I have been cooking for years and last night was the first time I ever tried cooking with panko bread crumbs. We see them being used on all of the food shows but have not really ever payed close attention to them.
I made Crispy Baked Rosemary-Garlic Chicken Legs for dinner last night. The recipe called for panko and for the first time, I did not substitute regular bread crumbs. I actually went to the store and bought them. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! These chicken legs were so light and crispy. Definitely will be the bread crumb of choice for baking and frying meats and vegetables.
After we finished dinner, Kevin suggested I write a "Did you know..." about panko. So as they said in the old days, I let my fingers do the walking. After some quick internet research, I found some interesting information on panko.
Panko is variety of bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for their fried foods. Panko is made from bread without the crusts. Using bread without crusts add a crisper, airier texture than found in most western bread crumbs. It also absorbs less oils than the regular crumb.
This research also prompted me to type Panko in the search bar on Recipezaar and, you guessed it, up came a few recipes for panko. Last night I bought an 8-ounce box last night that cost $2.89 at the grocery store. More than double the price of larger container of regular bread crumbs. After reviewing the recipe below, I doubt anyone will ever need to purchase these again. I will guarantee the next time I need panko, I will be making my own!
Panko Bread Crumbs
1 loaf white bread; crusts removed
1. Preheat oven to 300˚. Cut all crusts off the bread.
2. Push chunks of white bread through the shredding disk of a food processor to make coarse crumbs.
3. Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 300 F degrees until the crumbs are dry but not toasted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Shake the sheet twice during baking. Be careful not to let the crumbs brown!
4. Immediately remove bread crumbs from oven and allow them to cool.
5. Once cooled, crumbs may be stored in the freezer, in a re-sealable plastic bag for as long as several months.