A pile of golden brown croquettes, dusted with salt.

No gods, no masters. Only croquettes.

コロッケ, croquettes, croquetas; call ’em whatever. They’re good as hell. I assume that’s why basically every type of cuisine has made a claim to “starchy mush, breaded and deep-fried.” I’m filing them under “yoshoku”—the western-influenced Japanese cuisine—because that was my early introduction to ’em.

What none of these cultures can seem to agree on, though, is whether they ought to be based on mashed potatoes (which is good) or a velvety béchamel (which is good). I’ve seen people draw a bafflingly hard line, here; they’ll claim that the true croquette—the ur-croquette, if you will—must be based on either potato or béchamel. All others are inferior imitations.

Those who would claim a croquette binary—look, I’ll just say it: they’re cowards. They fear what they cannot understand; a depth of flavor that humanity was perhaps never meant to wield.

But, reader: I stand before you with no such fear in my heart. I have stolen the deep-fried fire of the gods. Take my hand, and I will show you a new way—a new world of flavor—if you have the courage.

Use Both

It’s super good.



  1. Dice the potatoes and boil them in lightly salted water, until tender when jabbed with a fork.

  2. Meanwhile, make a béchamel: bring the milk and heavy cream to a near-simmer. Melt the butter, whisk in flour, and cook until foaming subsides. Add the hot milk/cream, whisking constantly.

  3. In a skillet or sauté pan, heat a splash of olive oil or tablespoon of butter. Add the carrots and onions. Cook over medium-low heat, until onion is soft and transparent at the edges, about ten minutes. Add mixture of sake, mirin, and soy sauce, and reduce until the alcohol smell has faded. Mash the potatoes, then mix in the carrots and onions, pan sauce, and béchamel. Once combined, spread onto a sheet pan and allow to cool to room temperature.

  4. Form croquettes into ovals, circles, whatever; dust with 50/50 mix of all-purpose and potato flours. Lightly whisk eggs. Dip floured croquettes in egg, then roll in panko breadcrumbs.

  5. Heat oil in thick-bottomed pot (I use a small cast-iron dutch oven) to 350 degrees (f). Fry croquettes in small batches, keeping the oil temperature between 300 and 350 degrees. When golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels and dust with kosher salt.