July 8, 2020

Burning Question: panko or breadcrumbs?

I admit that I didn’t even know that this was a subject of much debate until dinner on Saturday night. Invited over to the home of good friends, one of the components of the meal was a sampling of crab cakes. I say sampling because chef Jennie made one version with panko, and one with breadcrumbs. People generally describe panko as Japanese breadcrumbs (for deep fried pork tonkatsu and the like), but it’s really much lighter and airier than the traditional crumb.

And that’s exactly what happened: The panko version, the top of the two crab cakes in the photo below, was more of a loose assemblage of crab and other goodness, and the breadcrumb version was much more dense. Both delicious, but we all agreed that the texture of the panko crab cake left more space for the flavor to come through.

Other great uses for panko? I like the suggestion in one of the comments in the link above: as a coating for Scotch eggs. Or check out these ideas from eHow and Chowhound. Who knew??