Alton Brown's panko-crusted tuna croquettes are made with simple, fresh ingredients and canned tuna, which you probably have sitting in your pantry. They make a great light meal and are regular items on our menu rotation.
Back in the days that were a constant whirlwind of breastfeeding babies, I used to put on Food Network or HGTV as a backdrop to all that nursing (and the attendant mom-as-bed, don't-you-dare-put-me-down scenario). There was a fair amount of Good Eats marathoning going on back then, and here we're talking the original episodes, of course. Alton Brown is a food nerd's food nerd, and yes, I've seen his live show (it's called "Eat Your Science") and have the apron to prove it. Basically as soon as I make an Alton Brown recipe, it becomes an instant member of the recipe repertoire around here. As with these deceptively simple, freshly flavored, classic-plus tuna croquettes.
Just the word croquette conjures up a world I'm not a part of, of lady's auxiliaries and tennis back when my people were rebuilding from, you know, the ravages of history. I'd never have thought to make them if they weren't Alton Brown's tuna croquettes. And yet, these—nothing other than croquettish, squat, breaded, and American—have been gifted to my family kitchen like a G.I.'s candy bar.
Ingredients for tuna croquettes
For these croquettes, you'll need:
- One large or two smaller cans of tuna, any kind you like, drained and flaked
- 2 eggs
- Panko bread crumbs (some go inside the croquettes, some get used for breading)
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper and that's it!
Making the croquettes
In order to get the croquettes nice and crisped on the outside, there is one small step: resting the patties for 15 minutes before breading and pan-frying them.
You'll mix all the ingredients together, except for the breading, and form the mixture into patties. Then, leave them aside for the 15 minutes before proceeding.
After resting, you sort of smoosh them to compact them lightly, then roll the moist patties directly in panko. To pan-fry, use enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of your skillet (cast iron is great here, if you have one). Just a few minutes on both sides until they're all crisped up.
And if you're looking for more recipe to make with canned tuna (or canned salmon), we also love these Indian-Spiced Fish Patties.
Alton Brown's Tuna Croquettes
- 1 7 oz cans tuna, drained well and shredded - 200 g
- 2 scallions - finely chopped
- 2 eggs - beaten
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ + ½ cup panko bread crumbs - ¾ cup, divided
- Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ¼ cup of the panko bread crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Divide the mixture into 8 patties. Set on a small lined pan or plate. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
- Place the remaining bread crumbs into a small bowl. One at a time, coat each round in the panko.
- Heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the croquettes and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.