All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Rutabaga, jagaimo, sumookusaamon no korokke / rutabaga and potato croquettes with smoked salmon

Adding rutabaga lightens starchy potato croquettes, which also get a boost from a small amount of smoked salmon in this recipe.


(For 7-8 croquettes)

2 rutabagas (450 g in photo)
1 potato (150 g in photo)
3 green onions (green sections)
Small piece (30-50 g) smoked salmon
1 tbsp potato starch
Salt & pepper to taste (not in photo)
1 egg
3-4 tbsp flour
7-8 tbsp panko bread crumbs
Oil (for deep-frying, not in photo)


Cut or dice rutabagas and potato.

Finely chop green onions.


In a pot (with a fitting cover), put 1cm water, rutabaga and potato, and bring to boil.

Cover, and cook on medium low heat until soft, about 15-25 minutes (depending on diced vegetable size).

If there is too much water in pot, drain. Raise heat somewhat and cook without cover until potato and rutabaga surface becomes dry and crumbly, getting rid of excess water.


Transfer to a bowl, and mash.

Add potato starch, green onions, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Tear and add smoked salmon, and mix well.

Form patties.


Heat oil. When tips of wooden chopsticks immersed in oil send off fine bubbles, oil is ready (about 360-370 F/180-190 C).

Place flour, lightly beaten egg and panko next to each other.

First coat croquettes with flour. Pat off extra flour, then dip in egg.

Finally, coat with panko, gently press down panko, and slide into oil.

When almost ready, raise heat somewhat, and lift individual croquettes, with one end still in oil, to draw oil back into the pot. Lightly shake and remove from oil.

Place on plate lined with paper towel.


Serve as is or with tonkatsu, yakisoba or okonomiyaki sauce, if you like. Shungiku sauce or parsley sauce goes well, too.

  • The more rutabaga you add, the lighter the outcome is.
  • Cooking with only a little water prevents rutabaga from becoming soggy.
  • Do not put too much smoked salmon. If you do, it will taste like deep-fried smoked salmon rather than croquettes. Either hard or lox type smoked salmon works well.
  • Ham would be a great substitute for smoked salmon.
  • Coating only thinly with flour is the key to getting a light crust. Make sure to pat off extra flour before dipping croquettes into egg.
  • If you add parsley and other herbs (such as rosemary and thyme) instead of green onions and deep-fry in olive oil or oil mixed with olive oil, this will become a pleasantly light western-style croquette dish.
  • Heat up leftovers in oven or frying-pan (without oil). Microwaving would make this dish damp probably because of moisture content of rutabaga.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I came to this site because I decided to cook the rutabaga I had in my refrigerator from last fall. I just boiled it. I cooked it in water until is was soft enough to cut into smaller chunks and then boiled until soft enough to mash a bit. When I asked my husband who is Japanese whether there are rutabagas in the market in Japan, he assured me that they grow as big as washtubs there, and so I asked what part of Japan, assuming northern i.e. Hokkaido, since rutabagas are grown in northern Europe, as they're a botanical cross between cabbage and turnip. To my surprise, he said they are grown in southern Japan, and urged me to investigate further on the internet, and so I found this delightful recipe, which I plan to memorize and try sometime when I have another rutabaga.

neco said...

I am still learning about rutabaga – I've never seen it in Japan even after I learned to recognize it at stores in the US, it took more than several years to actually try it. The information I found says that in Japan it was first introduced in the mid-19th century along with other European or western vegetables to Hokkaido, but it failed to compete with existing vegetables, largely due to taste preferences, and its production has remained minor (the harvest has mainly been used for cattle). Probably because of this background, rutabaga still seems to be treated as an exotic vegetable in Japan. Hokkaido and Iwate are named as main production areas today. Some Okayama farmers grow it in winter. Your rutabaga sounds quite large – the ones I see here are more or less the size of a tennis ball. Thank you for your interest in trying the croquettes. Starchier potatoes such as russet (or bareisho in Japan) seem to be a better choice for this dish. The fish doesn't have to be smoked salmon. Any seafood or meat -- uncooked (only super fresh), cooked or cured -- should work great. If no protein is used, adding some spices like cumin, mustard or coriander seeds will add vibrancy.