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Seafood Croquette -- Bechamel or no?

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I've never made croquettes from a recipe but I've seen many that traditionally call for a 'thick white sauce" and was wondering if anyone makes it this way, and if so what are the benefits?

Also, when making croquettes do you make them with cooked protein before frying/baking or raw proteins that cook as they bake/fry? If it's a seafood croquette I'll generally leave the seafood raw.

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  1. The Bechamel when cold acts as the binder to hold the ingredients together for breading and when heated become the sauce. The filling is usually cooked, leftovers are often used.

    5 Replies
    1. re: chefj

      I understand the purpose of the bechamel, i was wondering if there is a textural, flavour, etc...advantage to that as opposed to some other binder since there are many different versions of recipes.

      1. re: jamesm

        The advantage of bechamel is its superior creaminess and general richness over other binders, typically potato.

        1. re: JungMann

          Exactly, Other binders do not become a sauce when heated, so the difference is that you have a sauce and seafood filled croquette after they are cooked rather than a solid mass of protein or starch.

          1. re: chefj

            Bechamel is essential for croquettes--makes them creamy. You can make other sorts of deep-fried treats with other binders, but I would call those "cakes" (e.g., fish cakes, crab cakes) or fritters. Also tasty, but not a croquette.

            1. re: zamorski

              Many croquettes are mad with other binders.There are croquettes in many cuisines and most are based on a starch(mash potatoes and the like) as their base. So I can't agree that bechamel is "essential". It seems to refer (in french cooking) to crispness (croquant) and is generally defined by it's cylindrical shape and being breaded and fried.