Vegetarian Baked Japanese Croquettes (Korokke)

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These vegetarian baked japanese croquettes or korokke are both delicious and nutritious. They are lower in fat than traditional croquettes since they are baked, but are still super flavorful and crispy on the outside. Plus this recipe can easily be made vegan with a simple ingredient swap.

croquettes

Ingredients for Vegetarian Japanese Croquettes

Before making this recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Optional swaps are listed below.

  • Yellow onion: White or sweet onion can work for this recipe as well.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: I use the dried kind and soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes before cooking. You can use button or white mushrooms as an alternative as well. 
  • Carrots: To make it super easy, I buy pre-shredded carrots and chop them up into tiny pieces. But, you can also choose to peel and finely dice the carrots yourself. 
  • Russet potatoes: Any white potato will work, but russet potatoes are the easiest to peel and chop (in my opinion). 
  • All purpose flour: You can use a gluten-free flour of choice if you have celiac or a wheat allergy. 
  • Egg: You can use a plant-based egg substitute or a flax or chia egg if you are vegan. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs: If you don’t have any panko, regular breadcrumbs can be used, but the final result will be quite different. If you can, I would definitely recommend getting panko at the store. 
  • Salt: I prefer kosher salt.
  • Pepper: Freshly ground from a pepper grinder is the best.
  • Neutral oil: I use canola oil, but vegetable or sunflower oil can work as well. Any oil without a strong flavor and a high smoking point can work. 

How to make Vegetarian Japanese Croquettes

First, peel and dice potatoes and place in a stockpot. Fill with cold water until potatoes are covered by about an inch of water. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Place on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium low and boil for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes easily break apart when pierced with a fork. 

While potatoes are cooking, dice the onion, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. You’ll want the pieces to be very small. In a large skillet over medium heat, add one tablespoon of neutral oil. Saute the vegetables until fragrant and cooked through.  

Strain the potatoes using a colander then add back to the stockpot. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the sauteed vegetables and combine until well distributed.

Form the mixture into small ovals and place on a plate. Cover with parchment paper and cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

While the ovals are cooling, set up three bowls and add flour, egg and panko to each one, respectively. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done cooling, dip each oval in flour, then egg, then panko, making sure each one is coated evenly. 

Add to a greased baking sheet and use a brush to lightly coat each oval with oil. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve topped with katsu sauce and kewpie mayo, if desired. 

croquettes

What other fillings work in this recipe?

Usually ground beef is added to these croquettes as opposed to mushroom and carrots. But, this dish is so versatile that a variety of fillings can be added. If you want a higher protein, richer option, definitely try adding the ground beef.

Some other options to add to these croquettes include corn, peas, sweet potato or winter squash, shallot, broccoli, shredded tofu, ground chicken or ground turkey. 

Can this recipe be made vegan?

Yes! This recipe can be very easily made vegan. Simple replace the egg with a plant-based egg substitute or a chia or flax egg. To make this, simply combine one tablespoon of chia or ground flax seed with three tablespoons of water. Mix and let sit for about ten minutes or until gelled. 

If you do choose to go this route, just know that the croquettes will have a bit of a crunch to them due to the chia or flax seed. Ground flaxseed is the best choice to avoid that odd texture. 

Topping ideas

Once your croquettes are out of the oven, you can top them with whatever you like. Personally, I think katsu sauce is a must for these. It adds so much flavor, it’s almost like dipping french fries in ketchup.

I also like adding kewpie mayo and bonito flakes. These can be difficult to find in the grocery store, so I recommend venturing to your local asian grocery store or ordering them online. But, these Japanese croquettes also taste great without them.

croquettes

Alternatives to baking

You don’t need to bake these Japanese croquettes. In fact, they are typically made by deep frying or shallow frying the potato ovals. If you want to try that method, all the steps will be the exact same, but instead of throwing them in the oven, deep fry them instead.

This method will lead to a crispier, more browned outside, but they will also be higher in fat. There is nothing particularly wrong about this, but I personally prefer the lighter baked version. Plus, there is no oil you have to discard using this method.

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croquettes

Vegetarian Baked Japanese Croquettes (Korokke)

These vegetarian Japanese croquettes are nutritious and super tasty. A great alternative to the fried version.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms diced
  • 2 russet potatotes skinned and cubed
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil canola, vegetable, sunflower
  • katsu sauce, kewpie mayo optional

Instructions
 

  • First, peel and dice potatoes and place in a stockpot. Fill with cold water until potatoes are covered by about an inch of water. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Place on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a medium low and boil for about 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes easily break apart when pierced with a fork.
  • While potatoes are cooking, dice the onion, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. You’ll want the pieces to be very small.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add one tablespoon of neutral oil. Sauté the vegetables until fragrant and cooked through. 
  • Strain the potatoes using a colander then add back to the stockpot. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the sautéed vegetables and combine until well distributed.
  • Form the mixture into small ovals and place on a plate. Cover with parchment paper and cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • While the ovals are cooling, set up three bowls and add flour, egg and panko to each one, respectively. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once done cooling, dip each oval in flour, then egg, then panko, making sure each one is coated evenly.
  • Add to a greased baking sheet and use a brush to lightly coat each oval with oil. Bake for 15 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve topped with katsu sauce and kewpie mayo, if desired.

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