Friday, January 08, 2010

Hanko Panko

I did not grow up in a house where we made our own breadcrumbs. "Breadcrumbs" came from one of two places - either the blue progresso canister, or from a bag with other ingredients meant for stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey. I'm sure somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that bread crumbs were small pieces, crumbs if you will, of bread. But the back of my mind isn't well lit and the stairs are kind of falling apart and well, it's just a scary place to visit. So let's not go there.

When I got older and started living on my own, I realized how difficult it is for a single person to use up an entire loaf of bread before it goes bad. And thus ushered in the era of homemade breadcrumbs and croutons. And stale baguettes in my freezer. But like the back of my mind, let's just stay out of the freezer.

And then I started hearing about this stuff called "panko" that was like breadcrumbs, but crispier. Crispier is always better. Ask anyone. So a couple years ago I started buying panko, and the rumor was right! It IS like breadcrumbs, but crispier. My only issue with this is the back of the mind thing. Because in my mind I get that breadcrumbs are crumbs of what does that make panko? The nagging voice I keep back there under piles of broken timber says it's probably shrimp...because that sounds about right, right? tiny dried little shrimp? (and yes, I'm sure I could google it to find out what panko is made of, but it makes me happier thinking that now every time you use it, you'll think of tiny dried shrimp dancing all over your food. Because that's what tiny dried shrimp do.)

Panko Chicken
1 egg white
1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup panko
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 lb chicken tenders

1. Preheat oven to 425. Whisk egg white, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.
2. Combine panko and thyme in another shallow bowl.
3. Dip the chicken tenders in the egg white mixture, then roll in the crumb mixture.
4. Bake for 13-14 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Sweet Potato Fries
2 sweet potatoes
1/2 Tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil if you don't happen to live in Thathouse - although when this bottle is gone, Thathouse is switching back to olive since they restocked at their favorite olive oil supplier)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut sweet potatoes into wedges and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.
2. Bake for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are crisp.


  1. Panko is the shizz.

    I grew up in a household that only used panko. :)

  2. Panko is made with bread that is cooked in an induction oven they said to have little to no crust. I love how it makes a really crispy coating.

  3. We battle to get panko crumbs around here. I always make my own with crustless bread!!!Those chicken fillets look awesome!!!!!

  4. panko is wonderful stuff. i still use breadcrumbs for some dishes, but panko is lovely!

  5. Panko is awesome! I use it for most dishes that call for breadcrumbs.