Here's how to tell the difference between the two ingredients (and how to use each one).
Panko Breadcrumbs
Photo by Meredith

Wondering how to tell the difference between panko and regular ol' bread crumbs? Read on to learn all about the two ingredients and how to use each one. Plus, get our best panko recipes.

What Is Panko?

Invented in Japan, panko have been used in many Asian cuisines for decades and is now mainstream in much of the world. Panko are made from a crustless white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried.

These bread crumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result they absorb less oil. Panko produces lighter and crunchier tasting fried food.

They're traditionally used in Japanese cooking to make tonkatsu and chicken katsu. In recent years, panko is becoming more popular as a casserole topping for mac and cheese, chicken Parmesan and as a crispy coating for baked veggie fries.

What Are Regular Bread Crumbs?

Regular bread crumbs can be made from a variety of different breads and crusts. They are processed into a finer crumb than panko, and can be made in your own kitchen with a food processor. They're not as dry and flaky as panko, and have a bread-like consistency when fried.

Store-bought bread crumbs often come with herbs and seasonings already added. Bread crumbs are a handy staple for breading, stuffing, casserole topping, and binding ground meats in dishes like burgers and meatloaf.

Panko Recipes

Crispy Panko Chicken Breasts
Photo by ReneePaj
Chicken Katsu
Photo by Snacking in the Kitchen
| Credit: Snacking in the Kitchen