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2018-07-09
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This non-fry Japanese potato croquette (korokke) is not only healthy and delicious but also requires no pot or pan to make!

 

It might come as a surprise, but in Japan, people loooove croquettes or what we have adapted as korokke (コロッケ)! So what is korokke? It refers to a dish where a mashed-like mixture of vegetables and meat is coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Cutlet (カツ or katsu), like Koya Dofu Cutlet, is fried in the same manner but it uses one chunk of meat (not a mixture).

By far, the most standard and popular korokke in Japan is the potato korokke, which uses a mixture of mashed white potatoes, diced onions and a combination of ground beef and pork (合い挽き肉 or aibikiniku). To make my korokke vegan, I wanted to add beans that have sort of a meaty texture and I could have used soy beans, but I’m using and eating soy beans ALL THE TIME, so I decided to use chickpeas or garbanzo beans instead today:)

So, in the beginning of this article, I said this is a non-fry AND no-pot/no-pan recipe. That’s right. This recipe makes little mess and takes little time to prepare!

What you need:

  • White potatoes…3 (medium size in Japan, small size in the U.S.)
  • Chickpeas (cooked)…about 1/2 cup
  • Onion…1 (small)
  • Olive oil
  • Coriander powder
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Wheat flour, rice flour or starch
  • Panko breadcrumbs

First, put potatoes in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for about 5 min until tender. Mash the potatoes with a masher or the method of your choice.

Add chickpeas to mash potatoes and mash roughly. Be careful not to mash them too much. You don’t want them to have the same texture as mashed potatoes and blend in, so little chunky pieces would be good.

Dice the onion and put them in a microwave-safe container with some olive and salt. Microwave on high for about 2 min until tender. This is a really quick and easy way to make sauteed onions in a microwave oven. Add to the mixture.

Add a dash of coriander powder, cumin powder and salt & pepper to the mixture. Mix well. The standard korokke doesn’t have these spices in, but I wanted to add some twist that would go well with the chieckpeas!

Form the mixture into size and shape of your choice. Then here comes the coating process. So, last time, when I made Koya Dofu Cutlet, I used ground Japanese yam in place of eggs as glue to hold the panko breadcrumbs. But I know that Japanese yam is not available in many countries outside of Japan, so… what can I use?  Then I realize that flour is actually used for glue in many recipes, so will a mixture of flour and water work? Well, it did!

So you just need to mix flour (wheat or rice) with some water, coat the patty with the mixture, then coat it with breadcrumbs. I actually noticed that I didn’t have enough flour after I started doing this process, so I had to switch to starch (mixed with water), but that also worked fine (although the starch was “stickier” and a little harder to work with)!

Traditionally, korokke would then be deep fried, but I’m really not a fan of deep frying because of the mess it makes, amount of oil it takes, etc… So I’m going for a “non-fry” recipe!

Put the korokke pieces on an oven-safe plate and sprinkle some olive oil on top (I used a basting brush). More oil there is, crunchier and browner the result will be, so you can control and adjust how much oil you want to sprinkle on.

Bake in the oven (220 degrees Celsius)  for 10-15 min until the korokke gets nice and brown. Remember, the mixture is precooked so you just want to warm up the inside and brown the sides.

Voila! Crunchy and light & airy on the outside, mashy and chunky on the inside!

In the video, I also did pan frying, which came out crunchier, but the panko breadcrumbs got pressed down so the texture was a bit more like hash browns than korokke. You can try both and see which one you like!

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