bento shops, convenience stores, etc. But, believe it or not, in Japan the best place to buy Korokke is butcher shops. They usually have a small deep-frying set-up in the corner of a shop and sell it as they fry. Some freshly made Korokke from butcher shops may surpass home- cooking.
Try it with organic beef, carrots or shiitake mushrooms. Enjoy Korokke with the sauce of your choice, Tonkatsu sauce, Worcester sauce, or ketchup, or just as is. Since the recipe takes a long time, consider making extra to freeze and have them anytime you want.
Tonkatsu sauce is like Worcester-base sauce used mainly for Tonkatsu (deep fried pork). Japanese Worcester sauce is different from American (English) one, and it has more fruits and vegetable such as tomatoes and apples along with sugar, vinegar,and salt. Tonkatsu sauce has a similar flavor to Japanese Worcester sauce, but it is much thicker.
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/4 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- Salt pepper to season
- 1 egg, beaten
- Flour and panko (breadcrumb) for coating
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Boil potatoes until softened. Test with a skewer - they're ready when the skewer goes through easily.
- Drain and mash potatoes while they are hot. Use the lid while you drain so the potatoes don't fall out.
- Heat some oil in a medium skillet and saute onion and beef until cooked through.
- Mix mashed potatoes and onion and beef in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and let it cool.
- Make flat and oval-shaped patties.
- Coat each piece with flour. Dip in beaten egg, and lastly, coat with panko.
- Deep-fry in about 350 F oil until browned.