Anna’s Grandma’s Korokke

By Anna Ijiri Oehlkers

Serve with as much tonkatsu sauce as you darn well please.

Photo credit: flickr / I Believe I Can Fry
In Japanese, korokke means “croquette”: a fried ball of potato, meat, carrot, and whatever else your mom has leftover in the fridge. It has a warm, soft core kept inside a crispy fried crust. It’s savory, delicious, and best served with rice, chopped cabbage and tonkatsu sauce. While often thought of in Japan as street cart food, when made at home, it’s a fried ball of pure comfort food that requires time, patience, and messy hands. Make sure to check out our Japanese-American Mash-Up Anna Ijiri Oehlkers story of making korokke while away from her family for the first time and taking her first steps to carving out a home for herself.

Anna’s Korokke Comfort food at its fried, savory best.

Photo credit: flickr / Star5112


1 large potato, boiled, peeled and mashed

1 celery stalk, minced

1 carrot, minced

1 small onion, minced

1/3-1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

canola oil for frying

Note: This is enough for about 10 korokke, depending on how big you make them.


Sauté onions in 1 tbsp oil on high heat until translucent, then add ground beef and cook few minutes until brown. Drain fat, then add chopped celery and carrots and sauté a few minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper and take it off the heat. Add mashed potatoes to vegetable/beef mixture and mix with wooden spoon until blended. Cool the potato mixture in fridge for about an hour until cool enough to handle, or you can use the freezer if you’re short on time.

Meanwhile, prepare 3 bowls for the crispy coating: one bowl with flour, one with eggs, and  one with panko. When the potato mixture is cool enough to handle, shape it into balls. Dip first into flour, then eggs, then panko. If you can wait, put the breaded korokke back in the fridge for about an hour for optimal crispiness!

Heat about 3/4 to 1 cup of oil in a small pan on high heat. It’s best if the oil covers most of korroke when you drop it in, so a smaller but deeper pan works best for frying. The oil is ready when you drop a piece of panko in it and it bounces up, sizzling. Cook 1-3 korokke at a time, depending on the size of pan, for two minutes on each side until nicely browned all over. Remove from oil and place korokke on a plate with paper towels on it and let drain briefly. Be careful, the oil will be very hot!

Serve with rice, thinly sliced cabbage, and tonkatsu sauce. Enjoy!