We no longer use American bread crumbs. For several years, our crumb of choice is panko, the crispy bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine (think tonkatsu and crunchy sushi rolls).
They’re actually “bread flakes” rather than bread crumbs. Panko is made in small flakes, not ground into crumbs like traditional bread crumbs. The flakes provide a crisper, crunchier coating and an airier texture.
Use them to coat fried chicken, crab cakes, fried zucchini, mozzarella sticks and all of your favorites. You can even sprinkle them on ice cream for crunch.
You can find panko in the Asian products section of many supermarkets; at all Asian food markets; and online.
Boxes of panko also make creative stocking stuffers for people who love fried food. The panko from Sushi Chef, in a smart black, white and red box, is particularly giftworthy.
Panko-crusted pork. Photo by