Japanese Panko is dry breadcrumb often used in Japan but learned from the Portuguese. The word panko is derived from the Portuguese word for bread, pão, and ko, the Japanese suffix indicating flour, powder or crumb. Panko and breadcrumbs are not different, but panko are dry breadcrumbs.
You can use panko for many, many uses such as breading or crumbing meats, vegetables, or even fruits. You can also, use it for stuffing, to thicken stews, and top baked dishes to name some.
I have been making my own today as we just had a barbeque and ended up with lots of extra bread. There are two types of breadcrumbs you can make, dry (that is how panko usually is) and fresh. I am making dry breadcrumbs today as I usually use them for breading and want a harder crust.
Dry breadcrumbs (panko) are easy to make and can be made out of most any bread. I just happen to have a lot of hamburger and bratwurst buns but I usually think breads that are a bit sturdier are better like French baguette for example. You can either set the bread out sliced into chunks (if the loaf is thick or long) until it is hard, dry and stale (usually a day or two) or bake it in an oven (350F) (or toaster oven) until thoroughly dry. The smaller the pieces, the faster you can make panko, but it may be easier to grate medium to a bit larger pieces of bread.
When the bread is fully dried out, take a cheese grater and grate the bread on the desired coarseness of the panko. Store in a plastic or glass container or a freezer bag will do. Dry breadcrumbs make harder crusts. Keep them in the pantry or a dry, cool place. They should keep at least 2 weeks, but check before each use to ensure freshness. This is especially important f you make fresh breadcrumbs. To make fresh breadcrumbs, crumb the bread in a cuisine art, pulsing until desired coarseness. Put fresh breadcrumbs in an airtight container or bag and store in the refrigerator. Fresh panko will create a softer crust or filling.
Throughout my future blogs I’m sure I will share various recipes that uses breadcrumbs, but for now here are a few possible food ideas great for using dry and fresh breadcrumbs, enjoy!
Milanesa (breaded thinly sliced meat using dry breadcrumbs)
Japanese katsu (breaded, meat or seafood)
Meatballs, breadcrumbs are used in the mix
Scalloped potato casserole, dry breadcrumbs sprinkled as a topping
Stuffed chicken breast
photos by me