With the autumn months upon us we revist our Japanese Kitchen series, travelling to Saitama Prefecture. Located in the Kanto region of Japan, Saitama's towns and cities can be described as suburbs of Tokyo. However, more than that, the prefecture contains many beautiful tourist attractions such as the former castle town of Kawagoe, and the mountainous Chichibu region.

Koroke (croquettes)
Yuki Grainger, Japan Information and Cultural Centre

Earlier this year, my colleague introduced a recipe for saba miso ni. She is from Ibaraki prefecture and I am from neighbouring Saitama prefecture. Situated just above Tokyo, it is a convenient prefecture to visit from the capital and indeed hosts many people who commute there regularly for work. Not just a home for commuters, it has a number of popular sights including Tobu-dobutsukoen (zoo and amusement park), Gongendo (famous for cherry blossoms), Kawagoe (a famous old town), Saitama Super Arena (for concerts and sport) and Nagatoro (for its beautiful nature and popular camping spots). Hitsujiyama Park is also a popular destination - a beautiful flower garden in Saitama with hills covered in flowers of shades of pink and purple called shibazakura.

Hitsujiyama Park ©Japanese National Tourism Organisation

Kawagoe ©Japanese National Tourism Organisation
The recipe from the last in this series was not a particular delicacy of the region, and it got me thinking about other dishes that are well-loved across Japan and that could be easily made in a British kitchen. I settled on introducing one of my favourites - potato koroke (croquettes), especially as they are a heart-warming addition to any meal in these colder months! I hope you will try making them yourselves this autumn.

Potato Koroke recipe
(recipe for 6 koroke)


・potato, 350g
・minced meat, beef 50g, pork 50g
・onion, 1 medium sized onion
・carrot, 1 medium sized carrot
・sweet corn (canned) 1 small tin
・egg, 1 medium size
・flour, 1 table spoon
・panko* (bread crumbs)

*you can purchase this from a Japanese store or make it by putting 2-3 slices of bread into a blender with salt and pepper to season

1. Peel the skin off the potatoes, boil them until soft and mash them.

2. Finely chop the onion and carrot.

3. Fry the minced meat and finely chopped onion and carrot together.

4. Mix the mashed potato, meat and all vegetables together. Add salt & pepper to taste.

5. Separate the mixture into six - eight small balls.

6. Whisk the egg and flour together.

7. Dip the potato balls into the whisked egg and flour, and then into the panko (bread crumbs) until completely covered.

8. Fry the the potato balls and you have your koroke!



Note: Cover photo taken from https://www.pakutaso.com/