Krokiety (Polish-style Croquettes) with Sauerkraut and Mushrooms

Krokiety z Kapustą i Grzybami

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Krokiety (pron.: ‘crockye-tea’, already plural) are a Polish-style side dish, most popular in a home setting. They’re made with a variety of fillings rolled into thin crêpes, then coated in breadcrumbs and pan-fried until crispy and golden.

When filled with a Sauerkraut and Mushroom filling, Krokiety are a perfect company for a cup of clear Red Borscht. 

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

Polish-style croquettes differ a bit from the ones known in other cuisines.

Internationally, croquettes consist of a selected filling mixed with a binder (such as potato mash or thick béchamel) and shaped into a disc, ball or cylinder. They’re breaded and fried in deep fat.

Polish ‘Krokiety’ are made from rolled crêpes (thin pancakes), filled with stuffing, then breaded and pan-fried. When stuffed with sauerkraut and wild mushroom filling, Krokiety are often served on the Christmas table, accompanying traditional clear Borscht. 

Polish Krokiety Croquettes
Pan-fried Deep-fried
Filling rolled up in crêpesNo crêpes involved
Often breaded, occasionally plainBreaded
Appetiser, side dish or main Snack or side dish 
Served with Barszcz soupServed with dips
Mostly for the festive season and celebrationsServed all year round 
Typical fillings include sauerkraut, mushrooms (wild or regular button mushrooms), ground meat, spinach, twaróg cheese.Typical fillings include finely chopped meat, seafood, cheese, rice, pasta, various vegetables, mushrooms.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make these Polish krokiety?

Yes, shopping for this recipe may require some effort. But fear not, we can find some substitutes.

Sauerkraut: That’s the key ingredient here. It’s definitely worth getting the highest quality kraut you can find. Avoid canned products, as well as those containing vinegar (sauerkraut should be lacto-fermented).

When shopping in Poland, that farmer’s markets and small produce stalls offer the best kraut. It’s worth asking for a sample – that way you can check the quality for yourself.

Internationally, sauerkraut has become a trendy superfood (and for a good reason). You’ll find it at well-stocked delicatessens and farmer’s markets. It’s also very easy to ferment at home.

Mushrooms: For a traditional Christmas filling with wild mushrooms, we’ll need them either dried or frozen (the fresh ones are out of season). The most popular kinds are porcini (also known as ‘king bolete’ or ‘borowik’ in Polish) and bay boletes (Polish ‘podgrzybek’).

Dried bay boletus (wild mushrooms)

Internationally, you may stumble upon dried wild mushrooms online (like this pack on Amazon). But if you can find them anywhere, that’s okay – just get some regular button mushrooms instead. In fairness, their flavour isn’t as intense, but they make a tasty filling nevertheless.

In terms of equipment, you’ll need: 

  • heavy-bottomed cooking pot or a frying pan (wide & deep) WITH a lid
  • regular frying pan, for crêpes and breading

What should you serve with these Krokiety?

On the festive table, Krokiety with Sauerkraut and Wild Mushrooms are served as a side dish for clear red Barszcz soup. But sometimes it’s the other way round: Krokiety are served as a main meal, with a cup of hot Borscht as a side beverage.

Another popular scenario is Krokiety with a creamy mushroom sauce as a side (here’s my favourite recipe by RecipeTinEats). 

Can you make Krokiety another way?

Yes, you can choose another filling – in this recipe you’ll find two options. Other popular Krokiety fillings include:

  • spinach (with or without cheese)
  • button mushrooms and grated cheese
  • meat of your choice, chopped or ground, then fried (optionally with mushrooms or cheese as well)
  • egg salad with mayo and chives
  • mashed potatoes and twaróg cheese
  • sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, chopped

But free to get creative, the options are endless here.

What diets are these Polish-style croquettes suitable for?

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians. 

How long can you keep Krokiety in the fridge?

Once served, don’t keep them out for longer than 3-4 hours.

To store any leftovers, wait for the Krokiety to cool completely, then move them into a container with a lid. Alternatively, just stack them on a plate and tightly wrap with cling film. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

If you’re preparing these Krokiety with an intention to serve them later, simply skip the breading step and store them “plain”. Coat with egg and breadcrumbs and fry them up before serving.

Can I freeze Krokiety?

Yes, there are two ways to freeze any leftovers:

  • wrap each croquette individually in cling film and place them in the freezer, or…
  • spread the croquettes on a greased plastic tray (small enough to fit in your freezer). Make sure they don’t touch and place the tray in the freezer. After 2-3 hours, you can move them into a freezer-friendly zip-bag.

Aim to consume within 3 months.

If you’re making Krokiety with an intention to freeze them, then it’s better to follow the steps I mentioned earlier – skip the breading and freeze them “plain”. Once you’re ready to use them, thaw krokiety overnight and bread them immediately before serving.

How do I reheat these Krokiety?

From chilled:  There’s no need to reheat these croquettes, they can be enjoyed cold. If you prefer them warm, it’s best to reheat them in the oven:

Preheat the oven to 250-300°F (120-150°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread Krokiety on top. 10 minutes is usually enough to warm them throughout.

From frozen: Leave Krokiety out, letting them thaw overnight. Then proceed as above adding an extra 2-3 minutes to the baking time.

Smacznego!

Polish Krokiety (Croquettes) with Sauerkraut & Wild Mushrooms [Krokiety z Kapustą i Grzybami]
Krokiety - Polish style Croquettes

Krokiety (Polish-style Croquettes) with Sauerkraut and Wild Mushrooms

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes

There are two fillings to choose from - pick one!

Ingredients

Crêpes

  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 cup (250 ml) sparkling water
  • 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil, e.g. canola
  • Clarified butter or oil, for frying

Wild Dried Mushroom & Sauerkraut Filling

  • 2 oz (55 g) dried wild mushrooms; the more - the better
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb (450-500 g) sauerkraut
  • 1 large onion (7 oz, 200 g), white or yellow
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • pinch of black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway, ground; optional
  • ½ teaspoon honey; optional
  • 1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped

Fresh Button Mushroom & Sauerkraut Filling

  • 14 oz (400 g) sauerkraut
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
  • 1 large onion (5.5 oz, 160 g)
  • 1.3 oz (21 oz, 600 g) fresh button mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon mild paprika powder
  • Pinch of black ground pepper

Breading

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Clarified butter or oil, for frying

Instructions

For Crêpes

  1. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, salt and pinches of salt and baking soda. Stir to combine.
  2. Add wet ingredients: sparkling water, milk, eggs and melted butter (or oil). Whisk together until smooth and lump-free. You can use a hand-held mixer for this task as well.
  3. Grease a skillet (frying pan) with a drop of cooking oil or clarified butter. I use a silicone brush to spread it evenly on the pan’s surface.
  4. Fry crêpes one at a time on medium heat. The amount of batter will depend on the size of your pan:
    8’’ (20 cm) pan = 3 tablespoons
    10’’(25 cm) = ¼ cup 
    12’’ (30 cm) = ⅓ cup
  5. Add the measured amount of batter into the frying pan. As you add the batter, swirl the pan around. The aim is to make the crêpes as thin as possible.
  6. Fry each crêpe until its surface is set and the edges are starting to brown a little (that only takes around 40-50 seconds). Gently flip it over on the other side for a few seconds.
  7. When the crepes have been cooked, stack them up on a plate lined with a paper towel (a wire rack works well too).

For the Wild Dried Mushroom & Sauerkraut Filling

  1. Cover dried wild mushrooms with water. Leave them to soak for at least an hour, and ideally overnight.
  2. Fish the soaked mushrooms out (but keep the water!). Slice them finely and move them into a saucepan.
  3. Cover the mushrooms with water (the same one we used for soaking). Add a teaspoon of salt and place the saucepan on the stove.
  4. Bring mushrooms to a boil, then reduce the heat to ‘medium’ and cover partially with a lid. Cook until they soften. The exact time will depend on their size - small pieces will cook in 25-30 minutes, larger ones up to an hour.
  5. Once cooked, set aside to cool down a bit. 
  6. Squeeze the juices out of the sauerkraut, then chop it roughly. Set aside.
  7. Peel the onion, chop it finely. Set aside.
  8. Heat up 2 tablespoons of butter in a deep frying pan (or a heavy-bottomed cooking pot). Add chopped onion and fry over medium heat, until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  9. Add in the sauerkraut and a generous amount of black pepper. Optionally, add half a teaspoon of ground caraway and the same amount of honey.  If your sauerkraut wasn’t overly salty (to begin with), you can season it with a pinch of salt as well. Stir together and fry for a few minutes.
  10. Add finely sliced mushrooms and stir them in.  
  11. Reduce the heat to the minimum and partially cover with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. If it starts to stick to the pan, you can add a few drops of water, white wine or stock.
  12. If the consistency is watery by the end of cooking, take the lid off and continue frying. A few minutes should be enough for the excess liquid to evaporate.
  13. Add chopped parsley and stir it in.
  14. Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool completely before stuffing the croquettes.


Fresh Button Mushroom & Sauerkraut Filling

  1. Squeeze the juices out of the sauerkraut. Move it into a saucepan or a small cooking pot.
  2. Pour water in. Add honey or sugar and stir together. 
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to ‘low’ and cook for 25 minutes. After that time, sauerkraut will soften a bit.
  4. When the time is up, drain the excess water. Set aside to cool. 
  5. As you wait, let’s prep the rest of the ingredients. Peel the onion, chop it finely. Rinse the mushrooms thoroughly and chop them finely as well.
  6. Grab a frying pan and melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and fry on a medium-low until it turns translucent.
  7. Add in the mushrooms and continue frying on low heat for 20 minutes.  After that time, the excess water from the mushrooms should evaporate completely.
  8. Once the sauerkraut has cooled, squeeze out any remaining liquids. Then chop it roughly and add into the fried onion & mushroom mix. Add in salt, paprika powder and season with a generous pinch of ground black pepper.
  9. Stir everything together and continue frying for another 10 minutes. 
  10. Have a taste and season a bit more if necessary.
  11. Take the pan off the heat and let it cool. 
  12. Once cooled, the filling is ready to be used.


Assembly:

  1. Put about 2 tablespoons of stuffing in the centre of each crêpe and spread out, leaving the sides free. 
  2. To roll it up, fold in the two opposite sides of the pancake (by about 0.8’’/2 cm inwards). Then, roll the whole crêpe (like you would with a swiss roll), starting with one of the unfolded parts. 
  3. Now, you have two options: breading all Krokiety straight away, or refrigerating them all (for up to 4-5 days) and only breading a few at the time - as many as you would like to eat. That way, they’ll always taste fresh.

Breading:

  1. In a wide bowl (or a soup plate) beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. 
  2. Pour breadcrumbs onto another plate. 
  3. Dip the croquettes in the egg and then roll in breadcrumbs. 
  4. Heat up a generous amount of clarified butter or oil - so that there’s at least a layer 0.1’’(2-3 mm) thick
  5. Fry over medium heat for about 1.5 minutes on each side - be mindful there are 4 sides here. Add more butter if necessary. You can also grab the croquettes with kitchen tongs fry them briefly on the snail-shaped edges.
  6. Serve straight away.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 467mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger changes the (often unfavourable) perceptions of Polish food through digital storytelling. She creates purpose-led, bite-sized videos, exploring her cultural identity through food. As a self-taught home cook, Kasia enjoys trying out recipes from old Polish cookbooks. She’s keen of all things smoked or fermented.


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