Breadcrumbs from a box on a plate
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Bread crumbs or breadcrumbs (regional variants: breading, crispies) are small particles of dry bread, used for breading or crumbing foods, topping casseroles, stuffing poultry, thickening stews, adding inexpensive bulk to meatloaves and similar foods, and making a crisp and crunchy coating for fried foods, especially breaded cutlets like tonkatsu and schnitzel. The Japanese variety of bread crumbs is called panko.
Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry breads which have been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may even have a sandy or even powdery texture. Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. A grater or similar tool will also do.
The breads used to make soft or fresh bread crumbs are not quite as dry, so the crumbs are larger and produce a softer coating, crust, or stuffing. The crumb of bread crumb is also a term that refers to the texture of the soft, inner part of a bread loaf, as distinguished from the crust, or "skin".
Panko (パン粉) is a variety of flaky bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods, such as tonkatsu. Panko is made from bread baked by passing an electric current through the dough, yielding bread without crusts. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading found in Western cuisine and resists absorbing oil or grease when fried, resulting in a lighter coating. Outside Japan, its use is becoming more popular in both Asian and non-Asian dishes: It is often used on fish and seafood and is often available in Asian markets, specialty stores, and, increasingly, in many large supermarkets.
Panko is produced worldwide, particularly in Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. In February 2012, the US fast-food chain Wendy's introduced a cod fillet sandwich that they advertised as having a panko breading.
The Japanese first learned to make bread from the Europeans, and panko is derived from the Portuguese word for "bread", pão, and -ko, a Japanese suffix indicating "flour", "crumb", or "powder" (as in komeko, "rice powder", sobako, "buckwheat flour", and komugiko, "wheat flour").
Breading (also known as crumbing) is a dry grain-derived food coating for a piece of food such as meat, vegetable, poultry, fish, shellfish, crustacean, seitan, or textured soy, made from bread crumbs or a breading mixture with seasonings. Breading can also refer to the process of applying a bread-like coating to a food. Breading is well suited for frying as it lends itself to creating a crisp coating around the food. Breading mixtures can be made of breadcrumb, flour, cornmeal, and seasoning that the item to be breaded is dredged in before cooking. If the item to be breaded is too dry for the coating to stick, the item may first be moistened with buttermilk, raw egg, or other liquid.
Breading contrasts with batter, which is a grain-based liquid coating for food that produces a smoother and finer texture, but which can be softer overall.
- "Panko Bread Crumbs: The Secrets Revealed". YouTube. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
- Marshall, Jo (2010-10-05). "COOKCABULARY: Panko is a crumby ingredient - Fall River, MA". The Herald News. Retrieved 2012-11-17.