Japanese Pumpkin Croquettes (Kabocha Korokke)

Kabocha Korokke

If you have been following me for some time, you probably know that I love Japanese food <3. I have worked at a Japanese restaurant before, and one of my favourite side dish there is Korokke (croquettes), most commonly made with potatoes. It’s also often used in ramen dishes.

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, soft and sweet on the inside – a perfect way to elevate your pumpkin!

Kabocha Korokke

Classic Japanese comfort food. Yummy pumpkin croquette deep fried with panko and served with tonkatsu sauce. Crunchy and bursting with flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 1


To make the korokke 'balls'

  • 1 Kabocha squash sub with other types of pumpkin or winter squash
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp 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

  • Wash and cut the kabocha. Carefully slice in half, remove the seeds then cut into long wedges.
  • Steam or boil the kabocha wedges for 15-20 minutes, or until soften and can be easily mashed with a fork.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add in the bowl caramelized onions, plant milk, salt, pepper and flour. Mix well.
  • 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

  • Prepare three shallow dishes or bowls for each coating: flour, milk and panko.
  • Dip each pumpkin balls into the coating.
  • On a pan, add oil, the pumpkin balls on a single layer to avoid overcrowding.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Serve on a plate with sliced cabbage, tomato wedges and tonkatsu sauce. Enjoy!
Keyword comfort food, vegan, vegetable

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the recipes!

    1. Thank you for your feedback!

  2. León Plaga De Angelis

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

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

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