I love eggs and have always considered myself an exceptionally big egg consumer until I read that the Japanese eat more than 300 eggs per person a year. Nowadays everyone agrees that an egg a day is perfectly safe (for healthy people of course), but when eggs were on a nutritional black list in Western countries, this Japanese preference, paired with national low cholesterol levels must have seemed mysterious for our health specialists. I have recently realised that many of my blogging friends share my love for eggs (a special mention here for Hiroyuki’s neverending list of delightful egg recipes which could fill a whole cookery book!). I have bookmarked many recipes and intend to prepare them in the near future, but in the meantime they made me long for a dish I loved as a child, namely Egg Croquettes.
Egg Croquettes are an easy, comforting, home dish everyone seems to enjoy. They call for only three ingredients and are one of these dishes you can make when you think there is practically nothing left in the fridge. I have always used to serve them with a refreshing well-vinegared salad and some bread. This time, maybe keeping in mind the Japanese love for eggs I had them with a bowl of rice and it turned out to be an excellent option too. They make a perfect lunch, dinner, brunch or big breakfast and I am sure they would be an excellent picnic snack and why not a bento box item?
Actually I have “Japanised” these croquettes even more. They are usually shallow-fried, but since deep-frying is not only much quicker, but also less fat-absorbing, I decided to deep-fry them just like I proceed with the famous Japanese korokke (Potato and Meat Croquettes). They turned out better than all my previous egg croquettes and I will never go back to the traditional method. I have also found that Japanese panko crumbs created a crunchier, less soggy crust. Of course, if you prefer however shallow frying and standard breadcrumbs, I guarantee that such traditional croquettes will be excellent too.
Egg croquettes don’t require any sauce, but I have accidentally discovered that they are simply irresistible served with mayonnaise and Thick and Crunchy Japanese Sauce (Taberu Rayu). With all these Japanese touches I decided even to give it a Japanese name. I hope my Japanese friends will not scold me for this.
In case you are also a big egg fan, here are some recipes with eggs playing an important or main role:
TIP: Even though it takes one more hour, I found out that refrigeration makes the forming process much easier: cold ingredients are simply stickier.
Preparation: 1 hour (or two, if you choose to refrigerate the egg mixture)
Ingredients (serves 2-3):
6 hard-boiled eggs
1 raw egg
4-5 tablespoons breadcrumbs (or more)
5-6 tablespoons chopped chives or spring onions
breadcrumbs for coating (several tablespoons)
oil for shallow- or deep-frying
Chop the eggs as finely as you can (you can mix two of the eggs in a food processor to make the texture creamier, but not all of them!).
Combine them with the raw egg, the chopped chives or spring onion and season with salt and pepper.
Add gradually breadcrumbs until the mixture can be formed into balls (it depends on the egg size, the breadcrumbs, the chopping etc.).
(Putting the mixture into the fridge for one hour will make the forming process easier but you can start doing it straight away).
Preheat the oil in a pan.
Squeezing tightly the egg mixture, form balls and flatten them to round or oval patties (5 cm/2 in. diameter).
Coat them in breadcrumbs and shallow- or deep-fry.
If you deep-fry, my test for the right temperature is throwing some breadcrumbs into the pan. If they don’t fall down, but bubble and fry immediately, then the temperature is high enough.
Deep-frying will take only about one or two minutes. Shallow frying will take much longer (at least 15 minutes).
Put the croquettes on paper towels to remove excess oil and serve them either with bread or with rice.