When I was living in Tokyo, I had to take several different trains every day to get to school. The trip took about an hour and a half each way because the school was so far outside of Tokyo. As a growing teenager, I always got hungry at some point during the trip, and one of the things that I ate was a fried mashed potato patty that was sold by butcher shops in the city. They were a japanized version of the french croquette, and were thus called "krokke" (properly pronounced "kah-row-kee"). They were awesome. Mostly available during the colder months, they were crisp on the outside, savory on the inside, and served with katsu sauce.
I don't know what reminded me of them recently, but I had to make some cause technically they are fried potatoes and thus french fries. I found a recipe online, but I quickly realized that these things are like hamburgers. There are a ton of recipes, so approximating the ones I used to get in Japan was gonna be like stabbing in the dark. Oh well, as Einstein said, "trial and error is the key when frying things".
You need panko crumbs. Get real ones from the Asian market.
And while you're at the Asian market get some katsu sauce too.
Cut, boil, and mash some potatoes with garlic, butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Then stick the pot in the fridge to cool for a while.
Set up your standard frying assembly line. Flour, beaten egg, and the panko crumbs. Resist the temptation to drink from each bowl (am I the only one that is tempted to do that?)
Form the potatoes into patties (or any shape you want) and dredge them through the flour, egg, and crumbs. The thinner the patties are the better they will cook.
Fry the patties in a pan. This is better than the deep fryer cause you want that dark pan-fried chicken kind of crust on them.
It takes about 2 minutes per side in oil that is about 350 degrees. Watch out for splatter!
You can pour katsu sauce directly on the krokke and eat it with a fork, but that's sissified nonsense! I prefer to eat like a viking with dipping action.