I took my sister to Kozui for lunch one weekend and, of all the things we ordered, what really got her raving were the korokke – Japanese-style croquettes served with a rather thick teriyaki sauce.
I couldn’t blame her; those croquettes were fab!
Little balls of wonder, those were: an exceptionally thick Bechamel sauce made with cheese, a bit of mashed potato, chopped spinach, and spring onions was rolled into bite-sized balls, dusted with panko [Japanese breadcrumbs] and deep fried till the outside was crunchy and the innards meltingly soft and moreish.
“Next time we come here,” my sister sighed, “I want to order just these – maybe two plates of these – and a bowl of rice. I’ll be good to go.”
However, seeing how we aren’t really sure as to when we’ll be in Quezon City again, the poor girl was either going to have to wait till then or I could pluck up the guts and actually make these treats at home.
Which is exactly what I did over the weekend.
Mine are certainly more homespun than the ones at Kozui. These are a bit coarser, stodgier as they’re made with root veg as opposed to rich, creamy Bechamel. But, in fairness, they’re equally delicious and can do double-duty as both a side for a meal or as a snack on their own. Sauces are absolutely optional as these, like the ones at Kozui, can stand well enough on their own.
I confess, however, that making these is a rather fiddly operation so I’m not sure if I’ll be making these on a regular basis. Then again, I’ll never know till I try. 😉
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chunked
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chunked
- 1 red onion, peeled and halved
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon rock salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs
- oil for deep-frying
Put the salt and vegetables in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook till fork-tender, about twenty minutes. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Coarsely mash the vegetables with either a fork or a potato-masher. Add the milk, butter, and egg yolk and mix till the butter has melted.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok. Line a platter with paper towels.
Divide the resulting mash into twelve lumps. Roll each lump in the flour, dip into the beaten egg, and roll in the panko. Deep-fry the croquettes in batches till each batch turns golden brown. Remove from the pan and allow to drain on the paper towels. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 croquettes.