Panko is a Japanese style of breadcrumbs that are typically used as a coating for deep-fried foods such as pork tonkatsu, ebi fry, and baked chicken katsu. Though they share a lot of similarities with regular breadcrumbs, they also have some unique qualities that set them apart from the rest. If you want to know what those differences are, and how to incorporate Japanese panko in your meals, keep reading on!
What Are Panko Breadcrumbs?
As mentioned, panko are Japanese breadcrumbs that are made from a crustless loaf of white bread that’s been baked with an electrical current. The loaf is then ground into fine slivers and dried into smaller pieces. This preparation gives panko more of a crunch than traditional bread crumbs, and because the preparation style is very particular, it’s extremely hard to make authentic panko at home.
Panko gets its name from the Japanese words pan (or bread) and ko (flour). On its own, panko doesn’t have much flavor, but it provides a little and airy fried texture to all sorts of dishes, from meatloaf, to crab cakes, to meatballs, and even stuffing.
Along with the crustless white bread, often contain ingredients such as wheat flour, yeast, oil, and salt.
What’s The Difference Between Panko and Breadcrumbs?
Though they serve the same purpose in meals and dishes, panko and regular breadcrumbs definitely have their differences that make them not-so-interchangeable. For starters, panko is made specifically from crustless white bread, whereas breadcrumbs can be made with any kind of bread. Not only that, but, when baked, the crustless white bread results in a flake rather than
a crumb to give it a singular texture that resists the absorption of oil, therefore creating a lighter coating than breadcrumbs.
How To Make Panko Breadcrumbs
It might be difficult to make panko from scratch, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try. If you want to make panko breadcrumbs at home, here’s what you’ll need to do.
First, remove the crusts from half a loaf of white bread, and throw the bread into a food processor. Use the grater disc on the processor to grate the bread. Then, spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a heat-proof utensil, rearrange the crumbs on the baking sheet every two minutes for ten minutes. If your crumbs begin to brown, take them out ASAP. You want your panko to be crispy, but not burned.
After you’ve removed your panko from the oven, let the breadcrumbs cool completely before using or storing them away. Though this recipe doesn’t give your crumbs the true flakey texture that makes panko unique, it’s a close alternative to the Japanese preparation style.
How To Store Panko Breadcrumbs
Homemade or store bought, you’ll need to store your panko in a closed container in a cool, dark, dry place, like the pantry. If stored properly, Japanese panko breadcrumbs can last up to two years.
Where To Buy Panko Breadcrumbs
Don’t have the time to make panko from scratch? Like all good Asian ingredients, you can stock up on your Japanese panko supply at Bokksu Market! With the J-Basket Panko Breadcrumbs, you’ll get that crispy texture that panko is known for, as well as an extra hint of flavor, thanks to their light dusting of salt seasoning.