Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rutabaga Mash Croquettes à la Japonaise

The way these croquettes turned out all out of shape and looking like baby aliens from outer space, it brought back memories of things the Japanese used to say to me when I would fail to perform some task perfectly and properly. They'd say: You're clumsy like a foreigner.

When I told Ronny this he laughed.

I mean what do they mean by 'clumsy like a foreigner'? Are non-Japanese people really clumsier than the Japanese? I don't think so, but I did notice that as part of their education, Japanese children were trained to perform manual tasks in a very precise way so that the average performance of the Japanese citizen was generally quite good when it came to things like wrapping gifts, making croquettes or doing anything that required attention to detail and precision.

I mean have you seen the systematic and beautiful way in which they gift wrap things at a Japanese department store.? And have you seen the way they gift wrap things at El Corte Ingles?


Leftover Rutabaga/Carrot/Potato Mash

200 g Ground Pork

1 Clove Garlic (Chopped Finely)

1/2 Onion (Chopped Finely)


Black Pepper



2 Eggs (Beaten)

Bread Crumbs*

Sunflower Oil

Step 1: Stir fry the garlic, onions and ground pork until there are no more juices running and it's fairly dry. Lightly season this with salt, black pepper and chili.

Step 2: Mix this with the Rutabaga Mash.

Step 3: Form the mixture into desired shapes and dip them in flour, egg, then in the bread crumbs.

Step 4: Deep fry them and they're ready to go.

You can have these with Japanese croquette sauce or with soy sauce. I prefer the latter because I'm a weird Japanese who is as 'clumsy as a foreigner' anyway. These were quite good and I'd make them again even though my kitchen counter looked like a war zone in the aftermath.

*Panko if you can get any but I used the regular stuff you can get in Spain.

NOTE: When the rutabaga mash is cold it's much more manageable. Next time I'll let the pork/onion mixture cool down to room temperature, mix it with the rutabaga mash then let it sit in the refrigerator to cool down first.


Elra said...

I love rutabaga, it's sad that this root veggy doesn't get that much attention here in the States.
That croquettes look so delicious.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

They aren't easy to find in this part of Spain either. In fact it's the first time I've seen it at the Arroyo de la Miel mercadillo and I normally have to go all the way to Fuengirola (aka the Swedish ghetto) to buy them.

Siri said...

Awesome! We eat rutabega mash about every other week. Norwegians even eat it for Christmas dinner!

One of my favorite things about Japan when we were there on vacation in 2007, was the attention to detail that all walks of life followed. I loved the way gardeners would manicure moss with a tweezers and yes, the way shop girls wrapped even boring, every day things for their customers. I envy you for growing up in a culture like that.

We'll defiantly have to make some of these, what a great idea.