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Hero shot of zoomed-in Creamy Shrimp Croquettes.
Creamy Shrimp Croquettes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Chill béchamel mixture in fridge
2 hrs
Total Time
25 mins

Béchamel based Creamy Shrimp Croquettes are as popular as Korokke (Japanese Potato and Ground Meat Croquettes) in Japan. They might look a bit fiddly but actually it does not take long to make them.  Great to make ahead and freeze.

Unlike potato-based croquettes, you can enjoy the rich creamy flavour without pouring a sauce over the top. 

Total Time does not include the time to chill the béchamel mixture.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese croquettes, prawn croquettes, seafood croquettes, shrimp croquettes
Serves: 6 pieces (2 servings)
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
Creamy Shrimp Mixture
  • 150g/5.3oz fresh medium size prawns/shrimps in shell (note 1)
  • 50g/1.8oz onion roughly chopped
  • 300ml/10.1oz milk
  • A couple of shakes of nutmeg powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • Pepper
  • 30g/1.1oz butter
  • 40g/1.4oz flour
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Neutral oil (vegetable, canola) for deep frying
  • Shredded cabbage
  • 2 sprigs parsley
Making Creamy Shrimp Mixture
  1. Add the Creamy Shrimp Mixture ingredients, except butter and flour, to a saucepan and heat over medium high heat.

  2. When the outside of the milk starts bubbling, shake the pan occasionally so that the milk does not burn along the side of the pan.
  3. When the milk starts simmering gently, turn the heat down to low and simmer for a minute or until the prawns become red and curled up.

  4. Remove from the heat and leave for another minute. Put the milk through a sieve and reserve for béchamel sauce.
  5. Let the prawns cool down a bit, then remove heads and peel the shells. Chop each prawn into 3-4 small pieces.

  6. Melt butter in a frying pan over low heat.
  7. Add flour and mix well. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly ensuring the roux does not change colour.

  8. Add 1/3 of the reserved milk and mix well to incorporate until lump free (note 2).

  9. Add the remaining milk to the roux in two batches and mix well in the same way.
  10. Add prawn pieces and mix to spread prawns evenly.
  11. Transfer the mixture to a tray and shape it into a square or a rectangle of about 2.5cm/1” thickness.

  12. Cover the surface of the mixture with cling wrap to prevent it from drying up. Let it cool down, then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (note 3).

Making Croquettes
  1. Divide the shrimp mixture into 6 equal portions.
  2. Oil your hands and shape each portion into a fat log shape.
  3. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs individually in shallow plates or bowls.

  4. Coat each piece with flour, egg, then breadcrumbs. Ensure that the surface of the croquette is well covered with the coatings otherwise the soft cream will ooze out from the gap while frying.

  5. Heat oil in a deep fry pan to 175-180C/350F. Gently drop a few pieces in (note 4) and fry for a couple of minutes until the breadcrumbs become golden brown.

  6. Transfer the croquette to a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil, or a tray with a rack.

  7. Serve immediately with shredded cabbage and a stem of parsley leaves.

Recipe Notes

1. If you only have peeled prawns, you will need 80g. The prawn flavour in the milk will not be as intense.

2. If required, use a whisk to remove lumps.

3. You could chill it in the freezer too. As long as the béchamel mixture becomes cold and firm it will be OK to shape croquettes.

4. I used a small sauce pan to deep fry three croquettes at a time. After dropping one croquette in the oil, I placed another croquette on top of the one in the oil so that the croquette gently rolled into the oil.

5. You can freeze Creamy Shrimp Croquettes either before deep frying or after deep frying. Frozen croquettes keep about a month.

FREEZE BEFORE FRYING: Wrap each crumbed croquette in cling wrap and place them on a flat tray without overlapping. Once frozen, you can pile them up in a bag or a container to store.

To cook, defrost in a microwave for 1 minute (per croquette), then deep fry at 175-180C/350F until golden brown. Do not overcrowd the oil with too many croquettes.

FREEZE AFTER FRYING: Wrap each croquette in cling wrap and place them on a flat tray without overlapping. Alternatively, place croquettes without touching each other in a container with a lid and freeze. Once frozen, you can pile them up in a bag or a container to store.

To reheat, microwave for a minute (per croquette) to defrost, then place them on a tray lined with scrunched aluminium foil. Bake at 175-180C/350F for 15 minutes.

6. Nutrition per croquette, assuming that the amount of oil absorbed into a croquette is 10% of the weight of the croquette.

serving: 139g calories: 378kcal fat: 18g (28%) saturated fat: 3.3g (16%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 4.4g monounsaturated fat: 9.3g cholesterol: 40mg (13%) sodium: 284mg (12%) potassium: 203mg (6%) carbohydrates: 44g (15%) dietary fibre: 2.1g (8%) sugar: 1.9g protein: 9.6g vitamin a: 4.2% vitamin c: 1.9% calcium: 8.8 % iron: 15 %