Japanese Cooking Class: Potato Croquettes

For those of you that read my blog often, you know that I love going to the Japanese cooking classes offered on base.  Even if they are cooking meat, I won't pass up a chance to learn about Japanese cooking.  It also gives me a chance to see the ingredients and learn how they are used, so I can make up my own dishes later on.

The April class was extra exciting because they made sure there was a lot of vegetarian options for me. I always tell them I do not expect them to go out of their way for me, and some time they still do, but we got lucky this time because the recipe they were doing is almost always done without meat, although there are some meat variations.

Meet the potato croquette!

When we do these classes, usually we have 2 senseis (or teachers), and then about 10-15 people in the class.  We are all given tasks to work on, like chopping, dicing and slicing.

One of the main ingredients here was the onion.
One of the croquette variations we had included cheese.  Yes, this is cheese!  Oh how I love the Japanese and all their cute little packaging of things.
I know it looks like butter, but trust me, it is cheese.
One of the variations used corn and carrots.  I took a picture of this so you could see what Japanese canned goods look like.
Panko for breading.
Panko is a Japanese bread crumb and very popular for breading and frying foods.
Here is our sensei masking up the potato.  She is the sweetest lady ever.
Any ideas what is in here?  
Ok, it's a tough one.  Maybe if I told you this next picture is miso.  Yes, just above is seaweed.  The dried seaweed pieces are added to the water with fish stock and miso paste to make this traditional soup.
In this bowl is starch (that the powder on top), carrots, corn, onions and mashed potato.
In here is the cheese and potato, I believe.
This one contains ground meat.
We used little molds to shape the croquettes to the right shape and size.  You can see one just to the back of the picture.  It's a small ring made out of plastic.

I like these best because you can see the veggies in them (and these were of course the ones I shaped!).
Then we breaded them.  You can see we had flour, egg and the panko.
Shaping them.
Did you know the Japanese use chopsticks for cooking too, not just eating?  They have different ones for cooking.  They are longer.  But they do use these as a cooking tool.
Here we are frying them up.  We made sure to do the vegetarian ones first and then they used the oil to cook the meat version last.
Drying some of the oil off.
They definitely look like latkes for Hanukkah.  
Yum!  We made tons of these!
Ta-da!  This is the finished product.  We enjoyed them with a side salad.  So pretty!  It was also really good with the miso soup.
I really, truly love the cooking classes.  I learn so much, I have met many great people in the classes, and believe it or not, these classes are free!

Travel Update: Just so everyone knows, I think this will be my last post before travel posts start, although I may have time to fit one or 2 more in.  I will be posting about all of my travels.  I will be visiting multiple countries, learning about history, food and culture along the way.  I know it may bore some of you, but I do promise lots of food pictures mixed in with the sights.  I hope you consider joining me on my travels via my blog.  I will probably not have a lot of time to comment on your blogs, but I promise I am still here and still trying to keep up with my blog and reading yours when I can.

QUESTIONS: Have you ever made potato croquettes?  Have you ever used chopsticks to cook with?  What would you put in your croquette variation?


Gina; The Candid RD said...

How fun! I've never made potato croquettes, but I think I'd try it with sweet potato..would that be good?!
I love to use chopsticks but I've never cooked with them before. It would probably take me about 5 times as long!!

Special K said...

Germans love potatoes in general and eat a lot of these...they are everywhere in the frozen food section of the store.....

Can't wait to take a cooking class with you in France!

Anonymous said...

nice idea.. thanks for posting..

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