Panko is the Japanese word for “bread crumbs”. The crumbs are made fresh from specially baked, crustless bread. With an oblong shape, Panko crumbs are larger, crispier and lighter, so they coat without “packing” like regular bread crumbs used in Western cuisine, allowing foods to stay crispier longer.

The flaky panko is used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods such as Outside Japan, it is becoming more popular for use in Asian and non-Asian dishes. The flakes have large surface area and absorb seasoning well. Panko is excellent on fish and seafood.

It is often available in Asian markets and specialty stores. Increasingly, it is also available in many large supermarkets.