Tuna Croquettas with Smoked Paprika Aioli

May 21, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves Makes 12+/-
Author Notes

Last summer I co-hosted a co-ed wedding shower. I did all the food and I wanted to serve croquettas to go with the Spanish themed menu. Since I was making everything else I hoped and and assumed I could buy them frozen somewhere. After spending several days driving around metro Atlanta I found that I could not purchase them. I found them on line, but they were cost prohibitive. They had to be pescatarian friendly to meet the guests of honor dietary restrictions. I did not like the vegetarian recipes I found and was not in the mood to mess around with salt cod; I was wary of using mushrooms and their water logged selves on my first trip out so I decided to use a standard recipe for jamon croquettas I had found on both the Washington Post website and at and I would substitute the meat for canned tuna. They were a hit at the party and our kids love them too. - Summer of Eggplant —Summer of Eggplant

Test Kitchen Notes

What I like about this recipe is that you can make it almost entirely from your pantry. And fortunately, mine is always stocked with top-quality Spanish tuna, anchovies and pimento ahumado. And, I've got really good free range eggs to work with too. There were a few steps that left me puzzled, especially at the frying station, but not wanting to depart from the master recipe, I froze the croquettas for two hours as specified (although holding them in the refrigerator would be fine) and all was well. I applaud Summer of Eggplant for including the attribution note. - pierino

What You'll Need
  • Tuna Croquettas
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 of an onion chopped finely
  • 5 ounces can tuna in oil (drained)
  • 2 anchovies in oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika
  • pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • vegetable oil
  • Smoked Paprika Aioli
  • 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons canned chopped fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced, about 1/2 teaspoon
  1. Tuna Croquettas
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil, until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Halfway through cooking the onions add the anchovies and let them dissolve by mashing them, making a paste and evenly distributing them throughout the onions.
  4. Add the flour 1 tablespoon at a time by whisking it in, making sure the prior tablespoon of flour is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Next add the milk by whisking it in. Heating the milk so it is at room temperature will make it less likely to crack the roux, I microwaved mine for 20 seconds. Like the flour, I add this in 3-4 steps, making sure the prior dose is incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Remove from heat and add in the tuna, paprika, parsley and pepper.
  7. Place in the fridge to cool for 2-3 hours.
  8. Once chilled, make an egg wash with the egg whites and water, whisk with a fork until combined. Using about a two teaspoon sized piece of dough roll into oblong dumplings, roll in bread crumbs, then egg wash, bread crumbs again, place on a plate covered with wax or parchment paper. For the sake of uniformity and presentation I used an actual teaspoon (which held 2 a teaspoon measurement) for scooping the dough, then I boxed it by pressing on the sides and top and forming them to the width of my palm.
  9. When all are assembled place in freezer on plate with wax paper about another 2 hours, at this point they can be fried or stored in a freezer bag for another time.
  10. Heat vegetable oil in a pan about 1/2 an inch deep to about 300 degrees. Fry croquettas turning once, about 3 minutes total, drain on paper towels.
  1. Smoked Paprika Aioli
  2. To make the sauce, add the egg yolks and tomatoes to a blender with a tablespoon of the oil, start on low, stream in the oil and spices, increase speed to medium, then add the lemon juice. Blend for about a minute or two until it becomes a mayonnaise. I don't like being accosted by raw garlic. I usually roast mine in the oven with a little olive oil so it softens the garlic and the flavor and then use I it in any recipe calling for raw garlic.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Summer of Eggplant
    Summer of Eggplant
  • fiveandspice
  • Sagegreen

6 Reviews

Summer O. December 12, 2011
Thanks 5&S. I haven't made these in about a year I think they need a re-visit. The children demolish these things.
fiveandspice December 6, 2011
Oh my gosh, these look delicious. I think I would be following the platter of these all around the party...
Summer O. July 7, 2011
Thanks LC! I meant to follow up with pierno after his review, I had to freeze them for them to keep their shape. However one time I did not thaw them enough and I tossed them into the deep fryer and got crispy tuna pops. So some thawing is needed, especially at a high heat.
Summer O. May 28, 2011
Thank you!
Summer O. May 22, 2011
Step 4 should read: Next add the milk by whisking it in. Heating the milk so it is at room temperature will make it less likely to crack the roux, I microwaved mine for 20 seconds. Like the flour, I add this in 3-4 steps, making sure the prior dose is incorporated before adding the next

Sorry about that - cutting and pasting way too fast.
Sagegreen May 21, 2011
I like your use of the smoked paprika and roasted tomatoes; that sounds like a great match.