Mountain Yam Croquette

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Nagaimo is a healthy root vegetable that aids digestion and nourishes the kidney and spleen. In Japan, it is commonly grated to achieve a gooey texture and eaten raw with wasabi or plain rice. For this recipe, we steam the nagaimo and mash it to produce a smooth and creamy paste.

Ingredients

  • 360 g (12½ oz) nagaimo
  • 4 reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp mushroom dashi
  • 1 Tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sake
  • Plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 120 g (4⅕ oz) breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Method

Peel nagaimo and roughly chop into chunks. Steam nagaimo for about 30 – 45 minutes.

Finely chop shiitake mushrooms. Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Add mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes. Reduce to low heat and add mushroom dashi, soy sauce, sugar and sake. Cook for another 5 minutes until the flavour is absorbed.

Heat a pan over low heat. Mash nagaimo in the pan, to remove excess liquid from the nagaimo. Turn off heat and add mushrooms. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Divide the mixture into 8 portions and shape into oblong patties. Dust patties with some flour.

Coat patties with tempura batter, then cover with breadcrumbs.

Heat oil and deep fry patties for about 1–2 minutes or until light brown. Remove and drain well on absorbent paper.

Arrange on 4 individual serving plates and serve.

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