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5 from 2 votes
Hero shot of Pumpkin Croquettes piled on a plate.
Pumpkin Croquette
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins

Tiny ball-shaped Pumpkin Croquettes are crispy, sweet and savoury. This is a perfect dish for a people gathering occasion to pass around. But pork mince mixed in the mashed pumpkin makes this Pumpkin Croquette perfect for a main dish as well as a bento box.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Appetiser, Main, Sides, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese croquettes, kabocha, pumpkin
Serves: 16 balls
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 400g / 0.9lb pumpkin peeled and deseeded, cut into 2cm / ¾” cubes (note 1)
  • 60g / 2.1oz onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 120g / 4.2oz pork mince/ground pork (or 50/50 pork and beef)
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil to deep fry
  • Few sprigs of parsley
  1. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté onion until the onion pieces become transparent.

  2. Add pork and cook for about 2 minutes until the pork changes the colour and is cooked through. Add salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Mix, then turn the heat off.

  3. Spread the pumpkin pieces on a large plate without overlapping, loosely cover with cling wrap and cook in microwave for 5 minutes at 600W (note 2). If a bamboo skewer can get through a pumpkin pice, it is done.

  4. Mash the pumpkin and transfer to the frying pan. Mix the pumpkin and the mince well. Add nutmeg and cinnamon and mix. Let it cool.

  5. Take a small amount of pumpkin mixture and make a ball of about 4cm / 1½" in diameter. It should make 16 balls (note 3). Wet your hands if the mixture is too sticky.

  6. Coat pumpkin balls in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs.
  7. Heat oil to 170°C / 338°F. Gently drop the pumpkin balls into the oil and fry for a couple of minutes until golden brown (note 4). Transfer to a tray lined with kitchen papers.

  8. Pile the croquettes on a serving plate, place sprigs of parsley to decorate. Serve while hot.
Recipe Notes

1. I used J.A.P (Kent) pumpkin, but you can use a different varieties of pumpkin such as butternut pumpkin and blue pumpkin.

2. If you cannot fit all the pumpkin pieces on a plate, you can either cook in two batches with a shorter cooking time for each batch or cook at once overlapping and turn over the pumpkins halfway.

3. To evenly divide the mixture into 16, you can spread the pumpkin mixture in the frying pan evenly, then draw diameter lines like cutting a pizza, making 16 thin pies.

16 is not a magic number so if you end up with more or less than 16 balls, that's OK too.

4. You will achieve the best results when you deep-fry with an adequate amount of oil that is deeper than the thickness of the ingredient to fry. Also, the oil should not be over-crowded with the ingredients.

But you can shallow-fry the balls if you prefer. Heat 2cm-deep oil in a frypan to 180°C / 356°F. Fry the pumpkin balls for 2-3 minutes by turning them over occasionally.

5. You can make crumbed pumpkin balls ahead of time and fry them just before serving. You can also freeze the crumbed croquettes. Before frying, freeze the crumbed croquettes, ensuring that they are not touching each other. Deep-fry frozen or only slightly thaw in microwave and fry.

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

serving: 53g calories: 111kcal fat: 7.6g (12%) saturated fat: 1.4g (7%) trans fat: 0.1g polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g monounsaturated fat: 4.5g cholesterol: 18mg (6%) sodium: 89mg (4%) potassium: 132mg (4%) carbohydrates: 8g (3%) dietary fibre: 0.6g (2%) sugar: 1.3g protein: 3g vitamin a: 43% vitamin c: 4.3% calcium: 1.7% iron: 4%