Panko: what it is, how to use it and where to buy it

Panko: what it is, how to use it and where to buy it

Surely many of you have used it during the preparation of one of your recipes, or it has simply been one of the star ingredients in one of the dishes that you have enjoyed one day in that oriental restaurant that you like so much. In one way or another, Japanese breadcrumbs or Panko is one of the most widely used ingredients in Asian cuisine for the preparation of such well-known recipes as prawn tempura. 

What is panko?

Its name makes it clear. Because Panko means breadcrumb and that is precisely what it is, dry breadcrumbs that are transformed into flakes or dry flakes and that serve as a substitute for western breadcrumbs in oriental cuisine, it is Japanese breadcrumbs. A breadcrumb that is used both for gratin, breading or dusting in order to achieve a crunchy and light result. At Oriental Market you can find Panko in 1kg format. An essential ingredient that consists of wheat flour, yeast and salt.

What is special about panko is that it is much lighter than our breadcrumbs, as very soft white bread is used to make it, not the bread we use.

At first glance panko is much more crumbly than our breadcrumbs and is very white and is used for all fried dishes in Japan, giving them a very special texture and flavour; if you hold it in your hand you will notice that the consistency is similar to that of crushed breakfast flakes and this gives Japanese-style fried dishes their characteristic golden brown and crunchiness.

Buy panko online or in shops

You can buy panko in some of our shops in Barcelona and Madrid or in our online shop.

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How is panko used in the kitchen?

Japanese breadcrumbs are used in fish, seafood, meat and vegetable recipes, providing a crunch effect that is not heavy. Easy to use, panko is an ideal ingredient for breading recipes, giving a different texture and flavour to your dishes.

This crunchiness is due to the fact that panko is not fried like classic breadcrumbs, but “swells” and incorporates air, which drains the frying fat and prevents the vegetables, meat and fish from getting soaked in oil.

This means that vegetables, meat and fish are not soaked in oil. On the other hand, as this particular breadcrumb comes in the form of rather large flakes rather than fine powder, it sticks more firmly to the food and so the taste also wins: try frying prawns or pork cutlets (tonkatsu) in panko, as the Japanese do, and you’ll never do it any other way again.

Recipes with panko bread

Recipe for crispy homemade sushi (with panko)

Ingredients for 3 rolls:

400 cc sushi rice
3 seaweed
Paprika
Cooked chicken breast
Ciboullette
Kanikama or crab or surimi sticks
Chives
Panko
2 eggs
A little flour
Rice vinegar
Sugar
Salt
Soya

Recipe for panko cheese fingers

Ingredients:

Panko 2 cups
Manchego cheese 500g
Egg 2 pieces
Oil as needed
Flour ½ cup
Sweet and sour sauce to taste