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I was asked- WTF panko?

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A friend has developed a case of the ass about panko. She and her DH sometimes have leftover bread that they make crumbs out of and they don't see why panko is considered so much better, given that the Japanese aren't known for their bread (not gonna go there, I don't know if they are or not though I suspect not). I keep saying "Panko is just better, it just is" and she rejects that and needs to know why. Can anybody tell me/us why? What is it in the process of making panko that makes it better than our bread crumbs?

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  1. I don't know why. I only know that I like the satisfying crunch that panko gives to certain dishes. I can't achieve that with regular bread crumbs. That being said, I like regular bread crumbs, too. I just use them differently.

    1. See these links:

      http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-panko...

      http://www.chow.com/food-news/54616/h...

      To make a rough analogy. It's like the difference between table salt (breadcrumbs) and sea salt (panko).

      1. Panko is coarser than regular bread crumbs, and therefore gives more crunch than regular bread crumbs. It's especially good when frying something that you want to turn out extra-crispy. You can approximate panko at home by running sliced bread through a food processor's shredding disk without using the pusher, then baking the bits in a slow oven until they're dried out.

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