One of the Indonesian dishes that I miss the most is potato croquettes.
I have tried Japanese croquettes or コロッケ that I bought from supermarket. It's not bad. But I find Japanese croquettes too plain despite the minced meat in them. Perhaps they don't add enough spices (according to my opinion). I think that having grown up in the spice islands, I can't live without spices.
Spices on potatoes are yummmm!! You don't even need meat to make croquettes delicious. Just spices. My mum used to add corned beef. But I prefer just potato as the main ingredient.
So what are the spices? Garlic, pepper and nutmeg. Yes, only these spices can make meatless croquettes so delicious!
I tried to make Indonesian potato croquettes when I just arrived in Japan and was so homesick of Indonesian food. But I failed. The reason was that I didn't realize how different potatoes in Indonesia and those in Japan are. In Indonesia potatoes are more starchy and contain less water. So when you shape the mashed potato into a ball or patty shape, it holds its shape perfectly when you are frying it. No need to coat it with bread crumbs, just dip it in beaten egg and fry. The croquette will not crumble while being fried. While potatoes in Japan contains more water. The good thing is that Japanese potatoes don't take longer time to cook. But since it contains more water, it's hard to keep the croquette shape while being fried. So when I tried to make croquettes a la Indonesia, all the croquettes fell apart.
Just a week ago, I attempted to make potato croquettes again after over 6 years since my first attempt. And I did it! Yaaay!
So I'd like to share a simple recipe of Indonesian potato croquettes. But I can't determine the exact amount of each ingredient. I always go with what I think is enough. For example, I love garlic so I like to add lots of garlic and pepper. So feel free to improvise.
For the main ingredient, you need some potatoes. Here I use 5 - 6 medium size potatoes. I simply wash them clean and steam them with the skin on. This is different from the way we do in Indonesia where we peel the potatoes, cut them roughly into four and fry them. This doesn't work with potatoes in Japan because frying makes the potatoes more watery. Also potatoes must be steamed with the skin on, so don't peel before steaming them. It takes 15 - 20 minutes perhaps to steam the potatoes. When they're cooked, cool them and peel the skin with hand. No need knife. The skin comes off by itself. Then cut the potatoes before mashing them. Add some flour in the mashed potato if you think the texture is still too watery.
After that, prepare the other ingredients such as minced garlic, some pepper, some salt, some nutmeg, an egg and some fried onion (this one is optional. I just love to add it as that's how my mum did when she taught me how to make potato croquettes). The amount? hmm well if you don't like garlic, maybe just 1 - 2 cloves. I like garlic so I use 3 so that my croquettes taste garlicky :) As for salt, pepper and nutmeg. You can add them little by little. As you are mixing them with the mashed potato, taste a little to know whether it is to your liking.
When you've got the taste that you like, shape the mashed potato into ball or patty shape. Prepare a beaten egg in a small dish.
Heat some oil in the frying pan. Dip the croquettes in the beaten egg to
coat before frying them. Fry them until golden brown. Take them out and
set them on oil paper towel. And your potato croquettes are ready.
Hope you like this version of potato croquettes!