I’m back and let’s just say it’s been a very long week – a very animated one, at that. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this previously, but I attended a private international school in Korea for middle and most of high school. Now besides entitling its students to a sense of worldly knowledge and ignorant arrogance (no offense), the school truly formed an elite sort of family that has members all over the world. That being said, I can comfortably find at least one or two Seoul Foreign School students that I know in just about any state or even continent I go. Lucky for me, living in Hawaii and all, I get a lot of friendly and familiar visitors from my old school. However, the past week has been the first time that I’ve reunited with five of them at once on this not-so-stranded island. And boy, I tell you, us Koreans, we party hard.
Hence, with everything my jobs, friends, and parties entailed, I was once again forced to commit the crime of negligence to my kitchen. So, although this may not be a meal or dish worthy of any sort of remote self-aggrandizing, it’s still something you can snack on until my next (not nearly as overdue) delicious post.
Actually, it may not seem like it upon first glance, but this snack is Korean-inspired. For those of you who perceive Korean food to be restricted to the realms of kimchee and hot soups, you are sorely mistaken. Most Koreans love eating and making fusion cuisines and when it comes to snack foods or mini-meals, the sky is the limit. Plus, if you ever go to Korea, you’ll quickly learn that Koreans have an incredibly strong love for mashed potatoes and cheese, mozzarella in particular. They’re actually the perfect balance to the palate especially considering all the spicy foods we have, not that you need to eat this with a side of kimchee or hot soup. Just imagine deep-fried, crispy-crunchy on the outside, stuffed mashed potatoes bursting with flavor and oozing with stringy cheese. Or, better yet, just make it!
Adapted from 요리천사의 행복밥상
5 potatoes (I used Russet)
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 large carrot, finely diced (I used a cup of corn instead, which may have been the cause of slight difficulty*)
1/2 can spam, finely diced
2 tbspn parsley, finely chopped (I would recommend using less because I found that the flavor can be a bit overpowering)
2 tbspn parmesan cheese, grated
shredded mozzarella cheese, as much as desired
3-4 mozzarella cheese sticks/string cheese, cut into thirds
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
1-2 cups bread crumbs (preferably panko)
1-2 cups canola or vegetable oil, for frying
ketchup, as desired
Peel and rinse the potatoes then cut into fourths. Boil in water until soft, then drain.
*(I would leave a little bit of water to add moisture to the mashed potatoes because I found that I had a little difficulty shaping them since it wouldn’t hold together as well)
Mash the potatoes with a potato-masher or fork.
Mix in the chopped vegetables and spam with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese to make a mixed mash potato.
Then using your hands, grab some of the potato mixture and flatten it out to fit approximately the size of your palm.
Then add some mozzarella cheese and a piece of cheese stick/string cheese to the center and fold the rest of the potato mixture over the cheese and form oval saucers.
Once these are made, flour each potato-cheese croquette and coat them in the egg wash then bread crumbs. Finally, fry them in hot oil until golden brown.