Tonight I made korokke, the japanese version of croquettes. They are basically identical, except the japanese ones always seem to be potato based instead of the bechamel-based ones that the French sometimes make. They are very simple and comforting to make: Mashed potatoes (without cream or butter), with onion, ground beef/pork, lightly seasoned, shaped into little patties, covered in breadcrumbs and fried.
I have no idea why these are not everywhere in the Midwest, especially Kansas, because we love beef here (in fact, I think we are second only to Texas when it comes to loving beef, it’s probably all the excellent Angus this state raises).
The other difference, and what takes them from good comfort food to amazingly delicious comfort food is the condiments. In Japan a common sauce to eat with them is (basically) lemon and shoyu (Japanese soy sauce). This tart and salty liquid is just the thing to ballance the hearty starchiness of the korokke. If you have some bottled ponzu on hand that will work too, but I like how fresh just lemon and shoyu is, since we can’t get fresh yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) this far inland.
I wish I had pictures, but my camera is out of commission at the moment…so here’s a better option: Cooking with Dog