Pumpkin korokke
Fast food
Vegetable and halloumi yakitori
Katsu aubergine
Leek and cheese gyoza
Seaweed and potato patties
Sweet potato tempura
Fried cabbage rolls
Pumpkin korokke
Cheeseless pizza
Tofu and courgette pizza
Japanese curry
Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
Serves 4
This dish is a Japanese adaption of the French potato croquette. There are two main types, one made with a thick white sauce (bechamel) and the other with meat and potato. This recipe uses a thick white sauce as a base adding roasted pumpkin as a flavouring. This means it is possible to add any vegetable puree to create your own korokke.

Keep and freeze any leftover korokke mix as it can be used in the next cheeseless pizza recipe.

1 butternut squash or small pumpkin
A little sesame oil
80g (3oz) butter
60g (2oz) plain flour
300ml (10 floz ) milk
1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
200ml (1 cup) milk
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Oil for deep frying

Tonkatsu sauce
30ml (2tbsp) tomato sauce
20ml (1tbsp) vegetarian worcester sauce or Hendersons or HP brown sauce
30ml (2tbsp) mirin
20ml (2tbsp) sake
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
20ml (2tbsp) soy sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar
First take a whole butternut squash, cut it in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds and place the two sides on a baking tray. Drizzle over some sesame oil and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 80 minutes until soft all the way through when poked with a knife. Allow it to cool and then refridgerate.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When melted add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon. Turn down the heat and allop the flour to cook in the butter for a couple of minutes until it becomes sandy in texture.
Then whisking all the time add the milk. It will thicken straight away so keep adding the milk until it is all used. Keep whisking vigorously. It will get very thick - that is exactly what you want. When it is thick take the bechamel or white sauce off the heat. Cool to room temperature and then cool to fridge temperature.

korroke are much easier to roll if the mixtures are very cold so it would be my advice to make the bechamel the day before and give it time to cool in the fridge overnight.
In a bowl mash up the cooled roasted squash. Fold in the bechamel and check the seasoning. Add a little more salt if you think it needs it.
Whisk the eggs and the milk togther and place the mixture in a bowl. Place some plain flour in a separate bowl and the breadcrumbs mixed with the sesame seeds in another.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture into the flour and mould them with your hands into patties. Dip these patties in the egg mixture and finally in the breadcrumbs. After they have been in the breadcrumbs reshape them and place them on a tray.

Bring a deep fat fryer or wok of oil to a temperature of 180°C (356°F) and deep fry the korokke until they are golden brown. Drain off any excess oil on kitchen paper. Serve hot or cold with mayonnaise and /or the tonkatsu sauce if you have the ingredients.

For the Tonkatsu sauce just simply mix the ingredients together in a pan and simmer them for a few minutes. Cool and use. Tonkatsu sauce will keep for ages in the fridge.
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The Breadcrumbs used in Japan are called panko breadcrumbs and are particularly light and crispy. They are made from bread without crusts. They are availabe in some Asian shops and also extensively online.

But why not make your own. All you have to do is cut the crusts off some old and drying white bread and lay them out on a tray so they are exposed to the air and allow them to dry naturally for a couple of days in your kitchen. Don't pile the bread up or keep it in a closed container otherwise it will go mouldy instead. When the bread is dry just whizz it up in a food processor or crush it up in a pestle and mortar.
Mirin is a sweetened sake with a similar taste to a sweet sherry. It is used a lot in Japanese cooking and used in many recipes in this book so it is worth seeking out a bottle. Lots of supermarkets now stock mirin and you will more than likely find it in your local Asian grocer. It can be quite expensive but no more than a good sherry.
Sesame oil isn't generally used for cooking but added as a finish to sauces. The oil should be dark brown and have a strong toasted sesame seed flavour. Use any Asian style brand. You will find it in most supermarkets.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine. The quality can vary enormously but for cooking purposes I would buy quite a cheap one to start with. If you like to drink it buy a big bottle.
Japanese mayonnaise is lovely. It's worth seeking out a bottle. Have a look in your local Asian supermarket. If you can't find any fear not as traditional western mayonnaise works perfectly well with this dish.