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Panko Bread Crumbs a Must?

Do I really need these in my pantry? Sounds like one more thing to get lost behind the tea bags. Maybe someone could enlighten me on their use.

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  1. Panko certainly isn't a Must in your pantry but they are different than your regular home made or store boxed types. Because Panko have a broader surface they create a crisper, lighter crust on the foods they're used on, plus they are virtually tasteless so take a variety of seasonings well and do not absorb oil as readily.. I've used them in meatloaf, meatballs, as toppings for casseroles, etc.

    BTW: Panko simply means breadcrumbs in Japanese...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      There was a distinction at one time because in addition to a flakier crumb the bread itself was lighter and there were no crust bits in panko. But there's no regulated meaning so most manufacturers are calling their breadcrumbs panko.

    2. I love panko, especially on pork or chicken cutlets. As Gio said, it does provide for a crispier product. I think it's a must try, and if you don't like it, no harm no foul...

      1. No.

        A good EVOO is a pantry staple; whereas a good truffle oil is a luxury.

        Same with Panko. If breadcrumbs are a staple, then Panko is a luxury.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          I think Panko is the staple. Packaged regular bread crumbs are icky like stale sawdust, IMO, so I'd always make regular breadcrumbs myself anyway, meaning they don't need to be purchased because I always have bread. Panko is not a home-reproducable product--I think it's freeze dried or something, and not actually made starting with bread. It keeps for ages and makes much better breaded and fried anything.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Panko is SO not truffle oil equivalent. Panko is multipurpose and multiversatile just like a good EVOO, whereas truffle oil is fairly limited with respect to its use.
            I use Panko for any recipe calling for breadcrumbs, including meatloaf, meatball, oven fried chicken recipes and anything that may require thickening with bread (I don't usually have fresh bread on hand) including ricotta fillings and soups. (OH and don't hate, my meatloaf and meatballs come out just fine LOLOL). It is completely versatile, more so than the hydrogenated overseasoned bread crumbs at the grocery store Of course, to avoid using the usual breadcrumbs under the Panko name, simply buy the Panko Japanese box. They aren't significantly more expensive than regular breadcrumbs but I find them well worth the cost.

          2. Yes. They not only fry better they bind better in any stuffing or meatloaf. We threw out the breadcrumbs. I know some brands are pricey but Ian's is not that expensive and worth every penny IMHO.

            1. Panko crumbs are superior, in my experience, so if you keep breadcrumbs on hand, why not keep the best ones? If you never use breadcrumbs of any sort, then obviously you don't need them.

              I usually use them to lightly coat pork or chicken cutlets before sauteing. They are good in meatloaf, etc. too, but it's harder to discern the difference from regular breadcrumbs in that sort of application.

              I've been following the Primal/Paleo diet and Panko crumbs are one of the few grain items I've decided not to give up (figuring a tablespoon of crumbs every once in a while won't hurt me), so they are definitely a must have item for me.

              1 Reply
              1. re: electricfish

                Agreed on all accounts. We also eat Paleo, but every few weeks I use Panko for chicken cutlets. As I just bought really nice cutlets from H-Mart tonight, you can guess what'll be for dinner tomorrow ... :-)

                They are also sublime (is it ok to use that word?) with poached or soft/medium eggs. http://circle-b-kitchen.squarespace.c...

                It wasn't quite as easy for me as the person who put this together but they tasted AMAZING.

              2. I have 2 different pkgs in my pantry.
                Have I used either of them, nope.
                Do I think they're a must, used to.
                The other night hubby wanted his standard dinner which is sooooo boring but he loves it.
                One thing he added=tater tots..........< WHAT?
                Needed ground beef and the tots so went to market to buy them with him in tow [he'd just had Dr. apt]. Got the food home and realized I'd made mashed potatoes the night before so I'll make my own tater tots using them. 5 pieces of Italian bread went in the toaster oven after they'd gone in the Cuisinart to crumb. Got very crispy and crunchy, so after rolling the mixture of potatoes up I rolled them in the crumbs and dropped them quick into deep fryer. Not sure that panko would have been any better really, so jury is out?

                2 Replies
                1. re: iL Divo

                  Was the hubby mad that you made him potato croquettes instead of tater tots? ;-)

                  1. re: RetiredChef

                    oh heck no, he said they were incredible bcuz they were *+)

                2. If you use pre-made bread crumbs than Panko should be your staple, they do virtually everything better than regular (cardboard) bread crumbs. Sort of the difference between canned parmesan and fresh grated. Some might call the fresh grated a luxury while I call the canned a travesty.

                  BTW, if you want finer bread crumbs and only have Panko, just hit in your cuisine to make them finer or make your own.

                  1. I use traditional home-made bread crumbs in meatloaf and other places where they are in food and generally when food is baked. But the extra cost is so small at an Asian market that I do all breading (e.g. when frying) with Panko. I like the texture so much better,and I believe I use a lot less (lower carb).

                    1. Panko is essential to my schnitzel Viennese-style. Better than breadcrumbs, by far.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: linguafood

                        This is me when making Chicken Parm or homemade chicken fingers. Panko blows them out of the park compared to store bought breadcrumbs.

                        I buy the kikkoman brand at Costco. I've tried a Korean version at a local Korean market but, didnt' like taste as much as Kikkoman.

                      2. Yes. They are a must. Better for pork, chicken, veal cutlets. Great with crab cakes. Great on fried shrimp. The list goes on...

                        1. Don't usually have bread crumbs on hand these days. Had an invasion of pantry moths that was never fully resolved. I think they originated in the bird seed. Any open dry product goes in the freezer so I'm limited on space these days.

                          I just live without them these days. The store bought stuff is not so interesting. BTW look at the ingredients. Way too many things in there. I usually make my own from the toasted heels of bread. Or I put tortilla chips or rice crackers in the food processor. They work fine. Bagel stores, a NY thing, sometimes sell the stuff they sweep from their ovens as crumbs. Usually they are the everything kind.

                          Back to the panko topic, I suppose I'll try a box.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: CCSPRINGS

                            panko crumbs make a much crisper coating on, say, chicken chunks. They're bigger than store-bought breadcrumbs, which, in my opp., are more the consistency of sand. Panko is especially terrific sprinkled on the wonderful potato, artichoke heart casserole from the old COTM Flexitarian Table. Panko is just perfect sprinkled over the top before baking. There's probably a discussion of it in the COTM.

                          2. They are in my kitchen. I never use any other type of dry breadcrumb; I even prefer them to the ones I make myself. Unless the recipe needs fresh breadcrumbs, I'm using Panko. I buy te large box at Costco.

                            1. You? No. You're not currently finding them necessary and fear them cluttering up your pantry.

                              They are fabulous though, and if you try them you'll probably end up wanting to have them on hand if you try any of the suggestions on this board. They come in small enough packages to give them a try without worrying about storage.