I was feeling extra adventurous a few weeks ago and was fangin' (a new word I've picked up from my Australian friend) for something fried. You can buy warm creamy croquettes at any grocery store in Tokyo. The fillings vary from plain old potato to minced pork and creamy crab. I decided to give the crab variety a shot at home with a Harumi Kurihara recipe found in one of her monthly magazines.
I love fried food a lot but absolutely hate frying things at home. For one, I'm constantly dodging oil splatters left and right. Due to my height, I guess my face is probably more in danger of scarring than others. I also hate frying because it ruins my grand plan to remain ignorant to how unhealthy my foods are.
In any case, these were delicious! The filling is composed of a homemade white sauce, potatoes and crab. Being in Japan, you can get prepared crab at any grocery store for pretty cheap. The white sauce was made in the microwave which made the whole process easier to manage. Once you mix the filling into balls, a quick roll in potato starch, egg and panko crumbs and you're ready to fry.
These were super tasty but I felt pretty guilty eating more than 2. I guess they're better for parties or picnics where you can unload the guilty delicious calories on others, but it was fun to make at least once.
In an attempt to health-ify the meal, I made a really easy soft tofu chicken salad with sesame dressing. This was tasty in its own right and probably something I'll make more often than the croquettes.
Crab and Cream Croquettes recipe via NHK World/Harumi Kurihara
Soft Tofu and Chicken Salad with Sesame Dressing
- 1 skinless chicken breast
- 1 inch knob of ginger
- 3 scallions
1. Put the ginger, scallions and chicken in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
2. Shut off the heat and cover with a pan. Let stand until the chicken has cooked all the way through.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool. Shred and set aside.
- 1/4 cup white sesame paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 TB rice wine vinegar
1. Mix all the dressing ingredients together until incorporated. Alter the amount of vinegar to your own taste.
Drain 1 package of soft tofu. Slice into 8 cubes and place on a plate. Pour dressing over tofu. Top with chicken and more chopped scallions. Eat chilled.