Mary is my best friend from college. Mary, born in Korea, came to the United States when she was 12 years old. We took physics and drafting classes together at Queens College in New York City circa 1980. In 1984, I started my first job at GE in Schenectady, NY and she transferred to RPI only a few miles away in Troy, NY. We skied every weekend and hosted parties together.
She made her delicious Korean Korokkes or croquettes for one of our many social events. They were a huge success. We continued our friendship over the years. In 2008, Tia Mary (tia means aunt in Spanish), as my children have come to call her, made her Korean Korokkes again, but this time for our family. Tia Mary’s Korean Korokkes would become an instant hit with my children. So when Mary planned a recent visit, the first request from my children was for Tia Mary’s Korean Croquettes. And so a new food tradition was born in our family, cooking Korean Korokkes with our dear friend Tia Mary. With today’s healthy food trends, these croquettes would be frowned upon because they are fried. But my philosophy with food is everything can be enjoyed in moderation.
Tía Mary’s Korean Korokkes
Note about equipment: We fry our croquettes in a deep fryer however you can also fry them in a regular pan filled with enough canola oil to cover the croquettes.
Makes approximately 58 croquettes (2 ¼ inch by 1 ¼ inch croquettes shaped like logs)
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 lb of ground meat
- 1 lb or 3 medium yellow onions finely chopped (2 ¾ cup to 3 cups of chopped onion)
- 3 lbs of potatoes peeled, cooked, and mashed
- 4 – 6 Tbs flour (or more as needed) in a container for dredging the croquettes
- 2 – 3 eggs beaten and placed in a container for dipping
- Breadcrumbs in a container for rolling the croquettes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Tonkatsu sauce for dipping. Tonkatsu is a sweet and spicy Japanese sauce. Bull-Dog is a popular Japanese brand available in stores or on-line
- Heat oil in deep fryer or pan to 350°– 375° Fahrenheit
- Sauté the onions until well cooked but not brown. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Brown the meat. Salt and pepper to taste
- Mash the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine onions, meat, and potatoes. Adjust salt and pepper.
- Set up an assembly line as follows: Bowl with meat and potato mix, container with flour, bowl with beaten eggs, container with breadcrumbs, and empty tray.
- Form a croquette by shaping into a small log approximately 2 ¼ inch long by 1 ¼ inch thick.
- Dredge the croquette in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
- Dip the croquette in the egg mixture.
- Roll the croquette in the bread crumb mixture and set aside on tray.
- Assemble the rest of the croquettes.
- Start frying croquettes a few at a time. Do not crowd croquettes in pan or deep fryer. Drain on paper towel.
- Complete frying all of the croquettes.
Serve korokkes warm or room temperature with Tonkatsu dipping sauce
The Korean Croquettes freeze very well. When ready to eat, defrost. Reheat about 8 at a time by microwaving for 1 minute then placing them in a toaster oven set at 400° as needed.
For homemade Tonkatsu sauce visit: