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Japanese Potato Croquettes: Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Panko Mashed Potato Cake Is So Delicious

Japanese Potato Croquettes: Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Panko Mashed Potato Cake Is So Delicious Food & Recipes

Korokke is a popular Japanese comfort dish inspired by originally a French dish, the croquette.

It is almost like fried potato cake, and Japanese korokke is commonly made of mashed potatoes, ground meat, or sweet corn, and caramelized onion, then, coat with Panko and deep-fried to a crispy golden brown.

These Japanese deep-fried mashed potato cakes are super yummy on the inside and crispy on the outside! A perfect appetizer or main dish with a savory Japanese-style sauce and with a big salad.

A perfect appetizer or main dish, (especially kids are gonna love this dish, ) with a Japanese Tonkatsu sauce, sweet miso sauce, or Japanese-style easy Aurora sauce.

What’ll You Need to Make Japanese Potato Croquettes


For making Japanese-style potato cakes aka Japanese korokke, we do not need to make creamy mashed potatoes.

Boil the potatoes until they are tender and remove excess water (*as I explain below,) and mash them with a fork/potato masher while leaving some lumps.

Choose starchy potatoes such as Russet, Yukon, and Golden yellow.

Make Kofuki-Imo

Kofuki Imo is known for “Japanese Powdered Potatoes”, in which pieces of potatoes are boiled and then lightly tossed in a pan to remove moisture.

The boiled potatoes after tossing around in the pan get powdered surfaces, so this is called “Kofuki Imo” which literally means powdered potatoes.

This is the dish that we (Japanese elementary students) will learn the first in a cooking class (or could be the second after salted cucumber!), it’s easy and often used as the cooking method to remove the moisture from the boiled potatoes for mashed potato dishes such as potato salad and Japanese korroke.

  1. Potatoes are peeled, cut into pieces, and soak them in the water for about 5-10 minutes to remove excess starch.
  2. Boil them in cold water added about 1 tsp of salt, uncovered, until tender.
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander, and return them to the same pot.
  4. Turn the stove to low heat. Continuously, toss the potatoes in a pot while shaking the pot until they get a light powdery look on the surface of the potatoes. *Shake the pot and toss the potatoes around continuously since they easily stick to the bottom and burn.

For the potatoes, we often use starchy potatoes for their fluffy texture.

Soaking it in water prevents them from discoloring and removing excess starch which is also helping the potatoes less likely to stick to the pan.

The pieces of potatoes go smaller while tossing around in the pot, so cut them into large chunks depending on the dish or how you like it.


If you’re looking for super-crispy, good quality, and excellent price, go for this Kikkoman Panko on Amazon.

I’ve tried several Japanese-style Panko overseas, this is THE BEST so far.

Authentic Japanese Panko and super-crispy without any effort. (Just be careful not to cut inside your mouth. lol)


To make delicious Japanese potato cakes, caramelized onion is the key.

You’ll need a little patience to caramelize diced onions, but, this will dramatically change the taste.

Oil or butter in a skillet, and saute diced onions over medium heat until they get tender, and continue cooking over low heat. until they turn to light brown, for about 20-30 minutes.

If you want to rescue the cooking time, microwave the onion for 1 minute, and add a pinch of salt while sauteeing them.

Also, you can cover the skillet with a lid for the initial few minutes to reduce the cooking time.


Japanese korokke change their names depending on the filling.

The fillingWhat’s It Called
Sweet corn & potatoCorn korokke
Ground meat
(Beef & pork) & potato
Meat korokke
Vegetable mix & potatoYasai korokke
Japanese potato stewNikujaga korokke
*Kabocha squashKabocha korokke
*Corn & CreamCorn cream korokke
*Crabmeat & CreamKani cream korokke
***Those kinds of korokke have different recipes from the standard korokke

In this recipe, you can choose from ground meat (beef, pork, or the mix), sweet corn, or vegetable mix, and you can stuff cheese inside.

Cooking Tips

Although fried potato cakes have simple recipes, Japanese korokke can be a little more complex with some cooking tips to avoid exploding in oil.

To make Japanese korokke from scratch, I recommend setting 2 days-the preparation day and the cooking day, otherwise, you may have to dedicate your whole day to making these potato cakes!

Let The Filling Cool In The Fridge

It is an almost popular cooking technique, let’s let potato cakes cool in a fridge for 2-3 hours after making the filling or making cakes.

Cooling down the filling combine flavors of the filling and also makes easier later processes.

It does not matter whether to cool the filling after mixing the filling or making them in cakes, but, I like to cool them after making cakes.

If you want a one-day break, this is the time.

Cover the filling and refrigerate overnight. Be sure to make korokke the next day.

Let The Cakes Cool In The Fridge After Coating

After cooling the filling enough, dredge and coat them with Panko.

I use batter mix to reduce the coating step, but, up to you.

To make batter mix, combine 1/2 cup of the flour (wheat/ rice), 1/2 cup of water, and 2 eggs thoughtfully, with a whisk.

After completing the coating process, let the potato cakes cool for the second set in a fridge, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

This process helps the Panko and the batter will combine well and stick together which means it can be fired beautiful golden brown without exploding or the coating falling, and keep the oil clean.

Sauce For Japanese Potato Croquettes

Japanese Tonkatsu sauce is the perfect sauce for any kind of deep-fried dish, especially with Panko.

This thick, sweet, tangy, savory sauce is Japanese special, and surely, you’ll be obsessed with it.

“Bul dog sauce” is the most popular Japanese Worcester sauce in your country, and you can choose one from thin (light) to thick (sweeter).

Also, I’ll tell you about homemade Tonkatsu sauce in this post.

The sweet miso sauce is not a bad idea for this korokke.

It is not so common way to use sweet miso sauce for Japanese korokke, but, it goes well.

I am from Nagoya, Japan, and local people use this sauce for almost everything, so why not?

For the kid’s party, Japanese-style easy Aurora sauce gets attention, which goes perfectly with deep-fried potatoes.

the easy aurora sauce, illustration

Japanese-Style Easy Aurora Sauce

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
One of my favorite dipping sauces for deep-fried food since I was a kid. Super easy to make, twist the flavor as you like.
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Cuisine Japanese


  • ½ cup Japanese Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Tomato Ketchup *Heinz preferred
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or tonkatsu sauce *optional
  • Hot sauce *optional
  • ½ TSP grated garlic *optional
  • Fresh ground black pepper *optional


  • Simply, Mix the equal volume of Japanese mayonnaise and tomato ketchup.
  • Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce optionally.
  • Also, add freshly grated garlic and ground black pepper if desired.


©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword 10-minutes, condiment, Deep-fry, Easy, Holiday, Mayo, Party, Sauce


Yes, you can!

Pan-fry Panko without oil until they turn golden brown.

Make sure to continue stirring since they easily burn.

Simply, proceed to the dredging process with fired Panko.

Bake the potato cakes in the oven at around 390F for 10-15 minutes.

Stock NIKUMISO In Your Firdge

When making this popular Japanese meal-prep, NIKUMISO, which is the miso-flavored ground meat in your fridge or freezer, you make potato croquettes pretty easily.

Adding the caramelized onions or skipping them is up to you!

NIKUMISO is a popular meal-prep item in Japan which is stir-fried ground meat such as pork, chicken, or pork&beef mix with plenty of minced garlic and ginger, and miso paste. Surely, the hint of this popular flavored ground meat is from Chinese dishes. It is added with sugar so that NIKUMISO is a savory sweet miso flavor (also it is addictive), moreover, you can make it spicy while adding chili peppers or chili paste. NIKUMISO is actually a super-versatile item besides delicious, easy to make, and will last for 5 days in a fridge and 2 months in a freezer.


Japanese Potato Croquettes: Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Panko Mashed Potato Cake Is So Delicious

Japanese Potato Croquettes: Japanese-Style Deep-Fried Panko Mashed Potato Cake

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Japanese fried potato cakes aka Korokke. One of the famous comfort food in Japan. A crispy Panko and savory natural sweet filling are delicious and addictive, often served as a main dish (!), Obento item, the filling for a sandwich, and Izakaya nibble.
Prep Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 servings


  • 8 starchy potatoes
  • 1 onion, minced
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 lb ground beef *for vegetarian menu, use sweet cones
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ TSP Nutmeg
  • oil for deep-fry
  • 2 cups Japanese Panko


  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup flour (wheat or rice)
  • ½ cup water


Make Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel potatoes and cut them into small pieces. Soak them in water for 10 minutes.
  • Place in a pot and pour enough water to cover the potatoes by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil, and cook the potatoes until a skewer/ fork can go through about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes, and place them back in the pot immediately.
  • Turn on the stove. Shake the pot continuously to remove excess moisture from the potatoes, for about 1 minute. The potato should be powdery without moisture.
  • Turn off the stove. Use a masher or a fork, and mash the potatoes. Leave some lumps.

Saute Onion & Ground meat

  • Caramelize onion. Oil (or butter) a skillet, and add minced onions and a pinch of salt. Sautee them over low heat, and continue cooking until the onions are soft and caramelized about 30 minutes.
    Remove caramelized onion from the skillet, and set them aside.
  • Cook Ground Beef. In the same skillet, cook ground beef. Drain the fat or remove the fat with kitchen paper towels.
  • Put the caramelized onion back into the skillet, and continue cooking the beef and onion until they are combined.
    Salt and pepper to taste, and add ground nutmeg.

Make Potato Cakes

  • Mix mashed potato and beef. In a large mixing bowl, add the sautéd onion and beef mixture and the mashed potato. Combine them well.
  • Shape into potato cakes. Divide the potato and beef mixture into 12 or more portions.
    Shape each into 1/2-1 inch thick cakes.
  • Arrange each on a baking pan or a large platter, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours. (At least the minimum of 30 minutes if you don't have enough time.)

Dredge Potato Cakes

  • Make batter. Make batter. Combine the flour (wheat/ rice), the water, and 2 eggs thoughtfully, with a whisk.
  • Dredge each potato cake in the batter mix, and coat it with panko. Arrange them on a baking pan / large platter.
  • Let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Deep-fry Potato Cakes

  • In a deep heavy pot (smaller size is better to keep the temperature and save the oil), add enough oil, so the potato cake is fully covered.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high, and once the oil is at 338F, add in 1-2 (or 3) of the potato cake. *Using a mesh skimmer helps to hold the shape.
  • Fry for 3 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Make sure the oil is not too hot so it can avoid the outside being burnt and the inside is still cold.



©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Deep-fry, Easy, Ground meat, Holiday, Panko, Party, Potato, Traditional, Vegetables, Vegetarian


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