I love leftovers because you can eat in basically the amount of time it takes to heat them up. To me, that’s magic! But, as much as I love eating leftovers as is, I am absolutely fanatical about making leftovers into new dishes, like these Thanksgiving croquettes.
What’s not to love about deep fried potato-y things? Croquettes are French, from the verb croquer, which is to crunch. Interesting right?! I don’t know random food knowledge by the way, I just like googling things. Anyway, croquettes might have started out French but I’m pretty sure that every culture has a version of croquettes because deep fried foods are popular the world over. Japan is no exception. Croquettes are called korokke here and they are ubiquitous as fried chicken in supermarkets/convenience stores. There are even dedicated korokke stores.
I absolutely love Japanese korokke, with their creamy mashed potato insides and crispy crunchy panko-ed outsides. I took a page from the korokke book and made Thanksgiving croquettes: leftover mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing. A quick toss into flour, egg, and panko and a hot oil bath later and these guys were definitely bestovers. Everything I love about turkey dinner turned into a convenient hand held tater tot shaped deep-fried bite. I loved them with a bit of cranberry sauce, but they were also excellent with tonkatsu sauce. Seriously good!
Leftover Thanksgiving Croquettes Recipe
makes about 24 mini croquettes
- 1 cup leftover stuffing
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 cup diced leftover turkey
- 1 egg
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup panko
- oil to deep fry (I like grapeseed)
- cranberry sauce or Japanese tonkatsu sauce, to serve if desired
In a bowl, add the stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and egg. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well. I like to use a cookie scoop to portion out the mixture. Scoop out about 1.5 tablespoons and shape, compacting into a tater-tot shape, until all of the mix is portioned out.
Set up a breading station with three shallow dishes. One with flour, one with a lightly beaten egg, and one with panko.
Working gently, with one egg at a time, dip the croquettes into flour, shaking off excess, then coat in egg wash. Roll in panko to coat.
In a deep sided, heavy bottomed pot, heat up 1-2 inches of oil over medium heat until it reaches 375°F.
Gently place the croquettes in the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd, turning occasionally and maintaining oil temperature of 350°F, until the breading is golden brown and crisp, 5–6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Let cool slightly and enjoy hot with cranberry or tonkatsu sauce!