The potato ricer, at last

February 6, 2009

I’ve wanted to get a potato ricer forever.  I don’t eat mashed potatoes frequently, but every now and again I get the urge, and lately I’ve been wanting to make two yummy Japanese potato dishes: oyaki & korokke.  Last week I made a little hand-written sign and hung it up on the community board where I live.  Yesterday I scored!  A woman who visits here dropped it off and said I can keep it for an indeterminate period of time. Here it is:

Potato ricer, side view

Potato ricer, side view

It’s about 3 inches in diameter, and while I thought the holes were sort of large, it turns out that they’re just right.  I really like that it’s an old ricer; it has a lovely patina that indicates many years of use.  The mechanics of the ricer are neat, and the perforated cup part can be rotated and slipped out which makes for easy clean-up.

Potato ricer from the top

Potato ricer from the top

So today I was planning a big bento johbisai-making session.  Johbisai (常備菜) is a Japanese term describing the stash of foods that you have in the freezer or pantry or fridge, ready to pop into your bento lunch box.

Today I made a delicious leek & pork soboro, a basic seasoned meat with aromatics which can be used as is, sprinkled on rice, in omelets, as filling for dumplings, etc.  This batch turned out very yummy!

I also made two Japanese potato based dishes: potato and sweet potato oyaki filled with the soboro, and then a batch of proto korokke (korokke is the Japanese name for croquette) made from the same riced potato & sweet potato.  The potato part consisted of 5 medium-sized peeled red potatoes, and one peeled sweet potato.  I riced the cooked potatoes and then split it into two portions, one bowl for the korokke, and one for the oyaki.

Potato ricer action shot!

Potato ricer action shot!

I made the korokke first since I wanted to add some of the leek & pork soboro to the potato mash before I added soy & oyster sauce to the meat.   To the potato mixture I added about 1/3 cup of the soboro (before I’d mixed in the soy & oyster sauce), a half cup of frozen petite peas, a half cup or so of minced dry-fried onion, a bit of salt and some pepper.  I mixed this up, tasted it, and adjusted the seasoning, and then formed 8 little croquettes.  I wrapped them plastic wrap and popped them in the freezer, so now I have four bento lunches worth of korokke 🙂  I call them proto korokke because I didn’t coat them in flour or breadcrumbs; I’ll do that after I’ve defrosted them, and then fry them.

Proto korroke ready for the freezer

Proto korroke ready for the freezer

To the second bowl of mixed potato mash, I added 4 or 5 tablespoons of potato starch and a bit of salt.  I used a knife to cut the dough into 8 portions, and flattened each portion into a disk.  I put around a teaspoon of the finished soboro onto the center of the disk, and then folded the dough up and over, and then shaped each one into a flattened round cake.  I fried them in a bit of olive & dark sesame oil until they were nicely browned on each side.  I’d had one runty little oyaki, and when it was barely cool enough, I tasted it: delicious!

Potato & sweet potato oyaki filled with leek & pork soboro

Potato & sweet potato oyaki filled with leek & pork soboro

I used a pot of water to boil the potatoes in, and then the sweet potatoes, and after I’d used a spider to remove each of those, I simmered the leek trimmings in the same water.  I strained this veggie water and now it’s in the fridge waiting to be made into soup one of these next days.

I also made a delicious batch of coleslaw, and there are leftovers.  Mmm leftovers 🙂


9 Responses to “The potato ricer, at last”

  1. Jen Says:

    Hey! You’re blogging again! When did that happen? I’ve missed the fact you’re on the move again. I must say that your blog is seriously lacking in knitting information. I won’t be offended. We do miss you at knitting circle so hope you’ll be coming back. We’ve been getting some newer members coming on a more regular basis.

    Talk to you soon.

  2. birthe Says:

    They are beautiful, I look forward to a taste, guf guf. birthe

  3. Eclipse Says:

    i LOVE croquettes! here in SF you frequently find them served with a creamy crab-cheese filling with a side of ponzu. so good!

  4. Blorgie Says:

    Ah, the croquette. How delicious and devine they look. Now I’m feeling very hungry. They are so perfect and golden. The ricer is a great looking piece of vintage equipment too. But a spider!? Tell me it’s a kitchen appliance.

  5. mosaica Says:

    Yes Jen, I’ll be there on Tuesday!

    Tak mor 🙂

    OMG, that crab-cheese filling sounds dreamy. Must emulate here in VT!

    Indeed, a spider is a kitchen tool –you can see a picture here:

    I was just reading that wiki entry, and learned this brilliant little nugget: the wire mesh end of the spider can be made into a DIY wireless aerial! Check this out:

  6. Blorgie Says:

    I’m relieved that a spider is a regular kitchen tool. I had visions of you with an army of well trained bento savvy arachnids. Thanks for the wiki link and I LOVE the kiwi ingenuity of the spider aerial. The whole article is fascinating and Stan himself looks like a sweetie with a dog at his side and a baby on his knee trying out the umbrella tin foil prototype. Love the way it’s documented too in a storyboard cum comic strip style.
    I don’t want the Just Bento Challenge to end either. It’s been inspiring to look at everyones lunches. I’m inspired by peoples effort and expertise. I’ve loved your lunches Mosaica. You must be a very good cook as well as sock knitter, fly tier and trout tickler. What a great life! And Thanks!

  7. mosaica Says:

    Blorgie –I’ve loved your beautiful food too, and I’m delighted to have a new friend down under. I hope you’ll keep posting pictures of your food, and chatting, and keeping on a-bento-ing and sharing recipes 🙂

    I completely agree wrt Stan & his spider aerial project page; I was tickled PINK to read about it & see all those pictures. Though I must say that I like the idea of having an army of bento savvy arachnids in my kitchen. Especially if they also could learn to do dishes 😉

    I have a love/fear relationship with spiders. I had a book when I was a little girl called Be Nice to Spiders, and so I’ve always appreciated them in theory, but I tend to jump & shriek if I find one actually -on- me. And I’m not the shrieking sort! Still, I never kill them; I just Very Carefully help them outside if they’re too large & scary looking. And if they’re tiny and take up residence on my table lamp, which has been known to happen, I’ll find little bugs and feed the spider. (eyes self warily)

  8. Blorgie Says:

    Feeding a table lamp spider sounds a very Thoreauian pastime. I like the little flower spiders that sometimes ride in on parsley or chives -have you noticed they can run sideways like crabs? Be Nice to Spiders sounds the kind of book I would like too – I was brought up on Charlotte’s Web and still say”some pig” at appropriate moments.

  9. мне кажется: прелестно…

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