These Japanese Beef Croquettes are crispy on the outside with a creamy and soft interior. They are made with a combination of mashed potatoes, beef, and onion, then formed into patties, coated with breadcrumbs, and deep-fried until golden brown. You can choose to serve them as a snack, part of your appetizer platter, or even as a side dish. Whether eaten hot or cold, these croquettes are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
After a visit to Japan and had many many croquettes there, I decided to make some at home. Head to the frozen food and ready-to-take out aisles at any supermarket, or to the heated deep-fried snack display cases at the convenience stores. You can pretty much find them almost everywhere in Japan. They can even be seen in sandwiches, smothered in tonkatsu sauce, and stuffed into a soft bun with lettuce. As simple as it sounds, every bite of croquettes truly brings a comforting and satisfying feeling for me.
For those of us not living in Japan though like me, we need to make this at home ourselves if we want to enjoy croquettes. I know that croquettes take a long time to make, but if you like them, this recipe will not disappoint you at all. I usually make this portion and keep the extra in the freezer so that I can eat it whenever I want. Try also my Curry Croquettes recipe. It is simply the curry version of this Beef Croquettes.
About Japanese Croquettes
Japanese Croquette or known as Korokke (コロッケ) is a popular Japanese deep-fried dish with potatoes as its main ingredients. Beef Croquette is obviously the most popular one. Other popular famous croquettes include some ground meat, vegetables, or anything your heart desires. The only rule is that the filling should not be watery so that they can hold the shape while being fried.
It is said that Japanese Croquettes originated from French croquettes or Dutch kroket. It became a wide-spread western-style food in the early 1900s in Japan. However, it has evolved to suit more Japanese tastes now. It is now such a popular dish in Japan that there are small shops where all they sell are croquettes. They are also available in convenience stores, supermarkets, bento shops, and butcher shops in Japan. They are loved by people of all ages and considered as comfort food for many Japanese.
Tips For Making Beef Croquettes
Here are some tips for making successful Beef Croquettes.
1. Use the right potatoes
Use starchy potatoes, like Russets or Yukon Golds because these varieties have a lot of starch content. Therefore, they break down easily and absorb more flavor than the ones with low starch content. In addition, starchy potatoes will make sure the mashed potatoes sticking together better.
2. Start boiling potatoes with cold water
Potatoes should always be placed in cold water and brought to a boil, this helps them cook evenly. I quarter them so they boil faster. Generally, the cooking process only takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how big they are. They are done when they are tender all way through. Just pierce the potato with a fork or paring knife to check if they are ready.
3. Drain potatoes well
After they are cooked, I usually pour the cubed potatoes into a colander. I let them sit in there for a few minutes just to make sure I have drained them completely.
4. Cook the boiled potatoes
After straining the water from the potatoes, put them back in the pot and cook them again over low heat for a minute to evaporate the remaining moisture. Do not forget to keep stirring or the bottom will get burnt. Do this step to make sure there is no remaining liquid that will affect the whole consistency of the mashed potatoes and make it easier to be shaped.
5. Strain the beef mixture
Stir in the cook beef mixture into the mashed potatoes, but leave the liquid behind. It might be a good idea to put the cooked beef mixture into a strainer to drain out any liquid before adding it to the mashed potatoes.
6. Do not under season the croquettes
When cooking anything, seasoning is also one of the most important steps to enhance the flavor. Season the mixture of mashed potatoes and cooked beef generously with salt and pepper because the potatoes obviously have not been properly seasoned.
7. Shape them into oval-shaped balls
Roll the mixture into oval-shaped balls, then flatten them slightly with your palm. You want them to still be thick and plump, but flat enough so that they do not roll around during frying.
8. Dredge them well
Dredging the croquettes is an important step to add a nice crunchiness to their exterior. Firstly, you lightly coat it with the flour to remove any moisture. Then, roll them into beaten egg and breadcrumbs separately.
More Japanese Snack Recipes
If you don’t know, I have several Japanese snack recipes that I think you will love.