Zony’s Croquettas (Tuna Croquettes)
Zon worked for my best friends’ family for over 30 years as their nanny/cook/auntie. I’ve known her since I was 13 and have eaten too many of her meals to count. Almost every photo I have of Zon is of her cooking. If she’s not cooking, she always has a huge smile and food is in the frame. The last time I saw her was in 2008 the day I left for Chicago; she’s since retired and moved back to her native Philippines. Boohoo!
I first learned about Zon when my friend brought croquettas to school. Most of us had bagels, pb&j or mac n cheese…these fried balls stuffed with tuna and potato were something new but familiar…and delicious! Love at first bite.
I’ve been inviting myself over to their house for Zon-cooked meals ever since. The other day, I was missing Zon’s cooking so I got her “recipe” which like any Asian adult of her age, isn’t really a recipe at all but a list of vague instructions and suggestions.
Keeping in mind that her recipes are scaled to a family with 5 kids, I made these for Joel’s birthday party. My first ever batch probably had a bit too much potato but it still tasted good with a dollop of wasabi mayo eaten plain or with rice. My croquettas were not as perfectly round as Zon’s. I’m guessing that’s because I didn’t use enough oil to deep fry. Still tasted good though!
We had plenty left over for snacks and meals the next few days. You can easily scale this in half for a more manageable portion. THANK YOU, ZON!!
- 4-5 cans tuna + the liquid (separated)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 sm/med onion, chopped or minced
- 2-3 sm/med tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 sm potatoes (boiled, peeled, and mashed)
- 3 eggs (yolks & whites separated)
- bread crumbs (panko or regular)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Saute garlic, onions, and tomatoes until onions are soft. Add the tuna.
- Season with soy sauce and salt & pepper. Add lemon juice and tuna water. Mix well.
- Simmer until mixture is dry. Cool mixture.
- Mix in the 3 egg yolks and potatoes. Form tuna mixture into balls. Dip into lightly beaten eggwhites. Roll in bread crumbs. Deep fry.
- Enjoy with a dollop of mayonnaise over rice or eat it plain!