Before I share my recipe today, I want to apologize for my delayed response with emails and comments lately. I’m usually pretty good at responding to readers’ recipe-related questions in less than 24 hours, but recently I’ve been struggling to find the time. Finally my husband came back from his week-long business trip (thank God!) and my son’s school performance is now over. I have one more week left before my up-coming Japan trip. I’ll be working to catch up on emails and comments this week, and I thank you for your patience.
Now let’s talk about food! When my mom was visiting during last Christmas & New Year, I asked her to make one of my most favorite food that she cooks. I mentioned in my blog a couple of times before but it’s Korokke (Japanese Croquette).
Well, I really wished that I had better pictures of her delicious Korokke, but we were making these during a dark winter afternoon, the quality of step-by-step photos and final shots are not as good as I wanted them to be due to lack of natural light. They are the best Korokke ever, but I guess you will have to take me for my words.
My mom usually makes extra effort to get the best ingredients when she cooks and she is really good at deep frying any food even without using a thermometer to measure the oil temperature. I think it’s really her magic touch or maybe just years of experience, but I could never replicate her taste even when I use the same ingredients. The recipe is actually very simple and there is no secret hidden ingredient. However, the key for successful Korokke is high quality ingredients and the cooking technique. Hopefully one day I get better at making these.
I’m going to Japan to visit my family one week from now so I will have another chance to eat these again. I always request my mom to make this dish every time I went home for the past 15 years. I grew up eating these for the first 20 years of my life and since then, I get to eat at least once a year when I go back home or when she visits me. It became sort of a tradition. Dear readers, do you have a food that you always eat when you visit your home?
- 2 lb. (about 4) russet potatoes, peeled and halved
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 lb. ground beef
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 eggs
- 2 cup Panko
- ½ cup flour
- Oil for deep frying
- Tonkatsu Sauce (or Homemade Tonkatsu Sauce)
- In a large pot, put water and potatoes and bring it to a boil. Cook potatoes until a skewer goes through the potato easily.
- Remove the potato from the heat and drain the water completely. When you do so, use a lid to partially cover so the potatoes don’t fall out from the pot.
- Move the pot back to the stove. On low heat shift the pot so that remaining moisture will completely evaporate (but don’t burn the potatoes).
- Transfer the potatoes into a large bowl and mash the potatoes. Add salt, pepper, and butter.
- Meanwhile, chop onion finely.
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Sauté onion until soft.
- Add the meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. When the meat is cooked, add salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Before adding the meat into the mashed potatoes in the bowl, get rid of the juice from the meat. If the mixture is too soft due to too much liquid, you can’t make a nice korokke shape and it won’t be the right texture when you bite into it.
- Set aside till cool down a bit (so you can actually hold the mixture with your hands).
- While the mixture is still warm, but not hot, start making Korokke balls (mom made little one for the kids). Let the Korokke balls rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes (make sure they are completely cool before deep frying).
- Dredge each ball in flour, egg, and Panko. Put the Korokke back in the fridge till oil is ready for frying.
- In a wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Deep fry Korokke until they are golden brown (How To Deep Fry Food). Inside is already cooked, so all you need to do is to make it nice brown color.
- Transfer Korokke to paper towels and let the oil absorbed in the paper. Serve immediately with Tonkatsu Sauce.
When we have leftover, we usually make Korokke Sandwich next day. Add shredded cabbage, put some Japanese mayonnaise and Tonkatsu sauce and sandwich the Korokke with two pieces of bread. Honestly, I never get tired of my mom’s Korokke, and my dad and I always brighten up when we hear she was making Korokke for dinner.