Kabocha Korokke (Japanese Pumpkin Croquette)

Kabocha Korokke

Kabocha korokke is a Japanese pumpkin croquette dish deep-fried with panko and served with a tonkatsu sauce. Crunchy and bursting with flavors!

The inspiration behind this Kabocha Korokke recipe

If you have been following me for some time, you probably know that I love Japanese food. I have worked at a Japanese restaurant before, and one of my favourite side dishes to eat there is Korokke (croquettes), most commonly made with potatoes. It’s also often used in ramen dishes or served with a side of salad.

Since it’s pumpkin season, let’s make this dish using Kabocha – a type of Japanese winter squash. It can be found in some farmer markets or the Asian supermarkets, if you cannot access it you can also use pumpkin or butternut squash. Fried with panko breadcrumbs, it’s crunchy on the outside, while soft and sweet on the inside. It’s the perfect way to elevate your pumpkin!

Ingredients of this dish

The korokke is made of a mix of the following ingredients:

  • Kabocha squash, or other types of winter squash like butternut squash
  • Yellow onion: caramelized diced onions with vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Plant milk
  • Flour

Form the mixture into equal-sized croquettes (about 10-15 croquettes). Chill them in the fridge for 15-30 to harden and make the mixture easier to handle.

Then coat the mix with a mixture of:

  • 1st bowl: Flour
  • 2nd bowl: Soy milk
  • 3rd bowl: Panko breadcrumbs

After that, fry or deep fry the croquettes in neutral-flavored oil until crispy. Then serve with a side of cabbage and tomatoes and tonkatsu sauce! Or serve it with Japanese curry and rice.

If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!

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Kabocha Korokke (Japanese Pumpkin Croquette)

  • Author: Veggie Anh
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Classic Japanese comfort food. Yummy pumpkin croquette deep fried with panko and served with tonkatsu sauce. Crunchy and bursting with flavor! This makes 10-15 Korokke.


Units Scale

To make the korokke ‘balls’

  • 1 Kabocha squash (sub with other types of pumpkin or winter squash)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp plant milk
  • 3 tbsp flour

To make the coating

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup plant milk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Neutral flavor oil

Side dishes

  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 2 tomato
  • Tonkatsu sauce (can sub with ketchup/mayo)


To make the korokke

  1. Wash and cut the kabocha. Carefully slice in half, remove the seeds then cut into long wedges.
  2. Steam or boil the kabocha wedges for 15-20 minutes, or until soften and can be easily mashed with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the yellow onion into small pieces. On a pan on medium heat, melt the butter, add in the onion and stir until the onion pieces are caramelized. This takes about 10 minutes.
  4. When the pumpkin wedges are softened, remove from the pot. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the outer layer. Put the pumpkin the a bowl and finely mash with a fork.
  5. Add in the bowl caramelized onions, plant milk, salt, pepper and flour. Mix well.
  6. Form the pumpkin mixture into small balls (the mixture makes about 10-15 balls). The mixture is really soft, so chill the balls in the fridge for 15-30 mins to harden.

To fry the korokke

  1. Prepare three shallow dishes or bowls for each coating: flour, milk and panko.
  2. Dip each pumpkin balls into the coating.
  3. On a pan, add oil, the pumpkin balls on a single layer to avoid overcrowding.
  4. Fry/deep fry until all sides are golden. They fry really fast so be careful not to burn them. I suggest keeping the heat on medium high at first, then lower to medium low.
  5. Once the croquettes are golden brown, remove them from the oil and put on a plate with kitchen towels to remove the excess oil. Sprinkle with more salt.
  6. Serve on a plate with sliced cabbage, tomato wedges and tonkatsu sauce. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Course, Snack
  • Method: deep fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

Keywords: comfort food, vegan, vegetable

If you enjoyed this recipe, also check out some of my other Japanese recipes:

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  1. Thank you for sharing the recipes!

    1. Thank you for your feedback!

  2. León Plaga De Angelis

    It was a little bit difficult, but the final result… AWESOME

    1. Thank you so much for your review! <3

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