Panko bread crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs used to coat or top many different dishes both baked and fried.
Panko boasts an irregular shape and coarser texture compared to regular bread crumbs. Despite appearing similar to fresh white bread crumbs, they are dry. When utilized in frying, panko creates a lighter, crunchier coating that is both tender and delicate. Notably, it tends to absorb less oil, ensuring a longer-lasting crispiness compared to regular breadcrumbs. Additionally, panko serves as an excellent topping for casseroles.
How Panko is made
The distinctive feature of panko, setting it apart from other types of breadcrumbs, lies in its unique production method. Unlike breadcrumbs that can be crafted from various types of bread, panko is exclusively made with flour, sugar, shortening, yeast, and salt. In the manufacturing process, crustless white bread loaves undergo steaming, drying, and transformation into flakes, resulting in a light and airy texture. A fun fact: "Pan" signifies bread, while "ko" translates to crumb in Japanese.
How to use Panko
You can find panko in most supermarkets these days, and you can use panko and regular breadcrumbs interchangeably. For a crisp, pan-fried cutlet or filet with a delightful texture, consider opting for panko instead of traditional breadcrumbs.