The Benefits of Using Panko Breadcrumbs in Your Cooking

A number of foods might benefit from the texture and flavor that breadcrumbs can add. Nevertheless, are you familiar with panko? Japanese breadcrumbs known as panko have grown in popularity recently, especially in Western cuisine.

Japanese bread crumbs Panko in a bowl on the table

The definition of panko, its production process, and cooking applications will all be covered in greater detail in this article.

What is Panko?

Japanese bakers invented the breadcrumb known as panko. Panko is formed from processed bread that has been processed into flakes, as opposed to typical breadcrumbs, which are prepared from dry, ground-up bread.

Flakey Breaded Panko Crumbs for Cooking

To give the flakes a light, airy feel, they are next dried and dusted with a mixture of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Finally, they are baked.

The Japanese word “panko” is a combination of the words “pan,” which means bread, and “ko,” which denotes flour or powder.

The texture of panko distinguishes it from other varieties of breadcrumbs. Because it is lighter and more airy than typical breadcrumbs, it lends fried meals a crispy feel without adding weight.

How is Panko Made?

Making panko is a rather easy process. Bread is first baked and given time to cool.

Heap of Bread Crumbs in White Bowl

The soft interior is then sliced into thin pieces once the crust has been removed.

The remaining moisture is subsequently evaporated from these slices in a specialized oven that circulates hot air.

The bread is crushed into flakes using a device that resembles a wood chipper after it has dried entirely.

To make the finished product, the flakes are then dusted with a mixture of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.

Panko and conventional breadcrumbs differ significantly in that panko is formed from bread without the crust while traditional breadcrumbs frequently have the crust.

This helps to give panko its delicate, airy feel.

How to Use Panko in Cooking

To add crunch and texture to a number of foods, panko can be used. One of panko’s most popular use is as a coating for fried dishes like chicken or fish.

Panko Japanese crispy breadcrumbs in a white plate

Panko produces a crispier, lighter coating that doesn’t sog when it is cooked because it is lighter than regular breadcrumbs.

Furthermore, casseroles, mac and cheese, and other baked meals can be topped with panko. It can be used with herbs and butter to provide a tasty topping that gives the food texture and crunch.

Panko is also frequently used in meatloaf and meatballs. In order to give the completed dish a light, airy texture, panko can be combined with ground meat, eggs, and seasonings.

It’s vital to remember that panko doesn’t absorb moisture as effectively as conventional breadcrumbs when using it in your cuisine.

To get the desired texture in your dish, you might need to use a little bit more panko than you would regular breadcrumbs.

Panko vs. Traditional Breadcrumbs

Traditional breadcrumbs and panko both serve as a covering for fried dishes, but there are some significant distinctions between the two.

Homemade Spiced Panko Bread Crumbs in a Bowl

The texture is one of the most noticeable distinctions. In contrast to the weighty texture of regular breadcrumbs, panko has a lighter, airier texture that produces a crispy coating.

The two varieties of breadcrumbs are manufactured differently, which is another difference. The crusts of dried, ground-up bread are used to make traditional breadcrumbs.

Panko, on the other hand, has a light texture because it is created from bread without a crust.

And lastly, panko is typically more expensive than regular breadcrumbs. This is because to the longer and more complicated panko-making process, which also calls for specialist machinery.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Homemade Spiced Panko Bread Crumbs

What is the difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs?

The main difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs is the texture. Panko has a lighter, airier texture that creates a crispy coating without the heaviness of traditional breadcrumbs. Additionally, panko is made using bread without crust, while traditional breadcrumbs typically include the crust

Can I use panko as a substitute for traditional breadcrumbs?

Yes, panko can be used as a substitute for traditional breadcrumbs in many recipes. However, because panko doesn’t absorb moisture as well as traditional breadcrumbs, you may need to use slightly more panko than you would traditional breadcrumbs to achieve the desired texture in your dish.

Can I make my own panko at home?

Yes, it’s possible to make your own panko at home. To make homemade panko, start by baking bread and allowing it to cool. Then remove the crust and slice the soft interior into thin pieces. Dry the slices in a warm oven or dehydrator until completely dry, then process them into flakes using a food processor or blender.

Is panko gluten-free?

Most panko breadcrumbs are not gluten-free, as they are made using wheat flour. However, there are some brands of gluten-free panko available on the market that are made using alternative flours, such as rice flour or corn flour.

How long does panko last?

Panko breadcrumbs can last for several months if stored properly in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package, and discard any panko that has passed its expiration date or has developed an off odor or flavor.

Can I use panko for non-fried dishes?

Yes, panko can be used as a topping for baked dishes, such as casseroles, mac and cheese, and other dishes. It can be mixed with butter and herbs to create a flavorful topping that adds texture and crunch to the dish.

Japanese bread crumbs Panko


A number of foods might benefit from the crunch and texture that panko can give. Because to its light, airy texture, it is a preferred ingredient for baked goods, meatballs, and even meatloaf.

Panko gives a distinctive texture and flavor that can take your recipes to the next level, even if it is more expensive than typical breadcrumbs and might take a little longer to obtain the desired texture.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.