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kabocha korokke thumbnail

Japanese "Kabocha" Pumpkin Croquettes

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x


How to make crispy Japanese Pumpkin Korokke! (かぼちゃコロッケ) Soft, sweet and tasty Japanese winter squash covered in crispy panko breadcrumbs and deep fried, then drizzled with a tangy sauce.


  • 400g of Japanese Kabocha (See note)
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese (meltable kind like cheddar)
  • 1/4 medium onion finely diced
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 50ml whole milk


  • 50ml cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp + 3 tbsp plain flour
  • Approx 50-75g panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Parsley to garnish (optional)

For the sauce


  1. First peel the kabocha and cut it roughly into chunks.
  2. Place in a microwavable bowl or container, add 1-2 tbsp of water and cover it with plastic wrap. Pierce the plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes on 600w. (If the kabocha isn't soft enough, microwave again at 30 second intervals. Be careful of steam when removing the plastic wrap.)
  3. Mash the kabocha with a potato masher until smooth and no lumps remain.
  4. Add 1 tsp ketchup, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 pinch nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2 tbsp of meltable grated cheese to the bowl. Mix well until the condiments are well incorporated into the kabocha, the cheese will melt into the mixture.
  5. Take a pan and melt the 15g unsalted butter on a medium-low heat. 
  6. Once melted, add 1/4 finely diced onion and sauté until the onion is softened and transparent. (Don't let it brown.)
  7. Add 1/2 tbsp of plain flour and mix well. Once incorporated, lower the heat to low and add 50ml of whole milk. Stir continuously.
  8. When the mixture starts to thicken, add the seasoned kabocha and mix everything together in the pan.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the filling to a wide container. Allow to cool and then store in the refrigerator for 20-30 mins.
  10. After chilling, take it out and shape it as you like. The korokke can be be round, oval or cylindrical. For bitesize balls, I divided the mixture into 12.
  11. Once shaped, place them in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you heat your oil and prepare the coating stations.

Coating and frying

  1. Preheat your oil to 170-180°C / 340-355°F.
  2. Take a bowl and add 50ml cold water, 1 egg and 5 tbsp plain flour. Whisk together until smooth. This is your batter.
  3. Prepare two plates, one with 3 tbsp of flour and one with 50-75g panko breadcrumbs.
  4. Remove the shaped korokke from the freezer and coat each one in plain flour, then egg batter, then a generous coating of panko breadcrumbs. Press down the panko to secure it.
  5. Once hot enough, place the korokke in the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd, if in doubt fry in batches.
  6. Fry for a few minutes on each side or until golden all over.
  7. Once golden, transfer to a wire rack to allow the excess oil to drip off.
  8. Take a small bowl and mix 2 tbsp ketchup and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce together.
  9. Sprinkle the korokke with dry parsley and serve with the sauce.
  10. Enjoy!


If you can't get Japanese Kabocha, you could also use butternut squash.

Peeling the kabocha skin is optional.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Chilling time: 40 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Deep frying
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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