Just I want to warn you in advance today…, Today’s post is a bit longer than usual, BECAUSE, I am introducing my husband’s favourite, Korokke !!! (and hopefully this explains how delicious it would be, therefore you will keep reading and try this recipe…).
Korokke is the Japanese version of Croquette, which was introduced and reinvented in Japan in the 19th century, like other Western-influenced Japanese food called “Yoshoku (洋食)”. Korokke is made of mashed potato mixed with ground beef and vegetables and is usually an oval-shaped. As it is panko-crumbed and then deep-fried, you can enjoy the crunchiness outside and the fluffiness inside. In Japan, Korokke is very popular as a street food as well as a home-cooked dish.
Well…, I have to confess though… My Korokke does not appear on our table often…, at least as much as he thinks it should. Same as Croquettes, Korokke involves quite a few steps to make. I need power, time and determination to cook it.
However, please do not get scared! Although it might be so, it is not difficult to make. Furthermore, eating freshly made Korokke cannot be beaten by anything else. Today, I will explain how to take the hassle out of it, the tips to good Korokke and importantly, my secrets.
In general, there are 5 steps to make Korokke.
- Make Mashed Potato
- Make Beef and Vegetable Mixture
- Mix both above and make Potato Patties
- Coat with Flour, Egg and Panko
- Deep-fry or Shallow-fry
If you are planning to make Korokke within a day, you can make (2) (beef and vegetable mixture) while boiling potatoes for (1) (mashed-potato).
If you do not want to do everything at once, you can make (2) (beef and vegetable mixture) a few days before. You can also do up to (3) (making potato patties) a day before and you can crumb (4) and fry (5) the patties on the day. Otherwise, you can also do it up to (4) (panko crumbing) and freeze them to store for another day to fry.
If you are not keen on deep-frying, you can choose to shallow-fry instead, which I normally do. See my thoughts here regarding Deep-frying vs Shallow-frying.
Success to good Korokke – Remove Moisture!
Removing as much moisture as possible is the key to making good Korokke. If it has too much moisture inside, it will be not only soggy, but also burst when fried in oil. Very dangerous… There are a few tips to remove moisture.
- Toss potatoes in a pot after boiling (a.k.a. “Kofuki-imo”)
After boiling potatoes, drain the water, return the potatoes to the pot, put a lid on and toss it over a low heat until the potatoes get dry and the edge of the potatoes starts flaking. This is called “Kofuki-imo”, that is one of the Japanese cooking methods for potatoes.
See the second photo – this is the “Kofuki-imo” after tossing the potatoes in a pot.
- Rest before frying
It is important to rest potato patties for 15-30 minutes to cool down . This method is also helpful to avoid Korokke from bursting in oil. When the inside of the potato patty gets hotter before the panko coating is cooked, water vapor is produced inside and that pushes the still-fragile panko coating, this causes the Korokke to burst.
- Do not crowd the pan
Do not deep-fry (or shallow-fry) many Korokke at once. Oil temperature will drop and crispy panko will not be achieved.
My Korokke Secrets
- Add a bit of Sugar to Potatoes
When you toss the boiled potatoes to remove the moisture, sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the potatoes. This technique is from my mum. It makes potatoes somewhat sweeter.
- Beef and Vegetable Mixture – More Veggies plus Japanese Seasoning
In order to make Beef and Vegetable Mixture, the common recipe uses beef, onion and salt and pepper to season. My version is different. I use more varieties of veggies. I like using onion, carrot and green capsicum. You can replace green capsicum with broccoli, green peas, corn or red capsicums -better to choose veggies which do not produce much water. I also season them with soy sauce and sugar. This way you can enjoy the slight salty and sweet flavour inside the Korokke. Very Yummy.
Okay… Hope you have not got bored yet. Finally, here is THE recipe- guaranteed by him. Enjoy!
For Mashed Potato
1kg Potatoes – peeled and cut into chunks
1 Teaspoon of Sugar
For Beef and Vegetable Mixture
1 Onion – finely chopped
1/2 Carrot – finely chopped
1/2 Green Capsicum – finely chopped (can be replaced with your choice of veggies)
150-200g of Beef Mince (can be replaced with pork, chicken or kangaroo mince)
1/4 Teaspoon of Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons of Sugar
4 Teaspoons of Soy Sauce
2-3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
2 Eggs – beaten
2 Cups of Panko
Sunflower Oil (or your choice of oil) for deep/shallow frying
<Optional> Dipping Sauce – combine Tomato Sauce and BBQ Sauce in the ratio of 1 to 1.
For Mashed Potato
- Boil potatoes from cold water until they become tender. Drain the water. Return the cooked potatoes into the same pot. Add sugar onto the potatoes and heat it over a low heat. Put a lid on and burn off the excess water and moisture from the potatoes while tossing the pot. It will take about 30-40 seconds.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Mash the potatoes while hot. Put it aside.
For Beef and Vegetable Mixture (this process can be done while potatoes are boiling).
- Chop onion, carrot and green capsicum finely.
- Heat a teaspoon of cooking oil in a frying-pan over a medium/high heat. Once it gets hot, cook beef mince and nutmeg together while breaking up the mince with a spatula or a wooden spoon. Cook the mince very well. While the mince starts becoming brown, oil from the beef will come out. Even though the mince has become brown and looks cooked, keep cooking until the oil has disappeared. This is a method to bring the best flavour out while eliminating the smell of mince.
- Add sugar and soy sauce into the frying-pan. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add onion, carrot and green capsicum into the frying-pan. Cook all together for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Remove from the heat. Put it aside.
Make Potato Patties
- Add the Beef and Veggie Mixture into the Mashed Potato. Combine together.
- Make patties with a flat oval shape in roughly 6-7 cm length. You should be able to make 18-20 Korokke. Rest the patties for 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Beat eggs in a bowl. Place panko in a bowl or tray.
- Lay the potato patties flat on a plate/tray. Using a flour sifter, sprinkle flour over both sides of the patties. Make sure the patties are coated with flour evenly.
- One by one, dip it into the egg and then transfer it to the panko bowl. Coat it with the panko evenly. Continue the same to all of the potato patties.
Deep-frying or Shallow-frying
- Heat oil to 180 °C in a large frying pan. To check the temperature, put a piece of panko into the oil. If it sinks to the middle of the oil and comes back up quickly, it is about 180°C.
- Place the crumbed potato patties into the oil. Do not put many at once, that makes crumbs soggy. If shallow-frying, cook both sides for 2-3 minutes or until they get a nice brown colour. If deep-frying, cook them for 3 minutes or until Korokke gets nicely browned.
- Transfer the Korokke to a wire rack to remove the excess oil.
- Combine tomato sauce and BBQ sauce in the ratio of 1 to 1. Serve Korokke with the dipping sauce while warm.