This is actually a recycled dish. My younger daughter turned 12 last week and she had a birthday party here at home last Friday evening. I was planning on taking photos of everything I cooked but, unfortunately, there was no time. The last tray of baked macaroni was still in the oven when the first guests arrived.
Anyway, so there was leftover mashed potatoes sprinkled with Parmesan and Romano cheeses that I just want to go to waste. Plus, there was leftover foccaccia (served with the baked macaroni) which I toasted in a warm oven then placed in a blender to make bread crumbs. I tell you, day old foccaccia is just perfect for making bread crumbs.
Fish croquettes is flaked fish wrapped in mashed potatoes, dipped in beaten eggs, rolled in bread crumbs then deep fried until golden. The dish seems to be of European origin. I found a Greek recipe that is similar to mine and a Dutch recipe which uses gelatin instead of mashed potatoes. I learned my recipe from a former officemate, a lawyer whose mother is Japanese. He told me that fish croquettes was one of his mother’s specialties.
If you decide to make this dish, make sure that you use cold mashed potatoes. If the mashed potatoes are still warm, they will not hold together once they touch the hot oil. Second, use unsweetened bread crumbs. Commercial bread crumbs are usually sweetish and they taste terrible with croquettes. You don’t have to use foccaccia–just so happened that was what I had.
I used bangus (milkfish) fillets to make my fish croquettes but you can substitute any fish you prefer.
400 g. of bangus (milkfish) fillets, broiled and flaked
5-6 c. of cold mashed potatoes (preferably firm)
1/2 c. of finely chopped onions
1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
1/2 c. of finely chopped bell pepper
1/2 c. of finely chopped carrots
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. of bread crumbs
3-4 c. of cooking oil for deep frying
How to :
In a bowl, mix together the flaked fish, onion, garlic, bell peppers and carrots. Season with salt and pepper.
Flatten a heaping tablespoonful of mashed potatoes on one hand, place a tablespoonful of the fish-vegetable mixture at the center and cover with another tablespoonful of mashed potatoes. Roll into a ball. Repeat until all the ingredients have been formed into balls.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan (a wok is better). Test the temperature by dropping a little beaten egg into the oil. If the egg browns too fast, lower the heat a bit and allow the temperature to drop. If the egg takes too long to brown, allow the temperature of the cooking oil to go up some more.
Roll each ball in egg then roll in bread crumbs, pressing to make the bread crumbs stick to the mashed potatoes. Deep fry in batches (4-6 balls depending on the size of your frying pan), rolling the balls in hot oil for even browning. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper towels.
Serve hot with catsup or sweet chili sauce. :)