Monday, November 3, 2008

Panko Breadcrumbs

If you're a fan of Top Chef or Iron Chef, you've already heard about Panko Breadcrumbs. I was curious, are they really that different from regular breadcrumbs? I think it was Alton Brown who mentioned the irony that Japan, a nation not known for bread, should make the best breadcrumbs. Apparently Panko means child of bread in Japanese.

I've been trying to make a fried chicken substitute by breading chicken and baking it and I have to say that Panko breadcrumbs do seem to hold a crunch better. They have a light and airy feel when handled. It almost seems like they don't absorb as much liquid as regular breadcrumbs, which can become soggy. They've mixed well with various spices and Parmesan cheese. I have to admit, they've become a staple in my kitchen.

Several different companies make or distribute Panko. I haven't developed a brand preference yet. But do read the label. They don't require preservatives, colors or artificial anything. I passed on some the other day that contained soybean -- I can't imagine why soybean would be necessary in Panko. They come in regular, whole wheat and even Italian versions. They should make for a super crunchy casserole topping. Please post and let us know how you're using Panko breadcrumbs.

Five cupcakes for crunch!


Lorna Barrett said...

I'd never heard of Panko breakcrumbs until I read this blog yesterday. (I lead a sheltered life.) I do the shopping for my elderly parents, and what was on the list? You got it! Panko Breadcrumbs. They watch the Food Channel and are always trying new things. Meanwhile, I have three different packages of seasoned store-brand breadcrumbs in my cupboard.

I need to get a life, no?

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