Tuesday, July 3, 2012

japanese croquettes (made with leftovers)

Do you have leftover meat from previous meal sitting in the fridge? Or do you have only one piece of frozen chicken in the freezer? Japanese croquettes can easily give those leftovers some make-over! Plus, it's deep-fried. :) Who doesn't like deep-fried food, right?


(to make 6 medium-sized croquettes)

Potatoes - 3 medium
Milk (2 tsp) or Butter (1/2 TBS)
Salt & Pepper - to taste

Leftover meat - 1/2 cup
**I used ground beef/Italian sausage from yesterday's lasagna
**See TIPS

[Original recipe for meat]

Ground beef - 1/4 lbs
Onion - 1/2 (of small - minced finely)
Salt & pepper - to taste

[Deep-fry batter]

Flour - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1 (beaten)
Japanese bread crumbs (panko) - 2 cups

Oil for deep frying - about 2 to 3 cups

Tonkatsu sauce
Thai chili sauce
BBQ sauce


  1. Boil water in a 5-quart pot (half full). Peel potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks. When the water is ready, boil potatoes for 15 minutes. It's done when you can insert a wooden stick easily.Mash the potatoes and add milk or butter.
  2. If you are making your own meat, heat 1/2 TBS of oil in a frying pan. Fry onion until slightly golden brown, add ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cool and drain if there's excess oil. 
  3. In three separate bowls, put flour, beaten egg and panko. Set it aside.

Mashed potatoes + leftover lasagna meat


  1. If you are using leftover meat, microwave for 1 minute. 
  2. Mix leftover meat with mashed potatoes.
  3. Divide the potato mixture into 6. Make oval shapes (or any shape you want). Make sure you pat it tightly. If it's too loose, it separates during deep frying. 
  4. [Deep-fry Batter] Coat the croquette with flour, dip in beaten egg, and lastly coat with panko bread crumbs. 
  5. Heat 2-3 cups of oil in a 5-quart pot. If you are using smaller pot, fill only half. If you are using frying pan, also fill it halfway. 
  6. Fry croquettes until golden brown. Turn once after two minutes. **See TIPS

You can make it smaller or bigger. You can also try different shapes.

1. Flour 2. Egg 3. Panko

Bubbles = good deep-frying


  1. Serve with your choice of sauce: tonkatsu sauce (also known as bulldog sauce), thai chili sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce or combination of sauces! It goes well with anything.
  2. Serve with rice and some vegetable side dish. 


  • If you are using frozen meats, just follow the original recipe for meat (see under Prep)
  • Deep-frying - you don't have to completely immerse the croquette with oil. As long as it's deep-frying halfway, then it should be fine. 
  • Make sure your oil is hot before you fry (or else your croquettes will forever sink in oil, which you don't want). Test the oil by sprinkling some bread crumbs in it. If it bubbles up and floats, then it's ready! If it sinks, the oil is not ready. 

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