Friday, May 8, 2015: Potato Korokke by Chef Lori Hasimoto

 Potato Korokke

Serving size 4

1 lb. Russet potatoes

2 tbsp. butter

1/4 large sweet onion (peeled & finely minced)

8 oz. ground beef

2 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. sugar

Pinch of black pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup flour

4 cups panko

vegetable oil for deep frying

1 cup tonkastsu sauce (store bought)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the potatoes on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, until a knife goes through the potatoes easily. Remove from the oven and allow the potatoes to come to room temperature.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until they are translucent. Add the beef and cook, stirring constantly , for about 5 minutes until the beef is cooked through and any liquid in the skillet evaporates. Break apart the beef as you stir. When the beef is ready transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add potatoes to the beef and mash together until just combined, use a large spoon. Add soy sauce, sugar and pepper and mix together. Add the heavy cream and mash until all the ingredients are just combined.

Transfer the potato mixture to a sheet pan and spread it out to make a flat disk about 1/2 inch thick. Place in the refrigerator uncovered to cool and firm up for about 1 hour.

While the potato mixture is cooling, prepare 4 prep plates. Pour flour onto the first plate. Pour the beaten egg onto the second plate. Pour the panko into the third plate. Leave the fourth for the breaded korokke.

Place a large skillet on a burner. Fill the skillet with vegetable oil to a height of at least 1 inch. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the skillet. On a work surface near the skillet, set up a tray lined with paper towels to drain the cooked korokke.

When the potato mixture is ready, remove from the refrigerator and cut into 8 even pieces. Form 8 korokke patties, one at a time. Wet your hands, then place one of the pieces of the cooled potato mixture onto your palm. With both hands, gently form it into a patty that resembles a hamburger patty. do this quickly; if you handle the mixture too much it can get soft and break apart while frying. Repeat for the remaining patties.

Turn on the heat under the skillet to high. Heat the oil to 340 degree F.

While the oil is heating, bread the korokke patties one at a time. First, dredge a patty in flour on both sides and shake off the excess flour. Second, dip the patty into the egg, coating both sides. Finally, lay the patty on the panko crumbs. Pile panko on the top of the korokke with your fingers, then gently press the panko sticks on both sides. Be careful to handle the korokke very gently so it doesn't break apart. Place the completed korokke on the empty plate. Repeat with the remaining patties.

When the oil has reached 340 degree F, carefully slide the korokke into the skillet. Deep fry the korokke in batches. Be careful not to over fill the skillet, which will lower the cooking temperature; use, at most, half of the surface area of the oil to cook. While the korokke are cooking, check the oil temperature with the thermometer. Regulate the heat to maintain a constant 340 degree oil temperature. If the oil is too hot, the korokke will burn; if too low, the korokke will come out soggy and greasy.

Cook the korokke for about 3 minutes, until they heat through and turn golden brown. When they are ready, transfer the korokke to the paper lined plate to drain.