Today I ended my diet (but just for today), I made deep-fried crab cream croquettes.
Deep-fried gravy coated with a crunchy breadcrumb crust. A japanese dish which shows clearly that japanese cooking is not always that healthy and lean but most delicious. I have seen those 2 days ago watching a Japanese drama series and they looked so good, I had to give it a go. Sadly I had to buy frozen cooked crab meat without shells. If I had the claws I would have sticked them into the balls before frying as very decorative handles.
First I searched the web and found a lot of recipes. Then I watched this youtube video runnyrunny999 and then I put everything together to my liking:
|fresh out of the wok|
1 onion, diced in very small dices
1 tablespoon dry-frozen shrimps, minced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon chicken broth powder
500 ml skimmed milk plus a bit more
2 cups shredded crab meat
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup flour
1-2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
First I fried the onion in 1 tablespoon butter until translucent, added the minced shrimps and let it simmer on low heat until the onion became golden and melting soft – took some time. The minced shrimps are in no way connected to any japanese korokke recipe. I put them in on a whim because I know this would taste fantastic umami afterwards.
I transferred the onion into a small bowl and added 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. I heated the pan up to medium low heat and stirred 2 tablespoons flour into the foaming butter with the help of a small balloon whisk. The flour has to be toasted until it smells like a cookie bakery but should not get any colour. At this state I added the milk in a constant small flow and whisked well until everything was combined into a creamy and smooth sauce. This is a rather thick bechamel sauce! I added the onion, salt, lots of black pepper, chicken broth powder and stirred the gravy simmering over low heat about 15 minutes. When it seemed to get too thick too quickly I added a little more milk. The gravy is so thick it should build a street if you drag a spoon through it. Finally I incorporated the crab meat and adjusted the seasoning with salt, pepper and a few drops Worcester sauce.
Why simmering the bechamel for so long. To taste lovely and creamy the flour has to be cooked well. Every bechamel sauce should be cooked at least for 15-20 minutes or it will have a nasty floury aftertaste. Most of the recipes I found on the web seem to ignore the correct way to cook bechamel,they cook this in a much shorter time... I just did as I always do.
|Bechamel with crab meat|
This has to be cooled down before forming the croquettes so I put it in a rectangle mould and set it, covered with cling film, outside, until a few hours later.
I heated up 600 ml oil in the wok until small bubbles rised from a chopstick sticked into the oil. I used a little bit (cold) oil to wet my hands to forms small balls out of the gravy. The gravy is somewhat firm but sticky so oil prevents the sticking to the hands.
|Forming the croquettes|
I tossed the balls in flour, egg and panko and fried batches of 4 balls while flipping them once - they are fragile so it is important to watch wether the bottom side has turned golden before turning them over. I put them on a layer of paper towels to let the oil drain off.
For serving I prepared a carrot salad, potato salad and tonkatsu sauce.
I had some egg, flour and panko left over, so I deep-fried 2 small flounders too. I served those with a homemade sauce tatar (50:50 yoghurt and mayonnaise).
|flounders with sauce tatar|