Panko is a flaky breadcrumb commonly used in Japanese cuisine. What sets it apart from standard breadcrumbs is its texture and the type of bread that’s used. Panko is made using white bread baked by electrical current, which yields a bread without a crust. This bread is processed into fine flaky crumbs, which are then dried.
Panko has a delicate, airy texture that helps it to crisp up as it cooks. It also absorbs less oil than regular breadcrumbs, making fried food more crisp and crunchy.
Having become more popular in Western cooking, you can now find panko in most regular supermarkets.
How do I use it?
You can substitute panko in for “normal” breadcrumbs in any recipe, or vice versa. While it won’t make much of a difference in recipes where the crumbs are used as binding and/or bulking-up (e.g. burger or meatloaf recipes), it will form a crispier coating on foods like chicken fillets or homemade fish fingers.