Add More Crunch with Panko Breadcrumbs

Want to add more crunchiness to your meals? Add panko to your casseroles, stir it into crab cakes, use it to coat homemade chicken nuggets, or sprinkle it onto vegetables for a delectable crisp finish.

What are panko breadcrumbs?

Panko is a type of breadcrumb that originates from Japan. The word “pan” means bread in Japanese, while “ko” means “made from”.

Panko is made from specially prepared bread. Intriguingly, panko is made from bread that is baked with an electrical current (this method was first developed during World War II). The resulting bread is crust free and is ground into crumbs that are larger than standard bread crumbs. 

Image Credit: By Parkerman & Christie (CC BY 2.0)

Panko breadcrumbs offer more advantages over standard breadcrumbs. They not only absorb less oil, but they also stay crisp longer, ensuring that whatever they coat stays crunchy. As a result, panko has attracted a lot of attention outside of Japan by people looking to make deliciously crunchy coatings for deep-fried foods. 

The flavor of panko breadcrumbs

Panko offers a light and airy texture, capable of making foods crisp and crunchy when fried. Although panko doesn’t have a flavor of its own, spicy-savory seasonings can enhance their taste when used in cooking, baking, and frying.

Uses of panko breadcrumbs

Panko breadcrumbs are popular in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Tonkatsu, for instance, is a traditional Japanese meal consisting of a deep-fried pork cutlet. Panko is used to coat the pork fillet before frying, giving an irresistible crunch to the recipe. Tonkatsu is served alongside the sweet-tangy tonkatsu sauce, white rice, and shredded cabbage. 

Panko breadcrumbs are specially used in Japanese cuisine as a breading for fried seafood particularly oysters and shrimp. Panko chicken is a traditional Japanese recipe that’s equally popular outside of Japan as well. Today, we can find different variations of breaded, deep-fried chicken with cheese, honey, spices, mayonnaise, and other ingredients.

Panko casseroles, panko mac and cheese, cauliflower gratin, and parmesan panko fried chicken are some of the modern panko recipes we simply can’t resist.

Where to find panko breadcrumbs?

Panko breadcrumbs can be easily found in your local grocery store, Asian food stores, specialty stores, and online. You can also prepare your homemade panko breadcrumbs by simply removing the crust from standard white bread, toasting it in the oven, and grinding it into even-sized crumbs. 

Feature Image: Safa.daneshvar – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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