When a recipe calls for panko breadcrumbs, you can't just use any old breadcrumbs or stale bread you pulverised in your food processor. Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese version of breadcrumbs processed in a way that causes the breadcrumbs to look more like crispy flakes. This crumb is much lighter and crunchier than regular breadcrumbs, making them very popular to use for baking, binding meat and as a topping. In addition, oil does not soak as easily into panko crumbs as it does with regular breadcrumbs, so fried foods are less greasy.
Use panko as a coating for baked chicken. For crispy chicken, combine panko breadcrumbs with seasonings of your choice. Dip the chicken in an egg wash, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear, in a oven heated to 204 degrees C.
Top casseroles with panko crumbs. After preparing a casserole dish, toss panko breadcrumbs with enough melted butter to make them stick together. Spread the mixture over the top of the casserole and bake in the oven as directed, or until the crust is golden brown.
Add panko as binding. Foods such as meatballs benefit from breadcrumbs -- for both flavouring and binding purposes. For meatballs, add panko breadcrumbs instead of the regular breadcrumbs to ground meat. The meatball will be lighter in texture and taste. You can replace the regular breadcrumbs in other recipes, such a crab cakes, for a lighter version of these foods.
Use panko crumbs to coat foods that will be deep fried, such as onion rings, fried chicken, shrimp and fried and breaded vegetables. Or you can get the feel and crunch of fried foods while avoiding saturated fat by coating the foods with panko breadcrumbs and baking them in the oven.
Add seasonings to panko breadcrumbs, as they do not have much flavour on their own. They will soak up the flavours of whatever they are mixed in. Try crushed cracker meal for a similar texture if you don't have any panko crumbs around.