(the ultimate snack?)

In our previous apartment, we used to host traditional Christmas dinners for our friends. Well, maybe not that traditional as a lot of our friends were (and are) vegetarians, which meant we’d do twice the stuff. My favorites from the meat side of things but also vegetarian alternatives. That meant almond balls and vegetarian Jansson’s, but also a lot of other things not intended to mimic meat “originals”. Tofu, fried cheese, pickled mushrooms and: croquettes. I’d do them with fried mushrooms or chili and som herbs (I should say that they aren’t especially Christmassy or anything, which is important as you really should have more often than just Christmas).

So croquettes can be many things. Commonly, they’re mashed potato rolled in bread crumbs and fried, maybe with something mixed in with the mash. I find these to be… not very interesting.

Others are based on béchamel sauce mixed with chicken or lobster or something else wonderful. To me, regardless of what you mix in, these croquettes are all about the béchamel. I looooove béchamel. A couple of years back my brother Olov taught me a new trick, which he got from Mathias Dahlgren (Olov talks about it in Swedish here). Fry chopped yellow onion in butter as a base for the sauce. Sounds… insignificant, yes? But no, I find it to be a great improvement. In addition, I use bay leaves and cloves to spice the sauce, which I also thought I got from Olov (and in turn from Mathias, btw, here’s a croquette recipe by him) but I’m not sure about that (Mathias does use it in another of his croquette recipes so it is probably from him, and he is a god damn genius so… it makes sense).

I probably got the whole concept of making croquettes from Olov actually, so yeah… credit to him. But I’m writing it up which is… real hard work (I should say he also wrote it up, in Swedish, here).

So, back to it. The base of these croquettes is a thick, tasty béchamel. As mentioned: to this, you can add just about anything. Some chili, seafood, mushrooms, chicken, whatever! It’s all going to be great. These particular ones are made with smoked salmon and confit yellow onion. They’re pretty great but as I said: put anything in a great béchamel and deep fry it and it’s gonna be good.

Created with Sketch. 1.5 hours of cooking, a couple of hours of waiting for the sauce to cool down Created with Sketch. 80-100 croquettes


  • 700 gmilk
  • 100 gflour (ca 2 dl)
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 200 gsmoked salmon
  • 150 gParmigiano Reggiano (or, other cheese if you prefer)
  • 50 gbutter
  • 100 gpanko (asian bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 loil for frying, e.g rapeseed
  • Additional flour for the breading
  • Salt, pepper, bay leaves and clove


  1. Begin with the onion confit. Put a pot with 4-5 centimeters (ca 1.6 inches) of oil on the stove, on medium heat. Slice two of the onions into quarter onion rings. When the oil has heated up a bit (couple of minutes), add the onion and turn the heat down. The onion should simmer gently in the oil for an hour or so.
  2. Put the butter in a pot on medium/high heat. Finely chop one of the onions. When the butter starts to sizzle, add the onion chop and turn the heat down to medium/low.
  3. While the onion is frying put the 100 grams of flour in a big bowl. Add about 3oo grams (3 dl) of the milk while whisking. Continue whisking until it’s a smooth batter (add more milk if it’s too thick to whisk but don’t add all the milk at once, you’ll never get rid of the flour lumps), then add the rest of the milk while continuing the whisking.
  4. Add som salt, white pepper, 2-3 bay leaves and 3-4 cloves to the mix.
  5. Grate the cheese.
  6. When the onion has softened, add the flour-milk-mix to the pot. Turn the heat up and stir the bottom of the pan continuously with a flat wooden spoon.
  7. When the mix starts to thicken (it will become quite thick, quite quickly), lower the heat and add the cheese. Continue stirring on low heat for a minute or two.
  8. When the cheese has melted in the sauce, take the pot of the stove.
  9. Put the onion confit in a sieve.
  10. Taste and add salt and pepper to the béchamel as to your liking. Chop or rip the smoked salmon into small pieces. Mix the salmon bits and the onion confit in with the béchamel.
  11. Spread the salmon-onion confit-béchamel-mix in an oven tray. Let it cool down for 10 minutes, then cover it with plastic film and put it in the fridge to cool down further. It needs at least a couple of hours in the fridge to become cold enough to allow us to make firm (enough) balls from it.
  12. When the mixture is cold and firm, prepare three bowls. One with flour, one with the two eggs lightly whisked with some water (10% of the volume) mixed in, and one with panko.
  13. Make balls (ca 3-4 cm, 1.25 inches, in diameter) from the batter and cover them with flour. They will be both sticky and a bit unstable so this step requires careful handling (the colder the béchamel, the easier this becomes). Proceed to dip them in the egg whisk and then roll/cover them in panko.

  14. Deep fry the balls in rapeseed oil for 1.5 – 2 minutes at 180C (356F), and you’re done! Let the croquettes rest for a couple of minutes before eating. Garnish with som fresh herbs and a maybe splash of lemon (not to much though, as too much moist takes away the crisp).

If you want, you can freeze the croquettes when they’ve been “floured”.

Then, it’s real easy to take them out of the freezer, dip them in egg-water-mix and cover them with panko. It’s nice to have a bit of a buffer in the freezer and it’s a great starter in under 10 minutes. As they’re frozen, they’re real easy to handle, but does tend to become a bit flat in the bottom. You might also need to adjust the frying time to avoid a frozen béchamel core. However, I fried these ones (pre frozen) for two minutes and they came out great.